Edinburg's booming construction economy was evidently not immune from the national woes that have hit the rest of the nation's housing markets since last year, as the city recorded a significant drop in total construction activities between 2008 and 2007.

For all of 2008, the three-time All-America City reported $127.5 million in total construction activities, compared with $172.5 million in 2007, according to figures compiled by the city's Code Enforcement Department.

The construction figures include the value of everything from installing plumbing to building the structures, but not the price of the lots.

Also, the city figures do not include the value of any construction work being conducted at the University of Texas-Pan American.

In most major categories, Edinburg saw decreases in construction figures, especially in the number and total value of single-family homes and multi-family residences built in 2008 as compared with 2007.

In 2008, building permits were issued for construction of 241 single-family homes in Edinburg, compared with 524 single-family homes in 2007.

In general, a single-family home is a detached home, with one owner, typically consisting of a front yard, backyard, driveway and garage.

The total value of new home construction in 2008 not including the price of the lot was $23.7 million, compared with $49.2 million in 2007.

Multi-family residences duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, and apartments showed an even worse performance in 2008. Last year, building permits were issued for construction of new multi-family residences valued at $1.2 million, compared with almost $18.5 million in 2007.

Those figures represent only 12 multi-family homes built in 2008, compared with 115 multi-family homes built in 2007.

Commercial construction, however, remained a bright spot for Edinburg.

Despite the lackluster home construction figures and the national economic recession, the value of commercial facilities built in Edinburg last year almost kept pace with the level set in 2007.

In 2008, new commercial construction reached almost $61 million, compared with almost $64 million in 2007.

Another bright spot showed that alterations and repairs made on non-taxable structures, such as government buildings and schools, in 2008 were almost double the amount reached in 2007. Last year, alterations and repairs to non-taxable structures totaled almost $22 million, compared with almost $12.6 million in 2007.

Alterations and repairs to residential structures in 2008 were also about the same as in 2007. Last year, building permits were issued for alterations and repairs to residential structures valued at more than $4.2 million, compared with almost $4.4 million in 2007.

What are building permits?

The values of the construction are listed in building permits issued by the city's Code Enforcement Division.

Building permits are permits taken out in order to allow excavation and to protect public safety.

Building permits represent the estimated cost of construction, not the selling price.

The building permits do not include the price of the lot.

A start in construction is defined as the beginning of excavation of the foundation for the building.

A building permit is permission issued by a city's planning department to oversee and approve any changes to structures.

They are documents designed to guarantee that any construction work, from remodeling to demolition to building a new home or business facility, meets the city's building codes.

Most valuable projects

From October through December 2008, the nine most valuable construction projects authorized by the city represented investments from between $450,000 and almost $4 million.

Topping that list was the Edinburg school district, which in October received a building permit for $3.8 million of remodeling/repairs to its Administration Building, located at 411 North 8th Avenue.

Placing second, also in October, was a commercial building, valued at $1,300,000, being developed by Jim Adian. That facility is located at 5934 North Highway 281 in the Texas Truck and Parts Subdivision.

The English Seventh Day Adventist Church, located at 602 W. Wisconsin, in October was issued a building permit for $1 million in additions/repairs of its building.

In December, David Tanner was issued a building permit for new construction of a facility, valued at $950,000, located at 2121 W. Trenton Road in the Trenton Crossroads Plaza Subdivision.

In November, Bert Ogden Motors was issued a building permit for new construction, valued at $700,000, for a commercial facility located at 4208 N. Expressway 281 in the RC Vacor Subdivision

The Edinburg school district in October received two building permits, totaling $554,000, for additions/repairs of the ECISD Bus Barn, located at 1101 E. Schunior.

Magic Valley Electric Cooperative, located at 2910 S. McColl Road in the Calpine Subdivision, in November received a building permit for commercial repairs/remodeling valued at $500,000.

Rolando Gomez in November received a building permit for the most valuable single-family residence authorized for construction during the last three months of 2008. The home, located at 3412 Monserat Drive in the Spanish Oaks Subdivision, was valued at $495,000. In November, Flores Builders began building a commercial facility, valued at $450,00, located at 3224 N. Highway 281 in the Tex Mex Survey Subdivision.

TLC Properties rounded out the top nine most valuable projects authorized during the final quarter of 2008.

In October, TLC Properties received a building permit for commercial additions/repairs, also valued at $320,000, for its facility located at 5014 S. Highway 281 in the Barrera Subdivision.

Single-family new homes

In December 2008, building permits were issued for the construction of 20 single-family homes, valued at $1,852,500, compared with 45 single-family homes, valued at $3,599,200, in December 2007.

Eight of those homes built in December 2008 were each valued at $100,000 or more:

• Aaron Vela, 2511 North Jackson Road ($265,000);

• Sitterle Homes Valley LLC, 1903 Alazán Street ($225,000);

• Bill Carlson, 245 Austin ($180,000);

• Beto Salinas, 5108 Gisselle Street ($115,000);

• Rey Benavidez, 3617 Ripple Drive ($110,500);

• Dolcan Construction, 1720 Damasco Avenue ($110,000);

• Dolcan Construction, 2022 Chippewa Avenue ($110,000);

• Key West Construction, 629 Barton Drive ($100,000).

In November 2008, building permits were issued for the construction of 20 single-family homes, valued at $1,688,245, compared with 45 single-family homes, valued at $4,964,566 in November 2007.

Four of those homes were each valued at $100,000 0r more:

• Rolando Gomez, 3412 Monserat Drive ($495,000);

• Jaime Springer, 613 Barton Drive ($141,745);

• Dolcan Construction, 705 Oregano Street ($110,000); and

• Dolcan Construction, 643 Oregano Street ($100,000).

In October 2008, building permits were issued for the construction of 16 single-family homes, valued at $1,790,000 compared with 33 single-family homes, valued at $3,049,871 during the same month in 2007.

Ten of those homes were each valued at $100,000 or more:

• Julio and Delia Morales, 2013 Rochester Avenue ($190,000);

• Laura and Samuel Aguilar, 3218 Lerma Drive ($185,000);

• Sitterle Homes Valley LLC, 1713 Faccio ($180,000);

• Rosie Ibarra, 3115 Iris Avenue ($161,000);

• Randy Rives, 3208 Country Club Drive ($135,000);

• Marcos Herrera, 426 Martha Louise Avenue ($125,000);

• Andrs Lozano, 2612 Flipper Drive ($100,000);

• Andrs Lozano, 2708 Flipper Drive ($100,000);

• Dolcan Construction, 2019 Chippewa Avenue ($100,000); and

• Dolcan Construction, 2026 Chippewa Avenue ($100,000).

Commercial new construction

In December 2008, the value of new commercial construction not counting government facilities or churches reached $1,525,000 compared with $2,255,500 in December 2007.

In December 2008, building permits were issued for new construction of four commercial facilities.

Three of those four new commercial buildings were each valued at $100,000 or more:

• David Tanner, 2121 W. Trenton Road ($950,000);

• Estefana Galván, 2595 E. Monte Cristo Road ($300,000); and

• No Ramon , Jr.l, 601 S. 10th Street ($200,000).

Legislative Media reports on major legislation that affects South Texans. For more on this, and related stories and photographs, please log on to www.EdinburgPolitics.com

In November 2008, the value of new commercial construction not counting government facilities or churches reached $1,615,000 compared with $5,728,000 in November 2007.

In November 2008, building permits were issued for new construction of five commercial facilities.

Four of those five new commercial buildings were each valued at $100,000 or more:

• Bert Ogden Motors, 4208 N. Expressway 281 ($700,000);

• Flores Builders, 3224 N. Highway 281 ($450,000);

• Jeff Radesi, 427 E. Trenton Road ($250,000); and

• Fairhaven Crossings Ltd., 2716 South U.S. Highway 281 ($140,000).

In October 2008, the value of new commercial construction not counting government facilities or churches reached $1,691,500 compared with $2,916,500 in October 2007.

In October 2008, building permits were issued for new construction of five commercial facilities.

Three of those commercial buildings were each valued at $100,000 or more:

• Jim Adian, 5934 North Highway 281 ($1,300,000);

• S & S Ranching, 4704 S. Jackson Road ($200,000); and

• Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, 5403 Doctors Drive ($125,000).

Legislative Media reports on major legislation that affects South Texans. For more on this, and related stories and photographs, please log on to www.EdinburgPolitics.com