Remodeling projects, mostly residential and a few on commercial property, along with construction of two twin homes and an addition at In-Line Packaging, comprised the bulk of construction in Princeton in 2013.
But last year’s construction value was down 75 percent compared to 2012.
What tipped the scale so much in 2012 was the new Walmart store construction valued at $7.6 million.
Total construction in 2013 was approximately $2.3 million, compared to the approximately $9.3 million in 2012.
The biggest single project during 2013 was the 50-by-175-by-20-foot addition at the In-Line Packaging plant that manufactures packaging for microwavable foods. Other commercial projects in 2013 included:
• Hair salon added in Walmart building for $80,445.
• Renovating a former bakery into a meat market for $40,000. The plumbing was an additional $5,860.
• Structure to house a water tank for a sprinkler system at the Wayne Pike auction property at a cost of $20,000.
• Reroofing and new stone facade on Pizza Hut for $20,000.
• Enclosing an area at Princeton Auto for $21,921.
• Reroofing of City Hall for $59,139.
• Plumbing for the city’s new public safety building for $113,800.
• Enlarge the pharmacy at Coborn’s for $15,000.
• Fire sprinkler at public safety building for $38,815.
• Reroof of the Caley House assisted-living apartments for $45,000.
• Reroofing of apartment building at 206 Fourth Ave. S. for $56,690.
• Alterations in the former Dollar Bell building to house a Fantastic Sams for $58,400, plus $11,000 in plumbing.
• Reroofing job at Princeton Public Utilities for $55,900.
The two twin homes, each valued at $160,000, were constructed at 403 and 405 15th Ave. S. Those were the only residences constructed in the city during 2013, which is at least better than in 2012 when none were built.
Lynn Paulson, the city’s building inspector, said last week that to his knowledge the city doesn’t have lots available for single-family homes, just for some townhomes at this time. Single-family homes are preferred now over townhomes, Paulson added.
City council members have talked about possibly something happening where more housing lots could be opened in Meadowview if some airport zoning was adjusted. Community Development Director Carie Fuhrman has also talked about wanting to create several housing lots along Rum River Drive North by redeveloping an area that has contained deteriorated buildings.
There had been attempts by developers within the past decade or so to get land annexed into the city to build housing additions, but along came the housing construction industry collapse about six years ago and things have been slow in the Princeton area for housing ever since.
Paulson said he has not heard of plans for any significant new construction in Princeton in this new year. The closest construction-related talk has been with the Princeton School Board that is pressing to deal with some serious facilities issues. If a successful bond referendum is run this coming spring, then there might be a building permit process started by the end of the year for that.