(WKBN) – In Mahoning County, 2019 was a good year for commercial construction — it had five big projects that cost over $6 million each. Now, it’s hoped that the successes of last year continue through 2020.
Of the past five years, only 2016 was better, in terms of valuation.
On Tuesday, John Kufleitner gave corporate executives a tour of his new Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram dealership — still under construction on Market Street in Boardman. At $6.62 million, it was the fifth most expensive project in the county last year.
“It’s going really well. We’re getting close. We think we’re probably somewhere between four and six weeks out,” Kufleitner said.
Two miles away on Route 224 in Boardman, a new business called Extra Space Storage was the county’s top commercial project, according to the Mahoning County Building Inspector’s Office. It took $10.6 million to renovate the former Hobby Lobby building into storage units.
The second and third biggest projects were in Smith Township, $7.7 million by Haiss Fabripart and $6.7 million by Trailstar International.
The fourth largest project came in at $6.67 million with the renovation of the U-Haul operation on Mahoning Avenue in Austintown.
“It was a busy year. If you were a good, legit contractor you were busy, busy all over the area, yes,” said Sam Boak.
Boak was president of the Builders Association last year, and the numbers back up his assessment. The total valuation of all the commercial projects last year in Mahoning County was $184.5 million, up 8.1% from 2018.
The number of permits issued was also up. Last year, there were 750, up 16% from the previous year.
“If you drive up and down 224 in Boardman you see. There are a lot of new buildings going up or renovations, just stuff that’s going on. If you want to look up at YSU, YSU does a great job of maintaining their properties, so they are busy doing their stuff,” Boak said.
But will a good 2019 segue into an equally productive 2020?
“I think it’s going to be busy, but we don’t know. I’m talking to different architects because they’re the ones you find out about it first. They tell me what’s coming up. Most of them say they’re pretty busy,” Boak said.
The Building Inspector’s Office also had the numbers for new home construction. The valuation was down 11% from 2018 and the number of permits taken out was down 6%. The most expensive home was built for $740,000 on Springfield Road in Springfield Township.