The number of residential building permits approved by Rapid City this year is more than 80 higher than last year's total — and that's only counting through Aug. 31.
Other measures, such as single-family home permits and commercial building permits, are holding steady or are on track to be lower than last year.
In 2011, the city approved 219 building permits for residential units. By the end of last month, it had approved 301.
"We're seeing a lot of multi-family units," Community Planning Director Brett Limbaugh said. "That number includes a lot of apartment complexes, the four-plexes, and I think that number will go up, too."
Single-family permits, however, have remained at a steady 129 as of Aug. 31, compared to a total of 157 last year.
Limbaugh said even with the fall and winter months coming up, requests for residential building permits won't slow much because the construction cycle is more dependent on the school year than the temperature.
Since it takes six to seven months to build a house, people who want to move in by September pull their building permits in mid-winter, he said.
This year has also seen the first two industrial permits since before 2009. GCC Group Inc. pulled a permit for a new bag house facility, while Hills Material co. got one for a new shop building.
WL Plastics Inc., a pipe manufacturer, is establishing a satellite location on the northeast edge of town near Dyess Avenue and Seeger Drive. Limbaugh expects the company to request this year's third industrial permit before year's end.
"As soon as they can get in the ground, they're going to get in the ground," he said. "They're associated with the oil and gas production. They do all that up north."
Commercial development has been a little slower so far this year, with only eight permits at the end of August, compared to a total of 21 last year. Limbaugh expects additional commercial development around the new Walmart south of town to boost permit requests a little at the end of this year and especially next year.
Limbaugh said he isn't aware of any specific pending commercial construction.
At $150 million as of Aug. 31, total permit valuation in 2012 is unlikely to exceed the 2011 total of $259 million.
"I think it was somewhat of an anomaly. Last year, we had a lot of public projects that bumped the numbers," Limbaugh said.
Residential roofing permits that the Building Services Division started issuing in June 2011 also likely played a role in 2011's high numbers. Because of extensive hail damage, the city issued 2,335 roofing permits for a total of $18.9 million. So far in 2012, the city has issued 1,224 roofing permits for $10.6 million.
Limbaugh predicts total permit valuation will exceed $200 million by the end of the year.
"If you can be at $200 million, maybe a little bit above that, you have a good year," he said.