01/14/07 — Construction topped $160 million in county

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Construction topped $160 million in county

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on January 14, 2007 10:53 AM

The past year was a huge one for construction in Wayne County, with permits issued for nearly $160 million in new buildings.

Construction of a new Wal-Mart near Mount Olive and three new buildings at Mount Olive College helped boost Wayne County's total for the year to $85.8 million.

The City of Goldsboro issued $74 million in building permits.

City Planning Director Randy Guthrie said the lion's share -- about $60 million -- was in commercial development.

"All year long, we've had agendas full with new buildings here and there," he said. "We've had good volume this year. We've been busier than last year."

Many factors played into the city's success this year, he said. The favorable results from 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission study. He also attributed the growth to the state of the economy, the burgeoning U.S. 70 corridor, and Goldsboro's proximity to Raleigh and Greenville.

"We're got a good hospital and community college," he said. "We have a lot going on. We're doing very well."

Guthrie said 2007 could be an even better year. Several large projects are on the drawing board, not ready for permit applications to be filed. They include a new Wal-Mart on U.S. 70 west, creation of Memorial Commons on Wayne Memorial Drive, redevelopment of the former Litchfield Cinema property on Berkeley Boulevard and a large apartment complex across from Mimosa Park.

"I think soon they will break ground, but I don't know when," Guthrie said of the 288-unit complex.

Despite the big projects in Mount Olive, it was home construction that made up the largest share of the county's permits, with more than $67 million worth of new homes being built, or at least started, by year's end.

Commercial construction in the county totaled $12 .2 million. Major projects included a $650,000 hangar at the Wayne Municipal Airport, a $625,000 municipal building at Walnut Creek, expansion work at two churches, Whitley Church for $450,000 and Pinkney Church for $300,000, a $378,000 Family Dollar store in Pikeville and $247,000 in new offices and warehouse space for ExCel Linde.

The Mount Olive Wal-Mart is expected to cost about $7 million. The new buildings at Mount Olive College carried a $500,000 pricetag.

Wayne residents spent $5.7 million on improvements to existing homes in 2006, said county Building Inspector Steve Stroud.

Another major project undertook last year was the AAR manufacturing facility that took over the 107,000- square-foot shell building in ParkEast and added another 84,000 square feet.