Lee's Summit Journal

Housing rebound shows how far Lee’s Summit has come during the last decade

The local housing boom continues in western Lee’s Summit.
The local housing boom continues in western Lee’s Summit. Columnist

For many years, Lee’s Summit saw well over 600 single-family housing permits issued every year, as witnessed by our population boom in the 1980s and ’90s.

From 1986 through 2006, in fact, 600 or more permits were issued each year for new home construction. During one stretch — from 1992 to 1996 — a bulging 5,200 permits were issued.

Of course, the downward spiral that came after the housing bubble burst a decade ago, taking with it growth in housing in Lee’s Summit and many cities across the nation.

It took until 2017 to see those numbers edge up again. Since a low of 91 permits were issued in 2009, issuance of new homes permits at City Hall has been at a growing or near-even rate every year since, topping out at 391 last year.

It’s the biggest increase since 489 permits were issued in 2006. And with those permits, the city and housing market realized $121 million in valuation and an average home price that tops $309,000.

Those figures are part of the year-end numbers on the December 2017 Codes Administration report, a monthly needle of how things are going in the certain economic development areas around Lee’s Summit.

When you add in new duplex and multi-family dwellings, Lee’s Summit saw a total of 776 new-unit permits issued in 2017, the highest total since 2007.

On top of new homes and, ultimately, new residents descending upon Lee’s Summit, the city saw another massive boost in investment going on inside our commercial buildings.

Additions, alterations and tenant finish work accounted for more than $46 million in valuation last year, a clear indication that money invested into our businesses and buildings continues to be a priority for those doing business in Lee’s Summit. It’s the fourth straight year of growth in that category.

Work inside our buildings, facelifts and modernizing restaurants and office space has been a huge boost for many areas of Lee’s Summit.

One of those commercial-tenant finish permits is valued at more than $300,000 for a new HuHot Mongolian Grill, which will be located off Northeast Missouri 291 near where Minksy’s Pizza used to reside.

All told, these permits represent a value of more than $258 million in Lee’s Summit.

When you add that to the hundreds of millions already poured into town over the last few years, the “open for business” mantra really starts to set in.

It’s that kind of investment — and housing boom, too — that makes the collaboration of our city leaders, developers and stakeholders seem even more vital as Lee’s Summit’s star continues to rise.

As we continue to add housing, let’s move new apartments and condos in downtown Lee’s Summit to the top of the list, shall we?

Lee’s Summit resident John Beaudoin writes about city and civic issues, people and personalities around town. Reach him at johnbeaudoin4@gmail.com.