Tri-Cities Q1 commercial permit performance speaks to area’s economic stability


Tri-Cities commercial construction during Q1 – as measured by new permits – was unchanged from the last year.

According to the Market Edge commercial building permit report, 183 permits were pulled during the first three months of this year, down from 185 last year.  That’s not bad news when you compare it to the 2014 and 2013 Q1 track records. New permits for those years were in the low to the mid-140s range.

Drilling down to the two largest counties in the region shows new permits making a small increase in Sullivan County while declining in Washington County.

The Knoxville metro area was the only East Tennessee metro market posting a year-over-year increase in permits in Q1. And it was a hefty 57 percent increase from last year. Chattanooga was down 15.8 percent while the Tri-Cities had a 1.1 percent decrease from last year.

Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors’ Commercial Committee Chairman Jerry Petzoldt said the Q1 report speaks to the stability of the local commercial real estate economy – especially in a presidential election year. Traditionally, there’s a lull during presidential election years.

Our economy tends to remain more stable as the world outside our region tends to make larger rises and falls with national economic influences and trends, He said. “We are in a great place with a stable and dependable economy.”

During Q1 Johnson City saw 29 new commercial permits. Of those the largest number was for alterations. There were two industrial permits and two new retail and three grading permits. Buildouts and seven commercial additions rounded out the list.

Fifty commercial permits were pulled in Kingsport during the same period. The highest count went to alterations. Nine permits were issued for commercial roofs, three for grading, five for additions, three for industrial and one for new retail/restaurant/mall.

A spot check on the local commercial listings inventory on the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors Commercial Multiple Listing Service this month shows 481 commercial listing in the Johnson City Metro area.  That listing inventory includes:

  • 34 Industrial
  • 146 office
  • 82 retail-commercial
  • 43 shopping center
  • 159 vacant land
  • 1 farm/ranch
  • 2 hospitality
  • 14 multi-family

The current Kingsport-Bristol metro listings include:

  • 24 industrial
  • 85 office
  • 47 retail-commercial
  • 34 shopping center
  • 131 vacant land
  • 5 multi-family

Nonfarm job creation, employment and private sector wages combined with a steady increase in retail sales and sales tax collections have been bright points for commercial real estate and the local economy so far this year.

 

 

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