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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Ocala, Marion County amidst construction boom as lumber prices still at record highs

Whether they are in the zoning, planning, or building stages, Ocala and Marion County developers continue to make rapid pace on construction projects across the area.

Last week, Ocala City Council members approved Pointe Grand Apartments, a new 360-unit apartment complex in the southwest portion of the city.

That came after they gave the green light to the new Brick City Lofts and Shops, a 16-unit loft complex planned for downtown Ocala, during their July 6 meeting. 

In Belleview, an Orlando developer plans to build a slate of new homes across hundreds of acres. Those properties will include a large swath of 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom units, among others. 

Multiple restaurants and bars are under construction in downtown Ocala, including a new three-story building that will feature Mellow Mushroom in addition to another restaurant and rooftop bar. Mutiny is currently making brisk progress on their new pirate-themed bar next door to its sister location, Tipsy skipper. Symmetry Cafe and Soleil confections are hoping to open their new cafe and eatery in September. Cantina Tex-Mex Restaurant and Tequila Bar has plans to open later this year as well.

All of the construction comes in spite of the escalated price of lumber, which was impacted dramatically as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past year, despite a few setbacks, the price of lumber has steadily risen.

This month, lumber’s price returned to $647, which represents an over 94% increase from the same week in 2019, when lumber’s price was at $333. During this same week in 2011, lumber’s price was at $254.

In May, the price of lumber skyrocketed to an astronomical $1,544.

Th price is measured per thousand board feet of lumber.

On March 31, 2020, lumber prices hit a five year low at $278.50. However, that dip proved to be short-lived, and prices soared to the highest they’d ever been in August 2020 at $829. In 2017, lumber prices peaked at around $455. After raising to $629 in May of 2018, the prices dropped and remained relatively constant through March of 2020 when COVID-19 pandemic restrictions first hit the United States.