• July 25, 2014

Some local cities’ permits slow, but boom continues

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Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2014 4:30 am

Some Killeen-area cities issued fewer single-family home construction permits than in previous years, but other development indicators stayed about the same.

Despite issuing fewer permits, Killeen City Planner Tony McIlwain said Killeen’s construction still has a lot of energy.

“I think we have kind of held equal to last year,” said Debbie Brockway, Central Texas Home Builders Association executive officer. “All my builders stayed busy.”

About 100 fewer single-family home construction permits were issued in Killeen during 2013 compared to 2012. The 2013 number still almost reached 900.

The lower number accounted for about $10 million less in new property values compared to the previous year.

The city experienced more multifamily buildings being constructed, but fewer units.

Harker Heights had the second largest number of new home starts during 2013 in the area, but the number lagged behind the 2012 year by seven single-family residences.

Three more duplex permits were issued in Harker Heights during 2013 compared to 2012.

Copperas Cove issued 58 home and three duplex construction permits. The number was down by about 90 permits from last year.

While the city’s residential development has slowed, city spokesman, Kevin Keller, said the city should experience more growth this year.

“Several large residential developments were moving through the development process in 2013 with expectation construction to begin in 2014,” Keller said.

Nolanville issued 50 new home permits.

Brockway said Fort Hood contributed to new home starts remaining high throughout Central Texas.

“A lot of the areas have suffered a lot more than we have,” she said. “Because of Fort Hood, we haven’t dropped too bad.”

For builders such as the Killeen-based Cameo Homes, 2013 was a pretty typical year, said Don Farek, Central Texas Home Builders Association board member and Cameo Homes owner.

Speculation homes seem to be moving faster in the area than custom built, but that has been the trend, Farek said. The larger builders, which generally build speculation homes, can purchase more lots up front.

More work is coming though, Farek said.

The custom market is traditionally slow during the winter and holiday period, he said. “But just within the last week, it has picked up.”

Much of the residential building in Killeen has been on land already developed, McIlwain said. Growth areas include the southwest portions of the city, especially around State Highway 195.

Building in the area will continue in 2014, but several new developments are in the works, including some multifamily apartment complexes and mixed-use developments, McIlwain said.

Commercial buildings

City 2012 new home starts 2013 new home starts 2012 Commercial permits 2013 commercial permits
Belton 120 121 22 7
Copperas Cove 148 58 10 7
Harker Heights 203 196 29 16
Killeen 995 896 47 35
Nolanville 34 50 1 1
Temple 519 556 28 27

As rooftops were added throughout the area, commercial buildings also were constructed.

“In the commercial world, they follow rooftops,” Farek said. “Where there are rooftops, there will be commercial developments. But they go hand and hand. If you get a commercial development, they will hire people who need homes.”

Killeen issued 35 new commercial building permits, 12 fewer than the previous year. However, the value of the structures was worth about $8 million more in 2013 compared to 2012.

Harker Heights issued 16 new commercial building permits in 2013, for an estimated value of $31 million. The figure was about $21 million more than 2012’s value.

Copperas Cove issued seven new commercial building permits, which had an estimated value of $7.7 million.

Commercial developments included new medical clinics, retail stores and strip centers.

“There is a lot of area that is still available ... and while there is a lot of properties that are zoned and platted, there is always an opportunity for that to be rezoned and replatted,” McIlwain said. “Killeen is going to continue to grow.”

City New homes 2012 New homes 2013 Commercial 2012 Commercial 2013
Copperas Cove $20.3 $7.8 $17.9 $7.7
Harker Heights $45.8 $42.2 $9.6 $31
Killeen $137.9 $127.8 $13.5 $37.7
Nolanville $6.3 $11 $250,000* $50,000*
* not in millions.

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