Building activity buzzing along in Alexandria

Projects top $55 million in 2019, including $14 million in new home construction

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The biggest project to receive a permit from the Alexandria Building Department last year was Calvary Lutheran Church's addition and renovation, a $3.39 million undertaking. (Al Edenloff / Echo Press)

Alexandria enjoyed another year of robust building activity.

That’s according to the 2019 building report from Alexandria Building Official Lynn Timm. She headlined her report, “Prosperity Persists.”

During 2019, the building department reviewed, processed and issued 953 permits within its jurisdiction, which includes the city and parts of Hudson, LaGrande and Lake Mary townships. Of that total, 487 were for building, 208 were plumbing permits and 258 were mechanical permits.

The estimated value for all the work was $55.17 million, compared to $59.97 million in 2018.

When Alexandria Township, which is served by the building department, is included the valuation jumps to $60.9 million.


The single-biggest project last year was Calvary Lutheran Church’s 10,680-square-foot addition and renovation – a $3.39 million undertaking.

Other projects in the top five: Westfield Apartments building one at 1414 41st Ave. W. at $3.3 million; Westfield Apartments building two at 1472 42nd Ave. W. at $3.1 million; Alomere Health’s specialty clinic area remodel at $2.7 million; and Vance Thompson Vision eye surgery clinic at 2600 Jefferson Street at $2.42 million.

New single-family residential construction remained relatively steady, according to the report, with 61 new dwellings built. This compares to 65 the previous year. The valuation of that new construction totaled $14.14 million, which accounted for 26 percent of the total value.

A total of 272 new homes have been constructed in the last five years, which is an average of 54 per year. The five-year average per unit cost was $226,235. The estimated value of the work totaled more than $61 million.

Also, a total of 318 homes were remodeled, repaired or renovated last year. The work was valued at $5.77 million and included additions, decks, reroofing, re-siding, window replacements, interior and exterior work and other remodeling.

The building department investigated 213 complaints from residents about public nuisances – high grass, weeds and junk – and required 462 on-site inspections, Timm said. She added that investigating, writing warning letters, re-inspecting properties and sometimes having the park department clean things up takes up a considerable amount of time.

Lynn Timm


Council member Todd Jensen noted the building department stopped doing some inspections during the COVID-19 pandemic and asked Timm if the department is able to keep up with the backlog. Timm said they’ve been able to keep up.

Timm expects building activity to remain strong. She said construction is about $25 million so far this year. “2020 looks to be an exciting and busy year for construction within our community,” she said.

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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