Construction was generally steady throughout the first 11 months of 2011 with the exception of May and September when construction values topped $8 million.
There were no large multimillion dollar projects at Lee University or SkyRidge Medical Center as in 2010, however, a variety of restaurants were added to the local dining experience.
The long-awaited Olive Garden Restaurant began taking form in March when a building permit was issued for the new restaurant at 4499 Keith St., N.W. The chain paid $3,160 in fees for the $1.250 million restaurant located in the northeast corner of the Walmart North property.
Rumors of an Olive Garden began circulating in August 2010, when the company began showing signs of interest in the city. News of the Italian restaurant came less than a week after it was announced Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar would locate in Mouse Creek Crossing on Paul Huff Parkway.
The numbers slipped overall in April but the report showed a significant increase in residential construction. Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland said the permits reflected growth in residential building and renovations categories.
He said increases are expected to continue in the residential sector in the weeks and months ahead as storm-impacted residents begin construction of new homes. While the number of housing starts increased, the total value of permits decreased from $1.691 million in March to $1.615 million in April.
The most significant permit issued in April was obtained by Chazler Inc. for the Cleveland-Bradley Business Incubator project at Cleveland State Community College. The permit showed construction value at $606,900.
Construction in the city rose in May with permits issued for a hotel and a restaurant that provided most of the lift. Construction totaled $8.709 million in May with $7.750 million coming from commercial builders. Residential building activity slipped to $531,600 in permits while additions and alterations accounted for $427,200.
The figures represented a significant increase over the $1.615 million total posted in April and $1.691 million in March. The fifth month of 2011 would prove to be the highest of the year in terms of construction value.
The largest of the projects was a hotel built by the father-son team of Cleveland City Councilman Dale R. Hughes and his son, Richie Hughes. They are building a $5.2 million Holiday Inn Express and Suites at 4355 Ellis Circle N.W., located on the northwest corner of Interstate 75 and Paul Huff Parkway.
The hotel will be a four-story building with approximately 90 rooms. Thirty of the rooms will be suites with a bedroom, sitting room, flat-screen TV and kitchen amenities.
All other rooms will include a refrigerator, microwave and television. There will also be an up-scale swimming pool, two elevators and a sit-down breakfast area.
It is expected to be finished in spring 2012.
Other May projects included a $1.021 million shell in Mouse Creek Crossing for Buffalo Wild Wings. Electronic Express pulled a permit valued at $18,000 to renovate the former Circuit City location at Cleveland Towne Center and Easy Auto renovated Hall Chevrolet with a project valued at $200,000. Also, Cleveland Imaging underwent a $250,000 remodeling job.
Construction numbers softened in June when total values fell to $2.148 million though the number of permits issued was healthy. There were nine building addition/alteration permits valued at $247,308; six residential totaling $420,737; and five commercial projects equaling $1.480 million.
The most significant permit issued in June was to Dillard Construction Co., in the amount of $900,000 for an industrial building at 175 Enterprise Drive S.W. It was followed in value by Franklin Beauty Academy at 1605 Professional Park Drive N.W., built by David May Building Contractors. That project was valued at $325,000. Mitchell T. Cobb requested a permit valued at $57,000 for the Scoops and Burgers Restaurant at 804 25th St. N.W. The location is at the intersection of Keith and 25th streets in the outparcel occupied by Regions Bank.
Cherokee Construction built a warehouse at 2025 20th St. N.E. valued at $43,368; and East Tennessee Specialty Builders was issued a permit valued at $155,000 for a billiard hall at 185 Inman St.
Ignoring the gloom of cautious headlines and newscasts espousing the uncertainties of the Great Recession, building permits inside the city of Cleveland continued their climb as the month of July unveiled construction value of almost $2.9 million.
Building permits, and their respective construction values, for the month of July included renovations at Walmart at 4495 Keith St., $1,168,777; Buffalo Wild Wings at 625 Paul Huff Parkway, $569,000, for a restaurant interior build-out; a water treatment building at the Duracell plant at 501 Mouse Creek Road, $300,000; and an office building at 3575 Keith St. N.W. designed for accommodating a hyperbaric chamber, $250,000;
Building activity remained relatively constant through the hot summer months of June, July and August. Building permits for the month of June hit $2.148 million; July’s numbers came in at $2.874 million while August remained steady at $2.714 million.
In August, the largest permit was in the addition/alteration category in the amount of $550,000 for interior and exterior renovations to the McDonald’s restaurant at 1350 25th St.
The largest commercial permit was for Leisure Time Bowling in the amount of $300,000. The bowling alley is located in the old BI-LO store at 2739 Keith St. Other commercial permits included Mark’s Dog House at 3443 Keith St., in the amount of $90,000 and renovations to a shooting range at 2160 South Lee Highway. That job is valued at $30,000. The other commercial permit was for a buildout of a suite in Mouse Creek Crossing for Batteries Plus in the amount of $33,500.
Building permits recorded for the month of October topped $3 million and construction added another $2.5 million for the month of November.
The combined $5.5 million showed Cleveland remains on the move, according to municipal documents. The city’s Development and Engineering Services Department reported new homes in October accounted for most of the permits, with 18 new homes and 10 with renovations or additions for a total of $2.926 million.
Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland said it is “good to see new home building on the rise again. While industrial expansions and new industries have been up these past few months, it was new homes that showed the largest increase for the four weeks of October.”
The permit report for December has not been released.