As Buildings Go UP, the Economy Does Too...
You've probably seen it while driving through Gainesville. Prominent construction projects...like the Stadium Club on University Avenue or the Senior Recreation Center on NW 34th Street.
Many believe buildings going up, means the economy in Alachua County is going up too.
Hammers hitting...believe it or not, this is a sound you want to hear. Because it means there's more construction going on in North Central Florida.
So far, there's a 6% increase in City of Gainesville building permits over last year. Robinshore Incorporated President Adam Bolton said, "We have seen over the last few months, much higher levels of traffic through our sales centers, a slight increase in sales for new homes and a little bit of commercial activity as well."
An active construction site is good for more than just the businesses involved. In fact, it's a great indicator for the local economy.
Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce President Brent Christensen said, "Certainly we're seeing some signs that the economy is improving."
Christensen says residential and commercial construction is one sign of improvement. He said, "You like to see month over month growth and retail sales and home sales and just general economic activity."
Alachua County hasn't seen the impact of the recession as much as other communities, but things have been significantly slower. Bolton says those who are able to build new homes or invest in commercial projects, are taking advantage of a 30% decrease in the cost of materials and labor.
He said, "What that's really doing is creating a huge opportunity for those that are in the market looking for a new home because prices are at a very very fair-able level, interests rates are extremely low."
Bolton says new projects are boosting the local economy, which hasn't fully recovered. But, things are looking up.
Another sign of improvement: 20 newly built homes will be showcased in the Builder's Association of North Central Florida annual Parade of Homes, which starts this weekend. For more information on the parade, including hours and locations visit www.banfc.com or call 352-372-5649.
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