Building permits add up to $116.8 million

The city enjoyed a solid year on the construction front, a count of building permits is indicating.

Permits for $116.8 million worth of construction were taken out in 2017, according to a report from city staff.

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Although well down from $128.1 million in 2016, city economic development manager Melissa Barcellos said much of the difference is due to the RiverBend seniors complex at 1975 Oak St., which accounted for $20 million of the previous year's total.

"Considering Riverbend was such a big player last year, we're doing pretty good this year," Barcellos said.

She also noted 91 per cent of spending in 2017 was on projects in the private sector, continuing a trend that began in 2016 when a record for the city was set in that regard.

Construction of new single-family homes led the way at $56.5 million on 134 permits. Given that the city's population hasn't been growing, Barcellos speculated that it's been driven by an abundance of homeowners in the city who've built up enough equity to move onto bigger homes.

"That's kind of our guess," she cautioned. "It's really hard to know for sure what's been driving that."

Other major projects included a new Pomeroy Inn and Suites, at 2700 Recplace Dr., a $10.5-million project.

Barcellos is anticipating a strong 2018, noting work will begin on the $37-million underground parkade and condominium complex in the 600 block of George Street downtown and on the new $15-million firehall on Massey Drive. The new $35-million Four Seasons pool downtown is also on the schedule.

"I think 2018 is going to be a good year, as will 2019 and 2020 as the construction carries through," Barcellos said.

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