Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Destination Medical Center initiative continued to spur development in Rochester last year and helped the city set another record for building activity.

The City Building Safety Department issued just over 2,300 building permits worth almost $588-million in 2018. The number of permits was over 300 below the 2017 total, but the valuation was about $63 million above the previous record set in 2017 at over $524 million.

The record-breaking performance of the construction sector of the economy occurred despite a slowdown in new home construction. The city approved 347 permits for new single-family homes last year, which was down by over 80 when compared to 2017 and was the lowest total reported in the past 5 years.

It was another huge year for the construction of new apartments and other multi-unit housing projects. 18 building permits were issued for projects containing 1068 housing units valued at over $183-million, continuing a surge that started in 2015. Since then, the city has seen the construction of over 3,800 housing units through the development of multi-unit projects.

In the final month of 2018, the city issued a total of 120 building permits for projects worth just under $32.5-million. That included 25 permits for new single-family homes. The valuation total for December was boosted by several projects, including an $8.7 million permit for the new Math and Science Stem Academy on 16th Street Southwest and a $5 million permit for work involving the Center Plaza Condos inside the former Holiday Inn Downtown building.

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