Breitung’s residential growth leads Dickinson

IRON MOUNTAIN — Breitung Township experienced $6.2 million in residential construction activity in 2023 while the city of Iron Mountain saw $13.1 million in planned commercial construction, according to the Dickinson County Construction Code Commission.

Those municipalities were clearly the leaders in 2023 building permit activity, as Breitung showed 15 permits for new homes and Iron Mountain had 16 permits issued for commercial structures or alterations.

“We are seeing a lot of activity yet this spring,” Breitung Township Superintendent Steve Mulka said.

Mulka estimated a third of the new homes permitted in 2023 were in East Kingsford and Quinnesec, while the rest went up in rural areas. Traders Mine Road and County Road 607 saw the bulk of the rural growth, he said.

Several of the new units are barndominium designs, he said. The general concept is a spacious floor plan for living, along with a garage or shop under the same roof.

Iron Mountain’s commercial activity includes Marshfield Medical Center-Dickinson’s new cancer center. There won’t be a property tax boost from the hospital expansion, but City Manager Jordan Stanchina noted other developments in recent years along the U.S. 2 corridor.

This list includes a TownPlace Suites by Marriott hotel, an ALDI grocery store, a Kwik Trip convenience store and Midtown QuickLube, along with several downtown projects.

The hotel project, which involved removal of a long-shuttered motel, qualified for a 10-year exemption from all but school property taxes. ALDI benefited from federal tax credits administered through Michigan Community Capital.

In Kingsford, permit activity in 2023 included nearly $1.8 million for six commercial structures. The city in recent years has seen the major repurposing of the former Birchwood Mall, now Midway Rentals and Sales, as well as a former Shopko, now Ride North Kingsford. A new Kwik Trip has also opened in Kingsford.

Mulka said Breitung Township has property available for development, perhaps most notably along Breitung Cutoff Road. Obtaining funding to bring sewer and water utilities to that area is a challenge, he added, but it remains a priority.

Interest has also been expressed in developing property on State Street in East Kingsford, he said.

A summary of building permit activity reported by DCCC in 2023 for each municipality:

≤ Breen Township, $190,000 residential, mainly for accessory buildings.

≤ Breitung Township, $6.2 million residential, chiefly for 15 new homes, 16 accessory buildings and seven alterations; $1.1 million commercial, including four accessory buildings and four structures.

≤ Felch Township, $630,000 residential, mainly for three new homes and seven accessory buildings.

≤ City of Iron Mountain, $2 million residential, including $350,000 in reroofings, $823,000 in new homes as well as nine alterations and nine accessory buildings; $13.1 million commercial for eight structures, eight alterations and four re-roofings.

≤ City of Kingsford, $773,000 residential, including $200,000 in reroofings, two new homes, two demolitions, four accessory buildings and four other structures; $1.8 million commercial for six structures and two reroofings.

≤ City of Norway, $770,000 residential, including $106,000 in reroofings, three new homes and four accessory buildings.

≤ Norway Township, $602,000 residential, mainly for seven accessory buildings and a new home.

≤ Sagola Township, $394,000 residential, chiefly for four new homes and six accessory buildings.

≤ Waucedah Township, $2.1 million residential, including $1.4 in farm-related structures, 10 accessory buildings and two new homes.

≤ West Branch Township, no permit activity in 2023.


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