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Here’s how many building permits Cumming gave out in 2019
Roof Of Hope 6 041419 web
Crew members of Hopewell Roofing & Restoration work on Friday, March 29, 2019, during the company's "Roof of Hope" project. - photo by Ben Hendren

If it seems like there was less new construction within the city of Cumming last year, there’s a good reason for that.

According to information from city officials, in 2019, a total of 65 building permits – 57 residential and 8 commercial – were given to developers, down from 103 – 27 commercial and 76 residential – in 2018; 112 – 64 commercial and 48 residential – in 2017; and 133 – 47 commercial and 86 residential – permits in 2016.

Scott Morgan, the city’s director of planning and zoning, said he didn’t have a definitive reason for the lower number but said it was likely due to industry pressures.

“I’ve talked with developers that we’ve worked with, and some of them have said that probably within the last two years that some of the banks have started pulling back on financing, making it a little tougher, more hoops to jump through to get financing,” he said.

Of the 57 residential permits given, Morgan said most were for multi-family units at Brookside Heights on Hwy. 20 and Lennar at Cannon Place townhomes off Bald Ridge Marina Road, along with a few single-family permits.

While the numbers have trended down in recent years, Morgan said he believed they would soon be up again due to several large mixed-use projects slated for construction, including already-approved projects Mashburn Village planned off Veterans Memorial Boulevard, the Villages at Brooks Farm on Pilgrim Mill Road and a project near Northside Hospital Forsyth that would add an eight-story, 300-room hotel and conference center, along with 336 multi-family residential units and 10,000 square feet of commercial space.

Two other large projects are also currently being considered by the city: a project on about 100 acres on Pilgrim Road and the Westshore development, which has been proposed for with 322,000 square feet of commercial space, 348 rental units, 20 single-family units and 130 townhomes at the intersection of Turner Road and Market Place Boulevard.

“We’ve certainly got two that have been approved and two that are pending that are going to get approval later this year,” Morgan said. “I think there’s going to be a real jump in growth here in the city once those projects come on line. They’ve all got four- or five-year buildouts, so it will be a while.”

Morgan said another project that will likely help buck the trend is the upcoming Cumming City Center, which broke ground in 2019.

“We look forward to seeing that take off this year,” Morgan said. “I’m not sure of the exact time frame. I believe it will start to come out of the ground, I think, at the end of this year, then really start to go the first quarter of next year. That doesn’t have any residential units, but it’s mixed-use in terms of having retail, some government functions in there, a town green, an amphitheater and some other amenities. I think it’s going to be a real shot in the arm for the city.”