2019 Sparta construction figures ahead of previous year
Construction in the City of Sparta in 2019 jumped ahead of the prior year’s figures despite a precipitous drop in residential housing projects.
Sparta issued 52 building permits last year for construction projects totaling $12.85 million. That’s compared to 45 permits in 2018 for $10.63 million in projects. Those numbers do not include accessory buildings, decks, fences, plumbing, electrical or HVAC work, all of which require permits. Nor do they include the new school construction or remodeling at Southside Elementary, which, as public projects, are not part of the tax roll.
New commercial construction bolstered the 2019 figures with a $6.4 million increase over the previous year. Sparta saw $10.4 million in new commercial construction, including a couple of multi-million-dollar projects in South Pointe Business Park.
Those included AMS Micromedical/Implant Logistics, a 30,000 square foot dental implant manufacturing facility owned by Tom Arndt of Sparta and his partner, Dr. Leo Malin, a La Crosse dentist; and Martin Warehousing of Wilton, which is building a 100,000 square-foot warehouse.
Commercial expansion and remodeling projects only accounted for $316,000 in 2019, substantially down from $4 million the previous year.
The city saw a nearly $3 million drop in residential housing projects in 2019. Eight new single family units for a total of $1.46 million and only one multi housing unit for $245,000 were built in the city last year. While there were no multi-housing units built in 2018, the city had 21 new single-family units go up for a total of $4.26 million.
Sparta Co-City Administrator Todd Fahning, who doubles as building inspector, attributes the decline in single family units to the lack of available lots to build on. He said the last of the available lots in the city's subdivisions were used up in 2018, and that the 2019 figure is due to a few homes built on sporadic lots around the city.
Fahning said there are potential sites for other subdivisions to be built in Sparta, but there are no developments in the works. In the meantime, he is seeing a trend of people buying older homes and fixing them up.
That trend is reflected in a spike of permits pulled for residential expansion/remodeling projects, which went from only six permits for $14,400 in projects in 2018, to 27 permits for $431,000 in projects in 2019.