This article appeared in the Kamloops This Week on June 7th, 2012 and was written by Andrea Klassen.
A jump in residential construction, coupled with some big-ticket projects on the horizon, has the city of Kamloops rethinking its building-permit estimates for 2012.
In May, the city issued about $20 million in residential permits, more than double the $8.7 million it issued in 2011.
The permits included 15 new single family dwellings and 115 new multi-family units.
In May 2011, the number of multi-family units added was eight.
Acting director of development services Kundan Bubbar said developers are rushing to fill a residential void left by several quiet construction years.
“For the last couple years, we haven’t seen too many new residential houses being built,” he said.
“Now, the inventory is almost diminishing and builders are taking advantage of low rates and also the demand in the market.”
Permits are being issued mainly in Aberdeen, Westsyde, Batchelor Heights and Juniper.
To date, the city has issued more that $79 million in permits, up from $68 million at this time last year.
While the city had expected to issue between $120 and $140 million in permits this year, Bubbar said it’s now looking like Kamloops will be on par with last year, when permits totalled just over $162 million.
“It shows the city is not in the same position as the other Okanagan cities are, where things are slowing down,” he said.
“We are still doing better than the average.”
Commercial construction is also up slightly over last year, with $2.8 million in permits, compared to 2011’s $1.5 million.
Bubbar said there are also a few major projects coming which should keep permit stats high, including the $30-million Telus Data Centre, which is expected to finish the permitting process later this year, and several seniors’ residences in the works for the North Shore.