New Prague's building permits still lagging

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

Building trends in New Prague are following the same lines as last year. While the city is doing well in 2009 for commercial and industrial permits, residential building is slow.

New Prague Planning Director Ken Ondich said through the first six months of 2009 there have been 20 commercial and industrial permits issued at a value of approximately $1.9 million. While that's 12 fewer permits than all of 2008, the value of the permits is about the same. Ondich said the construction of the Walgreen's pharmacy has been the biggest project this year.

He noted the best year they had recently in commercial permits was 2007, with 38 permits worth an estimated $11 million. That's the year construction began on Coborn's grocery store and the New Prague Commons strip mall next to it.

The city has issued four permits for single family homes during the first six months of 2009, which is also in line with 2008 when six were issued. Like last year, all those permits have been given out for the Le Sueur County side of the community.

Ondich noted the city has been seeing a decline in housing permits over the past four years. It's a change from the period between 2002 and 2005 when more than 100 houses were being built each year.

Ondich explained the city was anticipating housing permits would be down, and is still hoping for a rebound.

It's the economy. I hate to blame it on that

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