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Steven MacDonald

Record Number of Permits in Spokane During Past 3 Years

Steven MacDonald, Community and Economic Development Director, 509.625.6835

Monday, February 5, 2024 at 2:10 p.m.

Record number of permits in Spokane during past 3 years

Updated February 7, 2024

The year 2023 is worth celebrating in Spokane as the number of total permits processed, combined with 2021 and 2022, set all-time records for a three-year stretch.

During the past three years, 35,769 total permits were processed by the City in 2023, 36,882 in 2022 and 34,850 in 2021.

Looking at 2023 individually, there were also four residential building records at the City that were broken that continue help address the need for more housing.

Those records include:

  • total residential units permitted in a year – 1,340;
  • multi-family units permitted in a year (not including conversions) – 984 (a 94% increase over the previous record of 506 in 1996 and more than double the 470 similar units permitted in 2022);
  • total residential units permitted in a month – 358 (August); and
  • multi-family units permitted in a month – 324 (August).

The City’s current permit data dates back to 1995.

The BOCA Factor

The Building Opportunity and Choices for All interim ordinance, which created opportunity for immediate Middle Housing development while the City worked on making permanent Comprehensive Plan and Development Code changes, helped the City reach its second-highest number of duplexes at 37, adding 74 residential units.

Gov. Jay Inslee presented the City the Governor’s Smart Communities Award for the Smart Housing Strategies Category during a ceremony in January 2024 for BOCA. The award category recognizes creative plans, policies, programs and/or actions.

The records were established despite a slightly lower number of single-family housing starts for the year. There were 237 single-family residential permits issued in 2023 compared to 267 in 2022.

Other noteworthy numbers underscore how busy the City’s Development Services Center was last year.

A total of 22,548 permits (excludes Planning, Engineering and Code Enforcement actions) were processed, including 5,063 construction permits. Both figures rank as the third-highest numbers ever. The construction value of those total permits was nearly $521 million, the fifth-highest mark.

The largest projects in terms of construction valuation in the City last year were Magnesium Village (phases 1-4), $81.47 million; and the Iron Bridge Apartments, $25 million.

Other DSC highlights included:

Looking Ahead in 2024

Based on the projects in the City’s Plan Review process and pre-development activity, construction valuations should surpass $500 million for only the sixth time ever and multi-family construction should continue to shine.

Major projects submitted to the City for Plan Review are:

  • Jubilant Line 4 Expansion (168,690 square feet of industrial space), 3525 N. Regal, $90 million construction valuation;
  • Prose Apartment Complex (300 units), 2977 W. 14th, $41.1 million;
  • NODO Normandie (236 units), 115 W. Mission, $36.6 million;
  • Adams Elementary replacement, 2909 E. 37th, $26 million;
  • Vineyard Park Assisted Living, 7609 N. Division, $21.7 million;
  • Koz on 4th - Phase 2 ( 210 units), 307 W. Fourth Ave., $16.6 million;
  • Cora multi-family project (88 units), 516 W. Cora, $13.75 million;
  • Jubilant Line 4 Interior Buildout, 3525 N. Regal, $10 million; and
  • Aero-Flite Maintenance Hangar, $8.7 million.

Increases to General Facilities Charges, a one-time connection fee paid by property owners seeking to connect to the utility system, and the statewide adoption of new Building and Energy Codes could lead to a rush of permit activity in advance of the anticipated March 2024 implementation.

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