Commercial development driving increased permits in Huntley

HUNTLEY – Nearly half of the $764,410 Huntley officials have collected so far this year in building permits has come from the commercial side, adding a new dynamic to construction starts within the village.

For the third consecutive year, revenue from the village building permits has exceeded officials' projections by the midpoint of 2014.

But unlike previous years, the bulk of those dollars came from commercial developments, primarily Centegra Health System's new Huntley hospital and Weber-Stephen Products' manufacturing and distribution expansion.

The 2014 figures are encouraging for a village focused on business growth, said Village Manager Dave Johnson.

"We would like to see the balance between commercial and residential even out, and we are starting to see that this year," Johnson said. "Our long-term goal is to see more businesses started and jobs created in our community."

The $764,410 collected so far from building permits is roughly 2 percent above the $750,000 officials budgeted for the year. Of the total collected, about $355,230 came from Centegra and Weber-Stephen, according to village figures.

Halfway through last year, the village collected about $535,700 more in permits than the $450,000 they expected to receive for all of 2013. Officials also saw about $91,500 more than their budgeted amount midway through 2012.

The village's building permit revenue typically fluctuates each year with the economy. But another year of exceeded expectations means Huntley continues to grow, Johnson said.

It follows a recent Metrostudy report that ranked Huntley sixth in the Chicago-area market for new housing starts this year. Elgin, St. John, Indiana, and Naperville topped the list.

Building permit revenue helps fund the village's infrastructure projects. Administrators will present the latest figures to the Village Board on Thursday during a presentation on the village's finances halfway into 2014.

Despite the uptick in commercial activity, new housing starts within the village have remained even with 2013 figures.

Construction in the Talamore and Lion's Chase subdivisions accounted for the majority of the 88 residential permits the village issued so far this year. Midway through last year, the village issued 84 residential permits.

Going forward, the village will continue to budget building permit revenue conservatively, Johnson said.

"There are a lot of economic factors that go into that number, and we don't control any of them," he said. "We are going to be conservative in that number."

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