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Tampa posts $400 million in increased construction permits over last year

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Tampa issued nearly $400 million more in permits for construction services this year than in fiscal year 2014. The city’s Construction Services Office exceeded $2.4 billion in permits in 2015, up from just $2 billion last year.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this City has its swagger back and  I could not be more excited about these numbers,” Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said. “Not only did Construction Services increase their permitting value by nearly $400,000,000 but they did so with a lean and mean staff. I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings.”

The increase represents continued economic growth in post-recession Tampa.

In all, there were 23,161 permits. Nearly 17,000 were residential permits and more than 6,300 were commercial permits.

Though permitting values exceeded those in 2014, the city actually had fewer permits issued this year than last. Nearly 35,000 permits were issued in 2014. However, that does not mean there were fewer projects permitted. Tampa revamped its permitting process to eliminate duplicative permits.

The continued growth is a testament to Buckhorn’s pro-business policies. In 2011 at the beginning of his tenure as mayor he convened local developers, neighborhood representatives, engineers and attorneys to create an Economic Competitiveness Report. Included in that report were highlights of Tampa’s strengths and weaknesses. The report served as a benchmark for achieving better growth and development.

Following that report, Buckhorn established a “One Stop Permitting Shop” to expedite the process. The shop merges all permitting and regulatory staff into one location to eliminate the need for multiple trips to separate offices.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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