Second strongest commercial construction year on record in Vernon
By Charlotte Helston
Skokie's Car Wash on Anderson Way in Vernon was one of several commercial construction projects in 2015 that made it the second busiest year on record.
Image Credit: City of Vernon
January 15, 2016 - 11:30 AM
VERNON - If it seemed like there were a lot of construction projects happening around Vernon last year, that’s because there were.
You’ve probably seen the new Tim Hortons on 27 Street, and no doubt noticed the construction activity at the old Bank of Montreal building downtown. Those are just some of the building projects that made 2015 the second strongest year on record for commercial development, according to the City of Vernon’s economic development and tourism manager Kevin Poole.
“Our best year was 2008 with Sparkling Hill — that was a $55 million building permit,” Poole says. “We had a strong year in 2011, that was our second best until this past year.”
The city capped off the year with $110 million in building permits overall, primarily led by a number of commercial developments. The new B.C. Hydro regional operations facility holds the biggest chunk, with a $23.6 million building permit for its 120,000 square foot complex of seven buildings.
The mall also saw some action with a $2.4 million building permit taken out by Canadian Tire to renovate the old Target store. Down the road, Tim Hortons took out a $1.2 million permit for its new location across from Beairsto School. Predator Ridge’s new clubhouse expansion accounted for a $1.25 million building permit.
There was also quite a bit of activity on Anderson Way, including the new BCAA office with a $2.1 million building permit, Skogie’s Car Wash with an $800,000 building permit and the Royal Garden restaurant with an $800,000 permit.
“It seemed to me there was a lot of pent up demand,” Poole says. “It’s confidence in the market place.”
Residential construction didn’t see the same spike — the total building permit value was up slightly, though the total unit count was down — although a few big ticket projects could turn things around in 2016, Poole says. Those include an 86 unit demolition and redevelopment for a housing complex on 48 Avenue worth an estimated $12 million building permit and a 150 unit apartment building on Rimer Road worth an estimated $18 million. You’ve also probably seen the multi-storey care facility going up in downtown Vernon. That project is anticipated to have a $12 million building permit value attached to it.
“When you hear of uncertainty in the Canadian market place on the bigger picture scale with the loonie and oil and gas, it’s good to see things here are very strong,” Poole says.
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