Year off to strong start in construction sector

For the second month in a row, the value of building permits issued in Kamloops has exceeded 2012 monthly totals.

The city doled out $6.6-million worth of permits in February, compared to $4.2 million in the same period in 2012.

But, bucking the trend of late, February’s  surge wasn’t driven by commercial construction.

Commercial projects accounted for only $814,091 of the month’s totals, while residential-permit values totaled $5.7 million.

In 2012, residential construction accounted for only $1.3 million of permit value.

Multi-family projects accounted for the greatest amount of permit value, at $3.1 million.

Development and engineering director Marvin Kwiatkowski said that’s a trend that will likely continue.

“It’ll be higher than last year and you see that already,” he said.

A number of larger projects have yet to come through and the city is predicting it will add about 220 multi-family dwelling units by year’s end.

After a run of big-ticket commercial projects in previous months, Kwiatkowski said there aren’t many more major builds on the horizon.

On the institutional side, however, the city is expecting a $30-million bump from permits for the Royal Inland Hospital’s new clinical- services and parking building some time this year.

So far, the city has handed out $23.4 million in permits for 2013, compared to $18.8 million at this time last year.

By Andrea Klassen – Kamloops This Week