Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - May was not a great month for Rochester home builders, but the commercial construction sector of the economy continued to enjoy a building boom.

The Rochester Building Safety Department approved only 28 permits for new single-family homes last month. By comparison, the total from May of last year was 41. The current year-to-date total now stands at 128, which is 37 below the total through the first five months of last year.

Overall, May was a huge month for the construction sector. The city issued a total of 285 building permits valued at almost $70.3 million. That pushed the valuation total for the year to over $218 million. A year ago, during what was a record year for construction in Rochester, the valuation total was about $186 million at the end of May.

Mayo Clinic projects, including two permits worth over $22 million for work at St. Marys Hospital and a $4.5 million permit for a project at the Mayo-owned “white buildings” near Target North accounted for over $29 million of the valuation total last month. The city also issued a $17.2 million permit for the 129 unit Residence at Discovery Square apartment project now under construction along 3rd Avenue between 5th and 6th Streets Southwest. There also a $6 million permit issued for a new Sterling State Bank office in northwest Rochester.

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