Editor’s note: This is a first in an occasional series reviewing economic indicators around the county.
While there’s been much talk lately about a building boom on the island and last year saw a healthy uptick in residential activity compared with the year before, the city of Galveston has issued a consistent number of building permits since 2010, according to city records.
“We are very much holding steady,” said Tim Tietjens, director of the city’s planning and development services division. “It’s pretty much consistent with what we’ve had.”
Tietjens is referring to both residential and commercial activity, including permits issued for new structures, as well as permits for additions, repairs and remodels. In 2016, the city of Galveston issued 252 commercial permits, compared with 270 issued in 2015.
The city did see an increase in residential permits last year, even though these permits have still been issued at consistent numbers over the past seven years. The city of Galveston issued 1,147 residential permits in 2016, up from the 966 permits issued in 2015, records show.
First quarter data for 2017 wasn’t immediately available.
After 2009, the number of total building permits issued by the city, which includes building construction as well as repairs to infrastructure such as roofing, plumbing and fencing, has never exceeded much more than 5,100 or dropped below 4,300.
In 2016, the city issued 42 permits for new commercial buildings — built from the ground up — compared to 45 permits in 2015, according to the records. The city also issued 154 permits for new residential buildings, slightly down from the 177 of these permits issued in 2015.