More Frankfort Residents Building Homes in 2012

The village has seen a significant increase in the number of single-family residential building permits processed in 2012 compared to recent years.

Home construction in Frankfort appears to be stabilizing, after several years of limited building.

“We’re starting to see an improvement in the number of new homes being built,” said Trustee Mike Stevens, who serves as plan commission liaison for the Frankfort Village Board.

The village has processed 60 single-family residential building permits so far this year, according to Planning and Building Supervisor Zach Brown. Brown expects that the village will process another 5-10 such permits in the coming weeks.

Last year, the village processed 42 single-family residential permits. In 2009, 19 permits were processed.

Brown said that price reductions on lots in recent years have made home construction more appealing for the buyer and that Frankfort is on track to adjust to a normal 15-year average for single-family residential building. Ideally, Brown would like to see the village process approximately 100 permits per year.

“We, as a village, are just generally excited to see that we’re trending in a positive direction,” said Brown.

Marty Costello, owner of the Frankfort-based construction firm Grange Development, agreed that homeowners building single-family houses are saving money due to the lot price collapse. Costello said the homes currently being built total approximately $350,000-$425,000, but that they would have cost $100,000-$150,000 more if they were constructed six years ago.

“We really think that Frankfort’s making a comeback,” said Costello.

However, Central Construction owner Jeff Nathenson doesn’t share Costello’s confidence regarding the market’s stability.

Nathenson said he has seen a recent increase in demand for newly built homes and that he foresees improvement in the coming years, but that the process will be a slow one.

“We’re still seeing some hesitation,” said Nathenson. “We’re working with people, but it’s hard to get them to commit.”

Contract signings for Central Construction have not increased so far this year. Nathenson said that Frankfort’s home building recovery has been slowest in the Lincoln-Way area.

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