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Rochester, Greece continue to lead growth

Rochester Business Journal
May 24, 2013

The town of Irondequoit had a big jump in commercial development last year, reporting an increase in total construction value of more than 4,000 percent from 2011.
Irondequoit reported the biggest increase in total construction value from 2011 to 2012 among area municipalities, data compiled by the Rochester Business Journal shows.
In Irondequoit, total construction value in 2012 amounted to nearly $41.7 million, up from $913,000 the year before-an increase of 4,463 percent.
When the Rochester Business Journal compiled a list in 1991 based on 1990 construction value, the village of Webster had the greatest percentage increase in construction value, nearly 257 percent from 1989 to 1990.
The data from both comparisons are mostly from non-residential construction permits, which include commercial, retail, office, institutional and industrial construction.
Irondequoit issued 52 non-residential construction permits last year with total value of $40.9 million. The town issued three residential construction permits valued at $549,000.
In 1990, the town of Irondequoit reported total construction value of $35.2 million.
Irondequoit Supervisor Mary Joyce D'Aurizio, who has a background in commercial development, said the town strives to meet the needs of its residents and to increase the commercial tax base. The town's eagerness to welcome new commercial development helps Irondequoit attract such development, D'Aurizio said.
"We strive to make sure we are fair and equitable with all commercial developers," she said.
Laurence Heininger, director of development services for the town, said two large commercial projects-an $18 million project by Tops Friendly Markets LLC and an $11 million one by LA Fitness International LLC-boosted the town's numbers in 2012 after a year when it saw little development because of lingering effects of the global recession.
Additional construction value came from smaller commercial projects, including a medical office building.
"We are working hard to get the development," Heininger said.
Twelve of 18 municipalities reported year-over-year growth in total construction value from 2011 to 2012, RBJ research shows. The total includes non-residential, residential and miscellaneous construction.
The majority of those that provided information were towns in Monroe County, along with the city of Rochester. Canandaigua and Victor (town and village combined), both in Ontario County, also provided data.
That compares with 12 municipalities of 25 reporting year-over-year increases in 1990. The list from 1990 had more municipalities from Ontario County, including the towns of Geneva, Gorham and Phelps.
Nationally, construction was up in 2012 from 2011, data from the U.S. Census Bureau show. Residential construction across the country totaled $276.8 billion in 2012, up 16.8 percent from $237 billion in 2011. Non-residential construction was up 15.4 percent to $297.7 billion from $258 billion in 2011.
Locally, the city of Rochester had the highest total construction value in 2012 at roughly $157 million, down 4 percent from $164 million in 2011.
The city was at the top of the 1990 list, too, with total construction value of $126.6 million, a 41.9 percent increase from 1989.
Canandaigua, city and town, had the second-largest overall percentage increase in 2012, with total construction value rising 204 percent to $30.5 million from $10 million.
New home construction was booming in the town of Canandaigua in 2012, and it was third in the number of home construction permits issued. The top two municipalities were Greece and Webster, where residential construction value totaled $44 million and $27 million respectively.
Last year, Canandaigua issued 68 residential construction permits totaling $25.5 million. That can be compared with 1990, when the town of Canandaigua reported total construction value of $8 million, down 40 percent, and the city of Canandaigua reported total construction value of $4.8 million, down 54.9 percent.
Tim Jenson, the town's director of development, said the housing permits ranged from new homes in high-end and moderately priced subdivisions to one-story townhomes and luxury apartments.
"People have been putting a focus on and planning development here for decades, and it continues to pay dividends," he said.
The town has many desirable attributes, including picturesque views, good schools and proximity to retail and restaurants.
"It's a complete community," Jenson said.
Other towns with year-over-year increases in 2012 included Brighton, Chili, Mendon, Ogden, Parma, Perinton and Riga.
Municipalities with year-over-year increases in 1990 were the towns of Chili, Geneva, Greece, Henrietta, Ogden, Parma and Phelps, along with the city of Geneva and village of Fairport.
Greece issued the most residential permits in 2012-2,071for a total of $44 million in residential construction value-followed by Victor with 443 for $15.7 million.
The town of Riga reported the fewest residential home permits-two for a total of $676,000.
The city of Rochester issued the most residential permits in 1990-996-with an average home price of $38,298. The city did not provide data on how many residential permits it issued in 2012 or the average home price.
In 1990, the city of Geneva reported nine residential permits, making it the municipality with the lowest number of such permits that year. The average home price was $65,000.
Six towns reported a drop in overall construction values from 2011 to 2012. The biggest drop was in the town of Pittsford, where total construction value fell 43 percent to $27.1 million from $47.3 million in 2011. Pittsford issued 10 non-residential construction permits in 2012, which totaled $9.7 million. Residential permits totaled 34 for a total construction value of $12 million.
In 1990, the town of Pittsford reported total construction value of $31.3 million, down 19.4 percent from 1989.
The town of Victor, however, posted the biggest drop in total construction in 1990. It was down 59.7 percent to $9 million from 1989.
In 2012, the town of Sweden reported the second-steepest drop in total construction value-$1.3 million in overall construction value, down 85 percent from $8.5 million in the prior year.
Sweden issued eight residential permits last year, totaling $1.3 million in construction value, and no non-residential construction permits were issued.
Other municipalities reporting decreases in 2012 were the towns of Gates and Rush and the village of Hilton.
Additional municipalities reporting decreases in 1990 were the towns of Brighton, Gorham, Penfield, Perinton, Riga, Sweden and Webster, along with the village of Hilton.

5/24/13 (c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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