The number of building permits issued by the City of Red Deer is up over last year, led by stronger commercial activity.
But while the number of permits is higher through the first four months of the year — 293 compared with 285 last year — the value is down significantly.
The estimated value of permits is $52.7 million, down from $82.3 million in 2018, when public building projects gave statistics a boost.
Generally, statistics show that the economy continues to underperform in most categories.
Residential permits, which often are used as a barometer of general economic strength, continue to lag behind last year. There have been 147 residential permits worth $7.6 million issued through April, compared with 185 permits worth $8.9 million last year.
For April, there were 43 permits issued last month, compared with 57 a year ago.
On the industrial side, 19 permits worth $3.2 million have been issued so far this year, compared with 14 worth $3.8 million through the first four months of 2018.
Twelve public building permits worth $2.1 million were handed out from January through April, compared with 17 worth $24.7 million in 2018. A $15.3-million permit for the replacement of Westpark Middle School was a big contributor to last year’s total at this time.
Commercial activity appears to be providing a bright spot, with 115 permits worth $39.7 million through the four-month period, compared with 69 worth $44.7 million last year.
Some of the notable permits for April include two worth a total of $3.2 million for work related to major additions to Bower Place mall. A $1.6-million permit was for a gas station and convenience store in Vanier Woods.