JONESBORO — Despite the coronavirus pandemic and recession, construction workers remained busy last year, building and fixing up more homes than the year before.

The City of Jonesboro issued permits for 456 new single family homes, up from 343 in 2019.

However, the overall value of residential and commercial projects declined from $195,090,993 in 2019 to $127,078,483, according to reports from the city’s building inspections department.

On the other hand, that doesn’t account for “rebuilds” from the destructive March 28 tornado that damaged or destroyed businesses and homes along South Caraway Road, Red Wolf Boulevard, the Jonesboro Municipal Airport and The Mall at Turtle Creek.

Because the city issued permits for tornado victims at no charge, accurate information on the value of that construction activity isn’t available.

More than 20 business structures were impacted, but Bill Campbell, the city’s communications director, said the cost of the reconstruction isn’t known. Repairs or reconstruction of 382 homes is believed to have been worth more than $19 million, he said.

Construction of multifamily housing also rose last year, from $3.5 million in 2019 to $10.22 million last year. The actual number of housing units wasn’t released, but the number of buildings rose from 72 to 152 and total square-footage rose by 40,000.

A separate category for residential duplexes showed the city issued permits for 36 buildings, valued at $3.29 million last year, compared to 38 buildings worth $2.83 million in 2019.

Following a national trend, the number of residential additions and alterations rose last year as more people worked from home because of the pandemic. The city issued 100 permits for a total of $2.4 million in residential alterations and 44 permits for $1.8 million in residential additions last year. In 2019, 56 residential alterations cost an estimated $1.19 million and 25 residential additions cost $747,000.

The city authorized construction of 38 non-tornado impacted new commercial buildings last year, worth a collective $31 million, compared to 194 new commercial structures worth a total of $103.9 million in 2019.

In 2020, the city had eight commercial additions worth a total of $4.07 million, compared to nine in 2019 worth a total of $8.87 million. The city also permitted 86 commercial alterations worth $9.88 million last year, compared to 63 worth a combined $19 million in 2019.