Homebuilding across the metro area remains sharply down from 2018, though the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City says August was about steady with July and there are indications that things could be picking up. Housing starts were up nationally in August.

Still, the issuance of permits to build single-family homes is down 30.55 percent across the eight-county area through the first eight months of the year. Eastern Jackson Jackson falls in line with that at 29.01 percent. Platte, Clay and Wyandotte counties are all off 40 percent or more.

Blue Springs, which surged into the area’s top five last year, has fallen back. It had issued 308 single-family home permits at this point last year but 154 this year. Independence – 110 in 2018 down to 68 this year. Lee’s Summit – 262 down to 228.

Grain Valley has bucked the trend with a 13.4 percent gain – 89 permits at this point last year and 101 so far this year.

The figures have other wrinkles. Permits for 236 multi-family units were issued in August in the metro area – all of them in Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit. Blue Springs has issued permits for 134 multifamily units so far this year, and Lee’s Summit is at 346. Both are up sharply. Developers didn’t pull a single permit for multifamily housing in Independence or Grain Valley last year and haven’t so far this year.

Honors

Independence attorney Bill Moore was recently honored for his years of work.

The Missouri Economic Development Financing Agency gave him its Richard King Award for Economic Development Law.

Moore, a partner at Rouse Frets White Goss Gentile Rhodes, focusing on local government law and real estate development. He was the Independence city counselor for 14 years.

The MEDFA considers King, an attorney and former Independence mayor, to be one of its founding fathers. Moore is a past president of the group.

Quick hits

No word from Burlington (formerly Burlington Coat Factory) about when its store at 11910 East U.S. 40 in Independence will re-open following a recent small fire. The company’s website calls the closure temporary … The Union Pacific isn’t offering any specifics about its decision to end switching operations in the Neff Yard in the East Bottoms. That work is being shifted – the company wouldn’t say when – to the 18th Street and Armourdale yards in Kansas City, Kan., and an unspecified number of jobs are being cut. Some employees, it says, can transfer to new places.

Jeff Fox is The Examiner’s editor. Reach him at 816-350-6365 or jeff.fox@examiner.net. He’s on Twitter at @FoxEJC.