Kamloops building sector on track to top a quarter-billion dollars in 2018

By James Peters
September 6, 2018 - 11:17am Updated: September 6, 2018 - 12:14pm

KAMLOOPS — The Kamloops building sector could hit a quarter-billion dollars in permit value for the 2018 calendar year.

City of Kamloops Development, Engineering and Sustainability Director Marvin Kwiatkowski says that would set another record, besting the red hot construction season of 2017.

New numbers from Kwiatkowski's department show $12.2 million in permits issued in August, bringing the year-to-date total to more than $170 million.

With the larger permit applications that have been submitted but not yet issued, Kwiatkowski anticipates the year-end total will eclipse $250 million.

"Just looking at a few of the bigger ones total $63 million. Applications are in and we're working on those permits," said Kwiatkowski.

Larger permits cited by Kwiatkowski include the School of Nursing building at Thompson Rivers University totalling $30 million, and a new car wash and mini-storage facility on Hugh Allan Drive ringing in at $13 million.

In addition, large permits will be needed for River City Nissan's new building in Valleyview, a new building for Cummins Diesel and a renovation at Hotel 540 downtown.

Multi-family residential permits are projected for the Arpa Investments development near the North Shore Spirit Square, and the Marquesse of Lorne project near Sandman Centre.

Kwiatkowski notes even if Kamloops sets a new record this year, it might not stand for long.

"We expect a pretty busy year as well next year. Of course, we'll have the RIH project (Royal Inland Hospital's Patient Care Tower), so that alone is a large one-off. Maybe I wouldn't call it a mega-project, but it's one of the larger projects that we'd ever see in this region."

The hospital's Patient Care Tower is estimated to be a $417 million development.

Even with those eye-popping numbers coming in, the residential construction sector has stayed steady and consistent.

Kwiatkowski says much of this year's activity is construction of multi-family residential units.

"That continues to be the story this year and will probably be the story next year," said Kwiatkowski. "If you look at the number of units, we're at 651 (residential units) compared to 374 last year, and so much of that is in the multi area."

"Even if you had a few larger commercial projects, your residential is always your bread and butter of what keeps your economy. And [this will be] another strong year, especially in the multi," said Kwiatkowski.

"If your building industry's strong, typically you're going to be doing all right in many sectors in the city."

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