Building permits in Albemarle hit an all-time high

New Pfeiffer Universtiy extension campus in downtown Albemarle in construction. Provided by Jesse Deal for Stanly County Journal

ALBEMARLE –– With $32.7 million accrued through the end of October, Albemarle set a city record for building construction permit values issued in 2019. 

This year’s permit total narrowly surpassed a record of $30 million that was set in 2015. 

Albemarle’s total in 2018 was only $13.3 million; this year’s $19.4 million increase is a 142% jump.  

According to Stanly County Manager Andy Lucas, Albemarle’s overall building permit total to date is sitting around $113.7 million. That figure is more than double the $50.2 million from a decade ago. 

While the monetary value is at a record high, the 128 permits are actually less than the amount issued in 2013 and 2015 –– the primary difference being that the current projects are more expensive than in years past.  

Lucas noted that despite Albemarle’s current surge of growth, the majority of residential construction has occurred on the western side of Stanly County. With a general lack of rental properties on the eastern end of the county, one of the larger expansions in the works is the creation of “The Reserve” apartment complex, located at 2000 Woodhaven Drive.  

The $7 million development, furnished with one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom options, is set to open later by the end of 2019. It will include 80 units, a clubhouse and an on-site laundry room.  

As far as Albemarle’s single-family home expansion, the 18 permits that were issued this year are the most in Albemarle in seven years, perhaps showing a promising trend for the city’s residential growth.  

Over a third of Albemarle’s permit total –– $11.5 million –– has come from Pfeiffer University’s Center for Health Sciences, a facility quickly developing at 245 E. Main St. The building is one of eight different Albemarle construction efforts in 2019 that exceeded $1 million in permits.  

“We anticipate being finished sometime before the summer,” said David Hudson, project manager for Stokes Construction, the company that has been developing the first development off Pfeiffer’s main Misenheimer campus. “We have the roof on the building, and now we’re finishing the outside walls. We’re planning to have a brick mason get started in about a week to start laying brick.” 

Stokes Construction currently has a handful of projects going on in the area, including the creation of Morrow Valley Farmstead, a facility located on 50 acres at the base of Morrow Mountain. The development is the latest program from GHA Autism Supports and is set to open its 10-bed assisted living home and farm between May and July of 2020. 

“We’re busier than ever and trying to keep up with the work we have but constantly searching for the next job,” said Hudson.  

Other major Albemarle construction jobs include renovations to the third and fourth floors of Atrium Health Stanly, located at 301 Yadkin St., as well as the development of a new city police station at 155 W. South St. Those building permits have reached figures of $4.1 million and $3.6 million, respectively.