Construction in 2016 totals $53 million
By Jodelle Greiner, The Brookings Register

Brookings is still growing: a total of 451 building permits were issued in 2016 with a total value of nearly $53 million, according to the city’s engineering department.
Jared Thomas, building services administrator, broke down the numbers: 390 permits were residential for a total valuation of $22,649,574, and 61 were non-residential with a total valuation of $30,121,919.
That’s a combined total of $52,771,493, Thomas said.
That number doesn’t include building projects at South Dakota State University, with the exception of the new alumni center.
“I would say we’re pretty steady” compared to other years, Thomas said. “Permitwise, we’re seven less permits than we were last year.”
“Since 2011, it’s been very steady and even a little bit higher than it was in 2014,” said City Engineer Jackie Lanning, adding that Brookings has been doing well, “especially in the last five years or so.” Of the 2016 residential permits , 78 were new single-family houses, four were townhouses, and six were apartment buildings for a total of 86 dwelling units, and a total valuation of nearly $16.1 million.
There were 279 permits for maintenance/repairs, additions and remodels for a total valuation of $6.3 million. A total of 25 permits were issued for detached garages or accessory buildings for a total valuation of $235,584.
“Basically, everything’s been south and west, where all the new developments have been,” Thomas said.
Some of the locations that have seen a rise in residential dwellings are Reserve Addition, Christine Circle near Camelot School, Timberline and Timberline II, Moriarty Heights, Christy Heights, Prairie Hills and Windermere. On the commercial side of construction, there have been 22 new building permits for a valuation of $14.6 million; 27 permits to remodel for a valuation of nearly $5.3 million; and 12 permits for additions for a valuation of $10.2 million
“Now, commercial-wise, we have seen some growth to the east of Brookings,” Lanning said.
One example is Century Circle on 32nd Avenue west of Bel Brands. It has six lots for smaller commercial buildings, she said.
All the lots were sold and four were permitted in 2016 with the fifth one permitted for 2017, Thomas said.
“SGS and Millborn Seeds are two other companies that are building out in the eastern industrial park” and will be under construction this year, Lanning said.
Lanning and Thomas said SGS was the biggest project of the year. Other big construction projects in 2016 were the Cinema 8 movie theater; Alumni Center addition at South Dakota State University; Phase 3 of the Monument View Apartments on Western Avenue; a 49-unit apartment building, which is part of the Innovation apartments on Tenth Street near Lowe’s ; Biotest Plasma Center remodel on the Eastside Commons on 22nd Avenue, the Sanford Clinic expansion, Taco Bell, Knutzen dental clinic on 12th Street South and Scooter’s Coffee.
Most seem to be on one side of Interstate 29 or the other, with some on 32nd Avenue and others on 22nd Avenue or 25th Avenue, Thomas said.
“Restaurants are kind of scattered ,” Lanning noted, mentioning 1,000 Degrees Pizza, which went into an existing location in the Eastside Commons.
Other businesses that went into existing locations were Toppers Pizza, Cricket Wireless and Great Western Bank in the Sixth Street Centre, which was built in 2015.
Lanning expects more growth in the Wilbert Square on 25th Avenue, where Taco Bell is already located. That’s where the Comfort Suites is being built.
“They built the hotel first and now they’re building this convention center/restaurant,” she said.
“The restaurant business, I think, grows a little slower than other commercial business. It’s still nice to see new restaurants every year, just for the citizens,” Lanning said.
“It’s really great to see expansions of existing businesses as well. It shows their businesses are growing and they’re staying in Brookings and providing more services and more space for their customers. I think we’ve seen some of each, expansions and new,” she said.
Commercial and residential building seem to be growing at the same rate, they said.
“Pretty close, valuation-wise,” Thomas said, comparing the $22 million residential with the $30 million commercial numbers. “Not quite an even split. The percentage kind of seems to be
“Residential doubled, starting in 2012, from what it had been in 2010 and 2011,” Lanning said. “Commercial went up, not quite double, so it just shows to me that we’re seeing steady growth in the last five years, not one category or the other. The last five years have been really steady growth in both residential and commercial.”
That’s good for Brookings.
“It provides an optimistic outlook that if our trend continues into the future, that we will continue to have new housing being constructed for people as well as new commercial and restaurant facilities for Brookings,” Lanning said.
She also said there were a good number of lots available on land where the streets have already been constructed.
“To me, that provides good opportunity for people looking to build a home,” Lanning said.
That’s important because word from the Brookings School District is that numbers will continue to rise.
“It’s all a good indication and hopefully our census numbers keep rising,” Lanning said. “People moving here for amenities or moving here for the schools and more amenities are being built. It gives us an optimistic look on the growth in Brookings based on the trends that we’ve seen.
“I think overall, Brookings has been very fortunate that we’ve seen steady, consistent growth. So for families that move here or businesses that want to relocate here, Brookings has seen very steady growth, which hopefully gives them security that this is a good place to build and move to,” she added.

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