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Residential and Non-Residential Permits
August 2010

Building Permits
The quality of housing, availability of retail goods, and access to good jobs all impact the health of a community. The age of housing is important since older homes are more likely to contain asbestos, lead paint, or have mold or moisture problems. Redevelopment and improvements to existing buildings can be good indicators of economic investment in communities.

Cities require building permits to track new construction, prevent safety hazards, and enforce guidelines for community development. Permits can be required for new construction, additions or modifications to existing buildings, electrical, and plumbing work. The number and type of permits are an indication of the willingness of banks to loan money, the willingness of developers to invest in a community, and the amount of business turnover. Increases in construction and redevelopment may lead to increased housing value and commercial investment.

Building permits are divided into two categories: residential (homes) and non-residential. Non-residential permits include businesses, industries, and government buildings. This indicator is based on residential building permits issued by the Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis from 2006 through 2010 and non-residential building permits tracked by the Metropolitan Council from 2006 through 2008.

What the Maps Show
Most of the 313 residential building permits issued from 2006-2010 in the Central Corridor were in Minneapolis. This may be because the Minneapolis portion of the Central Corridor includes the University of Minnesota, an area historically known for renovation and replacement of student housing. Of the 313 permits, 94% were for additions or renovation, and only 6% were new construction. While the number of building permits was small, the total investment listed in the permits was $54 million, reflecting the construction of several large multi-unit housing developments.

From 2006-2008, 37 non-residential building permits were issued within the Central Corridor, amounting to an investment of $282 million. This represents 17% of all non-residential permits issued in the Twin Cities, according to the Metropolitan Council. (Click on the maps for a larger image.)

Data for this indicator are from construction permits issued by the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. These records likely account for a large majority of new construction projects and home renovations; however, residents may perform some home improvements without obtaining permits. Also, the two cities have different guidelines for when a permit is required and different procedures for obtaining permits, which may help explain the large discrepancy in residential permits issued by the two cities. 

Printable information sheet, with map: Residential and Non-Residential Permits (PDF:398KB/3 pages)

More information

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Click on the maps below for a larger image

Map of Residential permits

Map of Non-residential permits


Updated Friday, April 05, 2013 at 10:14AM