The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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November 7, 2013

VIDEO: Joplin building permits close to $1 billion since tornado

JOPLIN, Mo. — The dream of home ownership became a reality for Jonathan and Bethany Hart and their four daughters on Thursday, when they were handed the keys to a new Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity home at 2413 S. Wall Ave.

“We are first-time homeowners,” Jonathan Hart said. “That feels good. We’re excited.”

The Hart home is the 77th home to be completed by Habitat for Humanity since the May 2011 tornado, according to Scott Clayton, director of the Joplin-area group.

“This is our 10th home in this neighborhood,” he said. “We are pouring a foundation for a new home across the street. We have tried to give each house its own look.”

The Harts’ 1,400-square-foot home has four bedrooms and two bathrooms, and has been designed with an eye toward energy efficiency. The house has an appraised value of $80,200, which is expected to go up as more houses are constructed in the neighborhood.

ANOTHER BIG YEAR

About eight blocks to the east, another project that also was issued a building permit within the past year is unfolding on a massive scale. The construction of Joplin High School is a $103 million project.

The city of Joplin issued building permits for the Hart home, the school and 1,277 other projects that totaled $238.3 million for the fiscal year that ended Oct. 31. That number comes from building permit statistics released periodically by the city; the latest numbers were released recently for October, the last month in Joplin’s fiscal year.

Records kept by the city show that the city has issued permits totaling about $970.8 million in the 29 months since the tornado, according to Bryan Wicklund, a city building inspector. Estimated damage from the tornado totaled $2.8 billion.

The $970.8 million is based on permits totaling $177.7 million after the tornado in 2011, permits totaling a record $554.8 million in fiscal 2012, and permits totaling $238.3 million in fiscal 2013. The permits were for demolition, residential repairs, new houses, commercial projects and multifamily buildings.

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