New construction is seen on Liberty Street in Lynn.
By THOMAS GRILLO
LYNN — Towering construction cranes may not be on every corner of the city, but for the third straight year the number of building permits in Lynn has soared.
Builders have pulled 5,916 construction permits in 2016, up from 5,200 last year, a nearly 14 percent rise, according to the city’s Inspectional Services Department.
The mini-boom has added a whopping $873,576 to the city’s coffers in fees. That’s up from $775,619 last year, a 12.6 percent hike and nearly double the amount collected a decade ago when the city began tracking the data.
“We’re seeing lots of residential construction going on, including homes, condominiums and renovations,” said William DeIulis, a project manager at DeIulis Brothers Construction Co. The Lynn-based firm is completing work on a $21 million expansion to the North Shore Community College.
Lynn’s numbers are in stark contrast to what’s happening in Boston, Eastern Massachusetts and the state as a whole.
In the Hub, the number of permits fell by 29 percent and statewide permitting slipped by 35 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In its most recent housing survey, the Boston Foundation said the number of permits for new housing units issued in Eastern Massachusetts is expected to fall by nearly 20 percent this year, the first decline since the construction boom began in 2011.
In Boston, where more than $5 billion worth of new apartments have gone up in the downtown over the last four years, construction of high-priced apartments is finally leveling off.
Clint Muche, Lynn’s deputy building commissioner was careful to say that the number of permits does not equate with the total housing units built this year. The city does not have data on how many apartments or condominiums were added.
He attributed the rise in permits to a combination of new apartments and the renovation of existing housing, as well as the number of homes that are adding solar panels.
“There’s not a massive rise in new construction,” Muche said. “Most of the activity is renovations to existing structures.”
Still, the former Beacon Chevrolet site received a foundation permit for construction of 355 apartments on a 9-acre site on the Lynnway, two projects on Fairmount Avenue were greenlighted for 100 units and the Gateway Residences on Washington will feature 71 units of mixed-income housing on a formerly vacant 2.5-acre parcel near the downtown.
Nicholas Meninno, owner of Meninno Construction, whose Lynn firm lays the groundwork for larger commercial projects, said there’s a buzz about the city.
“In addition to one of the biggest projects going up at Market Basket, there are lots of residential projects citywide,” he said. “Developers are discovering Lynn and what it has to offer.”
Thomas Grillo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.