Construction permit values in Kamloops last month were driven primarily by a 140-unit apartment building under construction at the site of old MovieMart rental store on St. Paul Street in the downtown core.
City of Kamloops building and engineering development manager Jason Dixon said a $21-million permit was issued in July for The Lightwell, a six-storey rental building at 444 St. Paul St. The project will include 140 rental units, including 12 subsidized for seniors, along with ground floor commercial space.
The project made up the bulk of last month’s building permit values, which totalled $30.5 million.
“They were working on the foundation, so this is just getting the rest of the permitting out,” Dixon said. “Construction’s started on that one.”
In addition, the city issued two permits worth $1.6 million for site servicing — putting pipes in the ground in preparation of future construction — for multi-family projects on Robson Drive in Sahali (apartment building) and Qu’Appelle Boulevard in Juniper West (series of multi-family units).
“Relatively big projects to come and they’re just getting started,” Dixon said.
Overall this year, the city has issued through July 886 building permits worth $178.6 million, compared to 942 permits the same time last year worth $158.2 million. In 2018, the city issued a record $285-million worth of building permits.
Last year, the city issued permits for 877 total dwelling units (homes, duplexes, secondary suites and apartments), with the number driven primarily by apartments. At this time last year, the city issued permits for 380 apartment units, which is double that of 140 units reported so far this year.
Dixon said there has been a shift in construction values, with more tied up in commercial than residential.
Through July, $57.3 million worth of institutional and industrial permits have been issued, compared to $11.8 million through the same time last year. Residential construction values are down slightly, meanwhile, at $90.5 million through July of this year, compared to $110.3 million last year.
“I think it’s just a shift in construction value,” Dixon said. “We have the hospital permit — the foundation, at least, for the hospital permit is out this year. We didn’t have that last year, so it’s just sort of shifting where the construction activity is.”