Issuance of building permits falls

December 25, 1991|By Leslie Cauley

Construction activity in Baltimore continued to be sluggish last month, according to a new report by the Baltimore Regional Council of Governments that shows declines in the number of building permits issued.

The most dramatic drop in permits was seen in the non-residential sector, the report found. Non-residential permits were valued at $8.1 million last month, an 86 percent drop from November 1990's $58 million total. Last month's showing was the worst for the area in a decade and far below the November average of $43 million.

Residential permit activity also continued to lag. The report said 927 housing units were authorized for construction in November, a 6 percent drop from the previous November's total of 985 units. Permits for about 10,000 housing units have been issued so far this year, 21 percent fewer than had been issued by this time last year.

The one "relatively bright spot" in the November tally was in the area of additions, alterations and repairs, but even those permits were running slightly below last year's level, the report noted.

Permits for improvements were valued at $43.3 million in VTC November, a 3 percent drop from last year's total but above the November average of $39.4 million.

The highest-valued permit issued last month was for a $10.8 million steam boiler and district heating system being build by the Baltimore Thermal Energy Corp. to replace a similar system being eliminated by the construction of the new baseball stadium at Camden Yards.

The steam plant is scheduled to be completed next November and will service much of downtown Baltimore.

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