Construction in city surpasses $21 million

Published 6:00 am Thursday, December 28, 2000

The year 2000 was one of the busiest years for construction inthe Brookhaven’s history, according to Building Inspector SteveMoreton.

Through November, Moreton’s office has issued 161 permits forcommercial and residential construction projects estimated atapproximately $21.5 million.

“It’s the highest it’s been since I’ve been here, and I came in1989,” Moreton said.

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The 2000 construction dollar value was more than double 1999’s$10.05 million, which was approved through 147 permits. In 1998,the total was $9.3 million from 156 permits and in 1997, it was$5.7 million from 153 permits.

Moreton said construction activity has slowed down since thebeginning of October.

“This time of the year, it’s the weather,” he said.

Building permits issued since October cover over $1.4 million incommercial construction projects.

One of the largest is Dr. Don Doty’s new dentist office onBrookway Boulevard. According to the permit, the building projectis estimated at $415,000, but it also involved substantial sitework.

“It had to have a lot of engineering because of the flood areathere,” Moreton said.

The property includes a water retention area, and Moreton saidthat a new culvert being installed should greatly help water runoffproblems in the West Monticello Street and Brookway Boulevardareas.

Another project under way is a building for WinWay LLC’scommercial furniture and cabinet-making business. Moreton said the$100,000 building is the first of three proposed for the site onIndustrial Park Road.

“The metal building is up and wired,” Moreton said, adding thatwork now is focused on the office area.

Also in the Industrial Park area, Southern Development isconstructing a $210,000 building. It will be used in associationwith Boswell and its rehabilitation services, Moreton said.

While Jeff Wilson has bought and plans to remodel a governmentoffice building near his automobile dealership on BrookwayBoulevard, a new $400,000 building for the Farm Service Agency andothers is planned for Johnny Johnson Drive.

“We’ve just issued a permit for a new building for them,”Moreton said.

In the Highway 51 area, Southern Pipe and Supply is planning anew $307,00 building on Louis Mullen Drive. Also, Quality Cleanerson West Court Street is looking at a $50,000 building to house anew commercial uniform cleaning operation, Moreton said.

Looking ahead to 2001, Moreton described the year in just a fewwords: “school of the arts.”

“That’s going to be something,” Moreton said.

By March 1, school officials hope to break ground on the firstpart of the eight-story student life center, which will housestudents when the school opens in 2002. Moreton said he is workingwith state officials now on height and off-street parkingprovisions.

Moreton said the current height restriction is five stories or55 feet, but he was confident city fathers would grant a variancefor the school. He added the current ordinance was written beforethe city got a 75-foot ladder fire truck, which would aid infighting a fire at the taller building.

A long-rumored Krystal restaurant appears closer to reality withplans to put one on the site of the BP service station on BrookwayBoulevard. Also, Quality Oil Change is looking at a new building onHighway 51.

“The permits have not been issued, but I have the site plans,”Moreton said about the two projects.

On another building note, Moreton said a new landscapingordinance adopted in October is playing off. The ordinance wasadopted in an effort to break up large parking lot areas andincrease green areas with the use of trees and shrubbery.

“Everybody is meeting or exceeding the requirements and they allseem happy to see it,” Moreton said.

Although it did not fall under the ordinance, Moreton wascomplimentary of the new Burger King restaurant and how officialslandscaped the site.

“They did an exceptional job on landscaping,” Moreton said.