Dirt's moving in Clark County, sign economy may be too

Dirt's moving in Clark County, sign economy may be too »Play Video
Workers are busy building homes on Camas' Prune Hill.

CAMAS, Wash. - It may not be happening everywhere, but it looks like business is taking off in southwest Washington – or at least getting ready to.

Developers and builders in Camas have had a busy summer and are expecting many more.

There's still plenty of open space in Camas but more and more of it is being developed as evidenced from the construction dust rising from Prune Hill. Workers are leveling the land and laying pipes and wires for houses.

"The economy, as far as the private end, has been slowly breaking forward," said Will Kaarto with Tapani Underground. "The ground's getting moved, you know – the dirt's getting busted open – hopefully getting more lots in the county."

Across Clark County, new home permits were up in September. That was 80 percent more than last year.

And houses need floors. Workers at Portland Hardwoods have been working on expanding their business from remodels to new homes.

"Back in the day, we had to get down on our hands and knees looking for work," said Roman Zosim, with Portland Hardwoods. "Now it's coming towards us a little more. It's definitely picking up."

And it's not just homes being planned and built. Tucked into the woods nearby, Fisher Investments, a $41 billion Bay Area company, is building a new office complex. It has many wondering if that huge company plans to move its corporate headquarters to Camas.

The number of commercial construction permits for office, retail and industrial projects has stayed about the same as last year. But the value of the projects is up by about $8 million. The value of the home permits is up by that much as well.