The pace of Joplin construction is rivaling that of last year, which was one of the best on record for the city.
Building permits approved or applied for during the first three months of the city’s fiscal year reflect $54.7 million in new business and home construction as well as residential and commercial improvements either under way or planned. The city’s fiscal year runs from Nov. 1 to Oct. 31.
Some of the largest projects so far this year are four building permits applied for totaling $15 million for an apartment complex that is to be constructed on the former stockyards property on Newman Road and Cattleman Drive. Called Township 27, the project will offer 148 studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments with garages and covered parking available. Among those was a $1 million permit application for a clubhouse with an on-site leasing service, a fitness center and a yoga/spin room.
The owner and developer is Coryell Collaborative Group with its subsidiary, TLC Properties Inc., of Springfield.
Earlier this month, ground also was broken on the Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex at 212 W. Seventh St. in Joplin. The 37,000-square-foot visual and performing arts center is expected to open next year. Clifford Wert, treasurer of the Cornell Complex and president and CFO of Connect2Culture, said at the groundbreaking event that more than $16.3 million has been committed to the project by 277 individuals, businesses, foundations and organizations. Having passed the $16 million goal, the target has been raised to $17.5 million.
Another project that recently broke ground was the classroom expansion at Kelsey Norman Elementary School on East 28th Street. A $1.75 million permit for that was filed last month. It’s part of a $25 million bond issue approved by voters for the expansion and construction of the new Dover Hill Elementary School. Groundbreaking is tentatively scheduled for April for the latter.
A $1.5 million building permit was issued last month for 3129 E. Hammons Blvd., which is the location of the former Billy Bob’s restaurant. It is to be renovated by Woodsonia Real Estate Inc. as the new office of the BKD accounting firm. That firm is currently located at 3230 E. Hammons Blvd. and will relocate from that building for the construction of a Menards Home Improvement store as part of the 32nd Street Place development that is to be built in that area.
Construction in Joplin in the fiscal year that ended Oct. 31, 2020, hit nearly $246 million — more than the previous two years combined and higher by nearly $70 million than the previous normal-year record.
The only higher years came in 2012 and 2013, in the aftermath of the 2011 tornado that resulted in unprecedented construction as the city built new schools, big-box stores, homes and even a hospital.
The previous high unrelated to the tornado was $177 million set in 2017.
Projects permitted last year currently under construction include:
• A warehouse, logistics and distribution center being built by Casey’s at 2902 Jaguar Road, near the intersection of interstates 49 and 44. The permit was valued at $43.9 million. That work is expected to be completed midyear.
• The new College of Dental Medicine at the Joplin campus of the Kansas City University, 2901 St. John’s Blvd., permitted at $32.1 million.
• The new Jasper County Courts Building, 400 W. Sixth St., at $30 million.
• Coryell Collaborative Group also is building the Crescent Falls project on the northeast corner of 44th Street and Connecticut Avenue. It will be a senior living community permitted at $16 million and offering more than 150 apartments and amenities for those ages 55 and older.
• Refresco North America also filed a large permit — $6.8 million in October — for an expansion at 3502 E. Enterprise Ave. in the Joplin-Webb City Industrial Park.
The permits reflect only that construction taking place within the Joplin city limits.