A $94.5-million permit issued for the final leg of Royal Inland Hospital’s new patient-care tower is the single-largest building permit ever issued by the city and also tipped the city’s building permit values into another record-breaking year — the fourth straight.
In September, the city issued $122.6-million worth of building permits, with about three-quarters of that coming from the single RIH permit.
City of Kamloops building manager Jason Dixon said the permit is the largest ever issued by the city — surpassing that of Sandman Centre when it was built decades ago, and other projects due to inflation and other reasons.
The permit was issued for level three or four of the new patient care tower to the top of the nine-storey building, which is currently under construction.
“It’s sort of the fit-out of all the interior parts, it’s sort of the final permit that catches everything up,” Dixon said. “The heliport on top, et cetera.”
The sizeable permit brings the city’s year-to-date building permit values to $347.5 million, which exceeds the city’s previous record of $288.3 million in 2019.
Last year’s total was preceded by two years of record-setting building-permit values — $285 million in 2018 and $224 million in 2017.
This year’s statistics are impacted by the scale of the RIH project, but Dixon said the city would be having a strong year even without the tower rising.
“I think sort of the good news is that the rest of the construction industry [independent of the RIH project] seems to be having a, maybe it’s not a record year, as we’ve seen in the last couple, but it’s certainly doing well,” Dixon said. “The numbers are strong.”
Of the remaining $28.1 million worth of building permits issued in September, a $9.9-million permit was issued for a 39-unit apartment building at The Dunes at Kamloops Golf Course in Westsyde and a $6.5-million permit was issued for a 49-unit apartment building at the old Mission Hill site, off the Summit Connector.
“We’re starting to see some activity there,” Dixon said of the project, which sat untouched for years.
Asked if the city is seeing any signs of impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, Dixon said the last little while has seemed to be “back to business as usual,” but he looks to the second wave of the novel coronavirus as a question mark.