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The number of building permits issued in Kenmore rose in 2000 over 1999, and their value soared -- thanks to a $1.5 million expansion of Knox United Presbyterian Church on Elmwood Avenue.

The village issued 234 permits last year, up 22 percent from the 192 permits issued in 1999, according to village Building Department records.

The construction value of those permits rose from $997,317 in 1999 to $3,340,878 in 2000.

In 1999, the village issued 167 residential building permits valued at $743,661 and 25 commercial permits at a value of $253,656.

Last year, the village issued 205 residential permits at a value of $1,029,263 and 29 commercial permits at a value of $2,311,615.

Most of the residential permits were issued for new garages, pools or additions to homes, Deputy Village Clerk Gail Higgins said.

"It looks like people are putting on additions and increasing the value of their homes," Higgins said. "They want to stay here."

Knox United Presbyterian Church, 2595 Elmwood Ave., spent $1,580,000 on its Gateway Building Ministry. Church officials last year said it includes: a new entrance with drive-up access from the parking lot, more classroom space, a nursery, a family life center for concerts and banquets and a small chapel.

Two of the largest business expansions occurred in the northern part of the village last year, Higgins said.

Pizza Hut performed $251,000 worth of renovations at its 3123 Delaware Ave. restaurant, and Suburban Lock and Key, at 3142 Delaware Ave., built a $144,000 addition.

"It tells me these businesses are doing well. For Suburban Lock, this is their second addition" in recent years, Higgins said.

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