By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer
Hermitage issued three building permits for $39,000 in new construction in December, a dismal end to what City Manager Gary P. Hinkson admitted was “not a great year for building” in the city.
In 2013, the city issued 193 permits for $11,630,125 in new construction. That was down from 285 permits and $15.6 million in 2012 and 230 permits for $12.1 million in 2011.
Amid the cloud of substandard overall numbers, Hinkson found a silver lining – new residential construction rebounded from several years of stagnation with permits issued for 18 new units and a construction value of $3,014,540.
In 2010, 2011 and 2012, the city had only seven new residential units each year.
Commercial construction carried the year, though, accounting for $7.6 million of the total, with new buildings and renovations and expansions of existing structures.
FNB Corp. invested nearly $1.5 million in renovating First National Bank buildings at 3320 and 3014 E. State St.
Fresnius Medical Care put up a dialysis clinic at 3036 Innovation Way in LindenPointe, a $900,000 project, and Reinhardt Insurance Agency is expanding the former Allen Agency building at 3775 E. State St. to consolidate the Reinhardt offices, a $700,000 project.
Speedway recently opened a gas station and convenience store at 579 S. Hermitage Road, a $529,000 project.
Buffalo Wild Wings is putting up a sports bar and restaurant at 3100 Shenango Valley Freeway, a $531,092 investment, and Ellwood Crankshaft and Machine Co. built a $500,000 addition to its plant at 2727 Freedland Road.
Pizza Hut at 400 S. Hermitage Road was demolished and rebuilt, a $400,000 endeavor, and Mercer County Humane Society built a shelter at 2450 Hoezle Road, a $350,000 project.
In 2014, the city is looking forward to CCL Container Corp. expanding its plant at 1 Llodio Drive by 50,000 square feet, building a 38,000-square-foot addition to the former RMI Titanium building, now owned by CCL, and adding a connection between the two structures.
Visconsi Cos. Ltd. of Pepper Pike, Ohio, is planning to build a 2,600-square-foot building for an as-yet-unnamed retail business at 115 N. Hermitage Road. The project will complete development of the former Hermitage Middle School property.
“Although it was not a banner year for new construction, I anticipate we will experience growth in both residential and non-residential areas in 2014,” Hinkson said.