A record-setting year for construction in Merced

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- A record-setting year for construction in Merced!

The city has now received more building permit applications than ever before.

Officials in Merced say more than 47-hundred building permits have been pulled so far this year.

That beats the previous record of nearly 37-hundred, which was set back in 2005.

This is one of several streets in the city where new houses have been going up this year.

But that record number of permits is not only for single-family homes.

We're also seeing new commercial and industrial buildings and apartment complexes, as well as people making improvements to existing properties.

Construction has become a common site around Merced this year, including many new homes going up in several different subdivisions.

In fact, the City has issued more than 600 single-family dwelling permits since January.

"Housing is strong right now. The reason it's extra strong this time of the year is every 3 years there's a change in the building codes," said Construction Project Official Denise Frazier.

"These are the set of new building codes you see that take effect in January," said Frazier.

Denise Frazier says that means many developers are in a rush to get their permits before the current codes expire.

"The developers have master plans in place, and in order to continue building under those plans they have to have their applications submitted by the end of the year," said Frazier.

Work is also underway on new apartment complexes, including this one near UC Merced.

Hundreds of permits have been pulled for industrial and retail projects as well.

That includes work happening in downtown Merced, along Campus Parkway, and on the former Sears building.

The Merced Mall is also in phase one of a long term project to expand and improve its entire facility.

"We're building a brand new set of bathrooms in the food court. We're also moving two of our permanent tenants into that area, and we also have a new tenant that's going in there, which I cannot disclose at the current moment in time, but it's going in that space," said Mall Property Manager Max Whitley.

Officials say all of the building activity is creating construction jobs, and it will lead to more permanent jobs as positions are filled at new or expanding businesses.

"The tax coffers will fill up a little more and we'll get a little more employment, and we all need that," said Whitely.

City leaders say another reason for the spike in building permit applications is because developers have also been pulling additional permits for sprinklers that are now required in new homes and solar units.
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