Building permit value nearly $100 million

Permits for nearly $100 million worth of construction have been taken out at city hall as of the end of July - more than double the total reached by the same point last year.

City council members celebrated the number during the regular meeting on Monday night.

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"To have reached this milestone at the six-month period of the year is unbelievable," Mayor Lyn Hall said.

In all, 231 permits for $99.87 million worth of work have been issued year to date. A big reason for the total is Kelly Road Secondary School project, valued at $28.3 million.

But take away that project and the total still sits just $60,519 shy of the $71.6 million reached by midway through 2016. A record was set for private-sector construction by the end of that year.

At $45.9 million on 83 permits, construction of single-family homes leads the way. That's up from $28.5 million on 73 permits by midway 2017 and $21.8 million on 78 permits by midway 2016.

Canadian Homebuilders Association - Northern B.C. past president Jody Tindill credited the amount to a healthy market for new homes in the city and noted the value of renovations on single family homes is also up.

That total stood at $1.7 million on 40 permits, compared to $1 million on 33 permits by midway 2017 although down slightly from $1.8 million on 38 permits by midway 2016.

"Talking with my colleagues, sub-trades and suppliers, we are all very busy this year," she said. "There are many factors at play with the growth in regional industry and P.G. as a hub. All of the benefits of our location may be finally bearing fruit."

Rising costs are also playing a role, Tindill noted. City staff adjusted the metrics used to measure construction values twice in the last year or so to produce a more accurate number, she said.

"Costs continue to plague builders and erode the bottom line," Tindill said. "This challenge is now coupled with what looks to be a increasing shortage of labour in P.G. at all skill levels."

Other major projects include converting the second floor at University Hospital of the North into a 24-bed rehabilitation unit. A permit for $5.2 million was take out in June for that project.

Also, a permit worth $3.5 million was taken out in May for a new bulk plant at 1077 Terminal Boulevard, and one for a $3-million expansion of the Treasure Cove show lounge was issued in February.

"It is good news," Coun. Brian Skakun said Monday. "The community is growing, there is confidence in our community and we are expanding our tax base at the same time so it's a win-win."

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