Pace of city permits remains sluggish

The City of Red Deer continues to issue building permits at a sluggish pace, compared with the volumes of a year ago.

The City of Red Deer continues to issue building permits at a sluggish pace, compared with the volumes of a year ago.

The city reported on Wednesday that it approved 74 building permits in March, with these having a combined value of $5.7 million.

In March 2008, there were 113 permits worth $33.3 million issued — although last year’s tally included $16.5 million related to the Views at St. Joseph’s condominium project, $3.3 million for The Brick’s new building, and $2.5 million each for renovations to the Golden Circle and the new Gord Scott Nissan premises.

Among the permits approved last month were 52 for residential projects valued at $2.5 million, 18 for $2.4 million worth of commercial work, and three with a value of $700,000 in the public category. There was also a $100,000 industrial project approved.

For the first quarter of 2009, the city issued 242 building permits worth $17.2 million. That compares with 358 permits valued at $58.4 million for the same period in 2008.

Residential projects for the January-to-March period in 2009 totalled $9.6 million, down from $39.3 million in 2008. The figure for commercial projects so far this year is $6.1 million, down from $15.6 million; public permit values slid to $924,000 from $2.8 million; and industrial permits to date in 2009 have accounted for $595,000, as compared with $718,000 a year earlier.

“While permits have been off to a slow start in the first three months, we remain optimistic that with spring approaching more homeowners will take advantage of the federal government tax credits and will start applying for permits for their summer projects, along with some proposed major construction projects,” said Russ Pye, a supervisor with the Inspections and Licensing Department, in a news release.

Among the bigger building permits issued in March was one to Timcon Construction for $800,000 worth of interior renovations to the Millennium Centre. Bower Place Shopping Centre also continued to generate permits related to construction of new stores and renovations of existing ones.

In February, the city approved $5.4 million worth of construction. That included $1 million for renovations to Servus Credit Union’s 6757 50th Ave. branch.

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