SYCAMORE – The city's growth in 2017 continued at a gradual pace, bringing in both new residences and businesses, official data shows.
As of Dec. 1, the city had issued 48 building permits for new homes. At the same time in 2016, 54 permits had been issued.
If the number of permits is unchanged, it would mark the first year since 2011 the city didn't issue more new permits from the previous year, when the city issued 16 residential building permits to 2010's 19 permits.
"We'd always like to outpace last year," said Sycamore Director of Building and Engineering John Sauter. He hasn't ruled out 2017 beating 2016, either.
"We're still lagging a bit behind last year's totals, but I'm still confident we'll get there or maybe a little more," he said. "Someone could come in and ask for five permits in one day."
Sycamore residential construction has been recovering since 2009, when the city issued 10 permits. The city didn't issue more than 20 permits in a year until 2013, when it issued 31. Sauter said the new construction has been a mix of homes in different price ranges, with some average homes and some more custom.
People are also doing more work on the homes they have, according to the permit data.
The value of miscellaneous residential construction permits, issued for projects such as remodeling, decks, fences, electrical and plumbing upgrades, have more than doubled from 2016. Total valuation for those permits in 2017 so far has been about $5.5 million, up from 2016's $2 million.
On the commercial side, Sycamore has seen a nearly $16 million increase, fueled by several projects across the city.
Projects such as the Ignatius Press building, the Suter company expansion and the Sycamore Park District community center are leading the way. Other projects, such as the Hardee's on DeKalb Avenue, the new Illinois Community Credit Union building and the Outpost on State Street have all contributed to the commercial construction boom over the past year, Sauter said. The park district building would not be subject to tax as it is government owned.
Other projects, such as interior remodeling projects and on-site expansions are also driving up that number.
Sauter doesn't see the growth slowing, either.
"There's just a lot commercial work this year," Suter said. "From what I've been hearing I expect the same amount of activity on the commercial side next year."