Nonresidential construction permits issued in Utah last year totaled $1.2 billion, the second highest ever after the $1.37 billion in 1997.

The University of Utah Bureau of Economic and Business Research said the "remarkable strength" of the state's non-housing construction market can be tied to a variety of factors, including growth in jobs, population, the strong national economy and projects tied to the 2002 Winter Olympics.Industrial and office buildings led the nonresidential construction sector last year. Industrial building construction reached $200 million for only the third time and well above 1998. New office buildings reached a record high of $255.1 million with the $45 million Intel building as the top project.

Other major building projects in 1999 included the $17.7 million Sysco International plant in West Jordan; the $20 million Oquirrh Park Speed Skating Oval in Kearns; the $10.8

million Malt-O-Meal cereal plant in Tremonton; and a new Park City hotel.

As with housing, the construction boom is not spread throughout the state. Some 60 percent was located in Salt Lake and Utah counties, with Salt Lake County particularly dominant in sites for new industrial and office buildings.