TWIN FALLS — When permits for 26 new commercial buildings got a stamp of approval last month, Twin Falls Building Official Jarrod Bordi wasn’t surprised.
The number is highly unusual for October, when the city receives typically only two or three new commercial building permits. And the $24 million valuation of these permits helped nearly quadruple the city’s year-to-date new permit values from October 2016 — rising from $5.6 million to more than $28 million.
But Bordi had seen it all coming months in advance.
“It was just a matter of when it hit,” he said. “All of a sudden, ‘Bang!’ It was ready to go — and it banged.”
October was the first month of the city’s new fiscal year and the 299 permits issued were up 7.6 percent from that month in 2016.
Twin Falls residents can expect to see work taking place on 20 new fourplexes (80 units) on Harrison Street, two more restaurants south of Walmart, a new building at the transfer station and a multi-story employee office building at Chobani.
Single-family home permits were down about 43 percent from October 2016, as the city issued only 12 permits. With several already in the queue for November, Bordi expects to exceed last November’s 15 permits and gain some ground in homebuilding this month.
Here’s a recap of some of the permits the city issued.
Chobani has received a permit for a $14.4 million, 71,000 square-foot office building. This was the highest-valued permit for October.
The building will have a basement plus three levels.
“The trailers are finally going to go,” Bordi said.
Chobani has planned a groundbreaking ceremony for next week, and Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter is expected to attend.
Dave Scaggs with Boise-based Summit Development Inc. pulled permits for each of 20 fourplex buildings on Harrison Street, north of the Hilton Garden Inn. Each had a valuation of $300,000.
Excavation and development with water and sewer has already begun.
“I don’t think there’s any messing around on that project,” Bordi said.
Scaggs told the Times-News in September that rates could range around $900 to $975 per month when the first units open up — as early as next spring. Each fourplex has two floors with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. And it’s a pet-friendly development.
HB Boys out of Salt Lake City started building a Burger King south of Walmart after receiving a permit in September. But it didn’t stop there.
In October, the company received permits for a $1 million Kneaders Bakery & Café and drive-thru, plus a three-tenant building with a Beans & Brews Coffeehouse.
“That corner’s gonna get busy,” Bordi said.
HB Boys Vice President Gary Moore said the Burger King is nearly or completely framed, and construction has started on both the Kneaders and Beans & Brews buildings.
The other two tenants have not been announced, but will be a retail business and a national chain restaurant, Moore said.
Southern Idaho Solid Waste and Twin Falls County received a permit for a $1.9 million project installing a pre-engineered metal building atop concrete at the Twin Falls waste transfer station.
“We decided to expand the transfer station,” Southern Idaho Solid Waste Executive Director Josh Bartlome said. “We’re going to try to keep the commercial separated in this newer building as much as possible. The hope is just to get a lot of people in and out a lot quicker.”
It should also improve safety.
On Saturdays, the station can see around 400 customers a day. A third building will help move lines more quickly, Bartlome said.
Additionally, the organization has built a retaining wall for a separate green waste area for tree limbs and untreated wood. These piles will be sent to the Hub Butte facility to be made into wood chips, he said.
The city also issued five commercial remodeling permits in October with total values of more than $1.2 million.
St. Luke’s Health Systems plans a $350,000 remodeling for upgrades to its interventional radiology equipment. A smaller remodel will add a bed repair space to the fourth floor patient tower.
The Magic Valley Mall also plans a $247,000 remodeling of its restrooms. The project will also add family restrooms.
Finally, Eagle Eye Produce will get a $450,000 addition for a truck entrance and fabrication shop, and Magic Valley Distributing will get a $225,000 storage area addition.