Strong year for development tops $43 million in Basalt
The estimated value of all commercial and residential construction projects undertaken in Basalt soared above $43 million in 2018, according to the town government.
“I believe the $43 million valuation total is a record for Basalt,” said building official Jim Wilson.
The valuations include everything from new construction to remodels, window replacements to foundations. At the high end was a 49-unit apartment complex at Willits Town Center valued at $11.51 million. On the low end was a window replacement job at a residence on Meadow Lane for $3,929.
The commercial projects included remodel of space owned by Pitkin County on Emma Road for $2.1 million; construction of American National Bank’s new space at Willits Town Center for $1.7 million; a $438,315 remodel by Whole Foods Market to its grocery space; and a $1.4 million self-storage building on Southside Drive.
On the residential side, notable projects were a duplex on Wild Springs Lane with each side valued at $1.1 million; a razing of an existing structure and replacement with a new single family home with a detached accessory dwelling unit on West Sopris Drive for $1.46 million; and five new single-family residences on Damselfly Lane in the Roaring Fork Club, each valued at $1.825 million.
There were 14 building permits issued for single-family residences and multiple permits for duplexes, according to the building department’s year-end report. There were five permits issued for foundations of single-family homes late in the year, indicating new home construction will carry over strong into this year.
The surge of activity benefited Basalt town government’s coffers. As of Dec. 7, the town was projecting $1.73 million in revenue from licenses and permits. Town Manager Ryan Mahoney said the bulk of that revenue is from issuance of building permits. Some of those funds are restricted for specific uses while others go into the general fund.
Town officials took a cautious approach in the 2019 budget regarding the building boom. It budgeted $1.16 million in revenue from licenses and permits.
“We don’t want to depend on building permits to balance our budget,” Mahoney said.
The construction industry can be volatile, as the 2008-09 recession proved. There was next to no building activity in Basalt for a few years until Willits Town Center cranked back up. Mahoney said the town staff figured it was better to anticipate smaller revenue from building activity and collect more than expected rather than vice versa.
“I think all indications at this moment are pointing toward this bullish building that we are seeing to continue,” Mahoney said. He noted that there are some signs on a national level that the economy might be cooling.
(Editor’s note: This story was edited to include the correct amount that building permits contributed to the town coffers. The original story had an inaccurate amount that was provided by a town official.)
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Basalt mayoral candidates Bill Kane and Rob Leavitt said at a Feb. 10 forum they endorsed the town government’s $1.34 million expenditure to expand a riverfront park. Candidate and councilman Bill Infante said not so fast and provided an alternative view.