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Commercial building permits outpacing last year

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More commercial building permits were issued in the Upstate in the first three quarters of 2016 than the same period last year, according to a report by The Market Edge, a real estate analysis firm in Knoxville, Tenn.

In the first three quarters of 2015 there were 1,407 permits issued. This year that number was 2,734. The report shows an increase over last year in each of the eight counties it includes in its Upstate South Carolina numbers – Abbeville, Anderson, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens and Spartanburg. Cherokee and Union counties were not represented in the report.

Gary Splawn, permits administrator for Spartanburg County, said the increase is “a good thing for us.”

“We are experiencing tremendous growth in the county, largely due to expansions at BMW, GSP, Toray and Kobelco,” Splawn said. The smaller businesses that supply the larger ones like BMW are also expanding, he added.

The issuing of building permits tends to slow down in the winter months, Splawn said. But in the last couple of months “I’ve permitted just as much as June and July,” he said.

Eric Vinson, director of planning and code compliance for Greenville County, said the increase is both in number of projects and the total value of construction.

Vinson said there are a few factors that have influenced the increase. First is that “existing successful businesses are expanding during a time of relatively low interest rate financing.” In addition, Greenville is consistently recognized in many publications as a desirable place to live and raise a family, he said.

“And the organizations responsible for promoting the upstate region and Greenville County Economic Development has done an outstanding job,” Vinson said. “As you know, building and construction is cyclical and we are in an upswing.”

Greenville and Spartanburg counties issued the most commercial building permits, at 1,069 and 1,060 respectively.

While the numbers of permits increased, the overall permit value in the Upstate did not, even though the majority of the counties in the report — Abbeville, Greenville, Laurens, Oconee and Pickens — saw an increase in permit value. The drop in value in counties like Spartanburg, Anderson and Greenwood was more than the gains made in the other counties. The report shows the permits value in the first three quarters of 2016 totaling $1.27 million, compared to $1.4 million the same period last year.

 

COUNTY

Permits Issued

YTD (Q1+Q2+Q3)

Permit Value

YTD (Q1+Q2+Q3)

 

2015

2016

2015

2016

Abbeville

22

28

$2,646,020

$6,265,020

Anderson

139

235

$101,988,797

$62,619,260

Greenville

543

1,069

$600,990,867

$602,465,347

Greenwood

55

81

$79,173,800

$43,019,129

Laurens

19

25

$7,813,514

$12,859,769

Oconee

51

77

$12,408,029

$34,759,987

Pickens

95

159

$33,725,741

$118,484,422

Spartanburg

483

1,060

$563,056,513

$391,259,851

UPSTATE

1.407

2,734

$1,401,803,281

$1,271,732,785

Reach Teresa Cutlip at 864-235-5677, ext. 103.

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