South Blue Springs is fueling a sharp rise in home construction and has pushed the city to No. 2 across the metro for new single-family homes in the first quarter of 2018.

Although the issuance of permits to build single-family homes is down 5 percent across eight area counties, figures from the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City show that Eastern Jackson County is up 36.6 percent and accounted for one of every four new homes going up metrowide.

Credit that to Blue Springs and Independence. The HBA cites three developments south of U.S. 40 in Blue Springs – Colonial Highlands, Eagle Ridge Villas and Tequesta Village. The city issued 182 permits in the first three months of the year. That’s triple the rate of 2017.

Blue Springs alone accounted for one of every eight new homes in the entire metro area in the quarter, and it’s No. 2 behind only Kansas City, which continues to see rapid growth in Platte and Clay counties, though little in Jackson County.

Independence is also up, with 56 permits, a jump of 133 percent from this point in 2017. A good portion of that is likely attributable to the New Town Harmony project near the Little Blue River, which my colleague Mike Genet detailed in The Examiner earlier this week. Independence is No. 7 so far this year metrowide.

All in all, permits for single-family and multifamily housing are off to their slowest start in five years, HBA figures show, mostly because the building of apartments and duplexes has fallen off sharply. In fact, only 21 permits for multi-family homes were issued last month – and Blue Springs had five of them.

Quick hits

Orbital ATK says it’s received a large order from the U.S. Army for ammunition to be made at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence. The $115 million order is for 5.56mm, 7.62mm and .50-caliber ammunition. Orbital has turned out more than 18 billion rounds of small-caliber ammunition at Lake City since 2000. … Lutfi’s Fried Fish has opened at 4201 S. Noland Road in Independence. No word from Scooter’s Coffee about when it opens a few doors to the south, but site work has started. … And gas is up. Oil production continues to rise, but demand is rising more quickly, so here we go. Tuesday’s jump to around $2.55.9 in parts of Eastern Jackson County is no aberration. says metro gas prices – nine counties, Missouri side only – averaged $2.48.9 a gallon as of Tuesday evening, up 5.8 cents in a week and up 24.4 cents from a year ago. Nationwide, the average Tuesday evening was 2.78.1, up 17.4 cents in the last month and 36 cents in a year.

-- Jeff Fox is The Examiner’s editor. Reach him at 816-350-6313 or His Twitter handle is @FoxEJC.