Building boom continuing in Kingman

Kingman's building boom continued through 2002 with a 40 percent increase in new housing, and continuous commercial additions.

Applications for new home permits should exceed 300 this year, compared with 210 in 2001, according to the city's permit office.

Local builders have seen an increase of out-of-town buyers since the Sept.

11, 2001, terrorist attacks, possibly because people are looking for rural areas they consider safer, one city official said.

"I see no end of the construction activity in Kingman," George Lutz Jr.

said.

"We have not called contractors yet, but there has been no slowdown in permit applications."

The city added one building inspector to the staff in 2002 in an effort to free time for Jim McErlean, city plans reader, to review commercial applications.

"We have to use Jim for on-site inspections of commercial property with the current work load," said Lutz.

"He spends about half his time on inspections so we do not hold up projects under construction."

The largest construction project has been the Kingman Regional Medical Center expansion, which was completed in 2002 after first permits were issued in 2000, Lutz said.

A roof has been put on the frame of the Alzheimer's patient addition to the Gardens Care Center off Detroit Avenue.

The Mohave County Sheriff's Office on West Beale Street is one of the largest commercial construction projects started in 2002.

Lutz said special inspections for steel construction, welding, masonry and reinforced concrete have been or will soon be completed.

Much of the commercial construction has been new office buildings and retail businesses.

Many have been along Stockton Hill Road, including the Safeway that opened at Gordon Drive and Stockton Hill Road during 2002.

Colorado River Ford will open its new facility along Stockton Hill Road in the spring.

Medical buildings and doctors offices have been built all along Stockton Hill Road and extend east to Hualapai Mountain Road.

"I see no slowdown in the number of new plans and inquiries about additional commercial plans for 2003," said McErlean.

"The permit has been approved for the 72 apartment units at Somerset Villas on Harrison Street south of I-40."

He mentioned the Golden Corral restaurant, a medical office building on Hualapai Mountain Road, two new commercial buildings out Stockton Hill Road near College Drive and the Holiday Express Motel on Andy Devine Avenue south of I-40.

Zoning changes have been approved for the Vista Bella project east of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and north of Interstate 40, and golf course construction there has been planned for 2003.

That is one of many new subdivisions where building should begin during 2003, officials said.

Concrete has been poured for the first homes in Shangri La Estates off Gordon Drive east of Bank Street.

Michael J.

Avitable's company, Skyridge Custom Homes, is building for Ed Schuetz Development of San Diego.

This is the first major home building project in the Shangri La annexation.

Kingman has averaged 5 percent growth rate during the past 20 years, which is manageable, according to City Manager Roger Swenson, because the city has been able to build infrastructure to support that growth rate.