After years of being landlocked with housing additions coming in smaller numbers, Brainerd is on the verge of a large housing expansion.
The city has newly annexed several developments with 400 to 450 new buildable lots. Brainerd building official Tim Caughey said in the past Baxter was growing with more buildable lots but at this point Brainerd has as many or more.
The mix of housing ranges from apartments to market-rate houses to higher-end homes.
Caughey said the 400 additional buildable lots will not happen in one year, but the number is high compared to what the city has done with the overall number of building permits (for everything from new homes to excavation) doubling in the last five years.
Brainerd is closing in on 600 building permits for 2004. The city had 441 permits in 2003, 484 in 2002, 363 in 2001 and 348 in 2000. In 1998 the city had 208 building permits. Brainerd is hiring an additional building inspector to help handle the growth. That will increase the building department staff to three.
By mid-December, Brainerd issued 50 new construction building permits for 66 total units for a value of $8.4 million. There also were 13 permits for residential manufactured homes and two permits with 19 units in new construction listed under the multifamily heading at a value of $1.4 million.
And as 2004 was coming to a close, the Mills property just south of Brainerd's city limits -- 642 undeveloped acres -- petitioned to be annexed into Brainerd.
Brainerd City Administrator Dan Vogt said growth is expected to the north, south and east.
"I think with the availability of land, it will give people more options as far as where they want to live and with that we'll continue to see growth," Vogt said. "I think Brainerd's a very attractive place to live. Our tax rate is good and it will just give more options for people to live and these developments are going to help us continue to grow."
RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.