Building levels smash record

The value of all building permits issued this year from Jan. 1- Nov. 30 reached an unprecedented $217,348,799, with the month of December yet to be added to the total. That's up from $182,318,492 in 2018, and $115,737,323 in 2017.

"The part about this being a record amount of building permits being pulled is starting to get really repetitive, year after year after year we're seeing increases," said city councillor Garth Frizzell. "The interesting part that you see in this one is that the institutional (permits issued) is low and the multi-family dwellings is skyrocketing. This is a good-news story about private investment in Prince George and it's a record again, just remarkable."

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In November, 54 permits worth $23,587,389 were filed. Sixteen of those were for multi-family homes, worth $16,050,000, and 12 were for single-family dwellings totaling $5,086,704.

Along with new construction, Frizzell says the city continues to demolish derelict buildings that are visually unappealing and are known to attract prolific offenders and reduce neighbouring property values.

Fueled by the steady building boom, hotel space has jumped significantly the past two years.

The Marriott Courtyard, which opening in May 2018, added 174 hotel rooms to the city's inventory. A $15 million Delta hotel project being built by Mundi Hotel Enterprises Inc., on Sixth Avenue between Quebec and Dominion streets, will give the city an additional 95 rooms. Mundi also purchased the former Connaught Motor Inn at Victoria Street and Patricia Boulevard and has reopened the renovated rooms as North Star Inn and Suites.

The Pomeroy Inn & Suites, a 124-room hotel complex at 2700 Recplace Drive, also opened this year. Best Western Plus, a four-storey 93-unit hotel off Highway 16 near the Westgate subdivision, is nearing completion and is expected to open sometime early in the new year.

West Coast Hospitality Group is adding 42 new rooms to its 82-room Treasure Cove Hotel, while the adjacent Treasure Cove Casino is building a $3 million show lounge.

"The new hotel space has allowed us to put a bid in for the Sustainable Communities Conference, the preeminent municipal environment conference in Canada," Frizzell said. "It's held every two years and if we win it it's because we've expanded the hotel space. The last time we bid for it they said we couldn't accommodate the number of people who are coming."

In October, ground was broken for the new UNBC student housing complex at 1404 Patricia Blvd., across from the Prince George Public Library, where work to construct a new library entrance is also underway. The Park House condominiums, a 151-unit $37 million project next to city hall is also well into construction and when complete it will increase the residential population downtown.

"We're building for growth in the city and we're seeing the growth coming in," said Frizzell. "There's lots of good news on the horizon."

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