After strong 2018 growth, Beloit outlook good for '19

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Austin Montgomery/Beloit Daily News Construction continues at Hawks Ridge Apartments in the Gateway Business District. Contractors are working to add a 58-unit apartment structure. Construction started last year. An additional building is expected for 2019, according to Beloit planning staff.

BELOIT - For the City of Beloit, 2018 was an economic development boon.

As the year wraps up, city planning staff are taking stock of the year's work: 1,173 building permits worth $42 million in construction value, as of Monday. That's essentially double the figures posted by the city in 2017 (945 permits worth $21.6 million) and even higher than the city's total from two years ago (1,009 permits worth $17.8 million).

In 2019, work on major projects including the Holiday Inn Express and G5 Brewing Company are expected to wrap up, City of Beloit Planning and Building Services Director Drew Pennington said.

The Beloit Daily News caught up with Pennington on Monday to look ahead at what's in store for Beloit's new year of economic development.

Projects expected to start in 2019 include the complete remodel of the McDonald's restaurant on Prairie Avenue, similar to the completed State Street remodel; ABC Supply building a new 4-story office building on Prince Hall Drive; Aldi grocery store expanding its shopping floor space; and Menards adding more space to its lumber yard.

Residential projects that will continue in 2019 include the development of multifamily apartments at Hawks Ridge and single-family homes at Eagles Ridge, both in the Gateway Business District. Work by Teronomy Builders to complete a 58-unit apartment building worth $11 million remains ongoing, with New Leaf Homes set to add four more homes "through the winter" and ultimately over two dozen homes in the future, Pennington said.

Pennington said more multi-family units are expected for Hawks Ridge in 2019.

Pennington said the city will meet with an unnamed developer who will present an additional residential plan for duplex/townhouse-style units also in the Gateway near Eagles Ridge on city-owned land.

The city planning director also forecast a potential issue around a proposed, 48-unit multi-family development at the site of the former U.S. Army recruitment office on Prairie Avenue. The city council will review the zoning amendment at its Jan. 7 meeting.

Heading into the new year, Pennington said it would be key for the city to address its vacant property stock. The city has 193 vacant buildings, 173 of which are vacant single-family homes, two are multi-family buildings, 12 are commercial properties and six publicly-owned properties, according to Beloit housing data.

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