City on Pace to Challenge Construction-value Record

This article appeared in the Kamloops This Week on December 4th, 2012 and was written by Andrea Klassen.

The clock is ticking down, but director of development services Marvin Kwiatkowski is confident the city’s building-permit numbers for 2012 are going to break the $200-million barrier before the end of December.

With the release of November’s statistics, the city is standing at $167 million in permitted construction, up from last year’s overall total of $157.6 million.

One major project the city has been expecting all year — the $30-million Telus data centre — will apparently finally go through before the calendar rolls over.

“I’d put money on it,” Kwiatkowski said when asked if the city would end the year above the $200-million mark.

It would be only the second time Kamloops has doled out permits at that level.

In 2008, the record year to date, the city ended the year with $207-million in permits.

Overall, the city gave out permits worth more than $10 million for the month of November, compared to more than $11 million in November 2011.

Of that, residential projects totalled $6.6 million, down from $8.4 million in November 2011, while commercial endeavours were worth $3.2 million

November saw the city issue 15 single-family home permits, a higher than average number for 2012.

Kwiatkowski said the sudden rise comes as a new B.C. Building Code is about to go into effect on Dec. 20.

“Whenever you have a change of code, people want to get in the door,” he said.

Those who snap up permits before the 20th have two years to build under the old code, without having to worry about changes found in the new document.

While the city is set to exceed both its initial and revised construction-value estimates for the year, it’s still slightly below projections on residential units.

So far, 341 units have been permitted this year, compared to 383 at this time in 2011.

Development and engineering services had estimated there would be 350 units.