New home construction in Vernon driving up development

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VERNON - The City of Vernon is brushing off the sawdust after another busy year for construction.

Economic development manager Kevin Poole told Vernon council that building permits values rose to $130 million, up about three per cent over 2016, and well above the last five-year average, which was $102 million.

In 2016, building permit values were largely stimulated by institutional builds like The Hamlets, a care home, and various multi-family developments, like the BX Crossing apartment building. In 2017, it was a bit of a different story, with numerous single family projects spurring growth.

“Residential is really driving that,” Poole said. “What’s interesting is… there’s a lot of single family (construction) this time around.”

New single family development accounted for 36.7 per cent of building permits issued, and construction happened all over the city, Poole said.

“It’s really spread out throughout the community which is good to see that activity all over the place,” Poole sayd.

In particular, Predator Ridge and the Foothills contributed substantially to the total building permit value.

Poole also noted Vernon’s latest vacancy rate — 1.5 per cent — and said there is interest in developing new rental complexes.

Major projects in 2017 include the new ice sheet at Kal Tire Place, the Hamlets care home and the North Okanagan Neurological Association clubhouse.

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