Keller Williams Living Arizona Realty new office building under construction

Workers plot out their next steps at the construction site of the new Keller Williams Living Arizona Realty office building.

Construction crews have kept busy in Lake Havasu City through the coronavirus pandemic and new projects continue to pop up on the horizon.

According to the April building permit report released by the city, a total of 36 single family residential permits were issued in the last month which represents a 25 percent increase over April 2019. There were also two multi-family building permits issued this month compared with none in 2019.

“That is a big number for Havasu or for any city in Arizona right now,” said Lake Havasu City Manager Jess Knudson. “We are seeing construction continue through single family homes being built in the last month and we are seeing a healthy amount of permits being issued for construction as well.”

Through the first nine months of fiscal year 2019-20, Havasu has issued 277 permits for single family residences, up from 258 in the same time period in 2019. The city also has issued five more two-family residence permits and three other multi-family residence permits this year than in FY 2018-19.

Meanwhile, new permits for commercial construction have been a little bit lower so far this year. No new commercial building permits were issued in April and just 10 have been issued this fiscal year. In FY 2018-19 three commercial permits were issued in April bringing the nine-month total to 27 commercial permits.

In Lake Havasu City, the construction sales taxes are used to pay for general government projects in the Capital Improvement Plan.

“These are one-time funds that come into the city,” Knudson said. “That home is only build once and that generates a construction sales tax. Then we use those dollars for the CIP. The thought there is that we are using them for one-time expenditures.”

Knudson said that last fiscal year the construction sales tax brought in about $2.1 million to Havasu. Although construction has remained strong with more permits being requested all the time, Knudson said it’s still too early to definitively determine the effect coronavirus will ultimately have on city revenues from construction.

“We don’t know yet,” Knudson said. “We are trying to piece together the information we get on a month-by-month basis but we will have better information when we are able to piece together multiple months and data over the course of time to be able to look at trends. But what we see here for the month of April in terms of permits and new builds is encouraging for the local economy.”

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