EBR building permits rise 16% in first quarter

Several big-ticket commercial building projects and an increase in homebuilding activity lifted the value of building permits issued in East Baton Rouge Parish by 16.4 percent for the first quarter over 2013.

The value of building permits issued by the city-parish Department of Public Works Inspection Division through the end of March was $151.1 million, compared with $129.8 million in permits issued during the same period in 2013.

The total number of permits increased by 1.8 percent from 5,170 to 5,263.

The number of single-family home permits increased by 24 percent from 158 in 2013 to 196. The value of single-family homes was up by nearly 18 percent, going from just over $43 million in the first quarter of 2013 to $50.6 million this year.

The number of residential additions and remodeling permits was down 5.8 percent from 208 in 2013 to 196. But the value was down almost 25 percent, from nearly $8 million in 2013 to just more than $6 million this year.

The value of commercial work was up nearly 18 percent from almost $77.1 million in 2013 to nearly $90.8 million. The number of permits was down from 182 to 156.

Major commercial projects permitted in the first quarter included:

The Audubon Apartment Homes, a $20.2 million upscale apartment complex at 1233 Mount Pleasant-Zachary Road. The complex, which is being developed by Heritage Construction, will contain 182 units and a clubhouse

FedEx’s $11.5 million distribution center at 10800 South Reitz Ave. The 175,662-square-foot facility will replace the 24,440-square-foot facility on Harrell’s Ferry that has been FedEx’s local home since 2008.

Burbank Charter School’s $7.3 million facility at 9211 Parkway Drive. The school, operated by Charter Schools USA, will have 860 students in grades kindergarten to eighth. The two-story school would be about 69,000 square feet and feature 36 classrooms as well as a soccer field.

A $7 million remodeling permit for 440 on Third, a mixed-use development at Third and Main streets. Dyke Nelson and David Weinstein are converting the former Capital One Bank building into a space with 65 apartments and 65,000 square feet of commercial and office space. Matherne’s Supermarket will take up the ground floor.

Cajun Industries’ $6.5 million office building at 15635 Airline Highway. About 80 to 90 people are expected to work in the 30,627-square-foot building set to open by the end of the year.