2014 showing mixed results in development

At the midway point of 2014, development activity across Central Alberta was a mixed bag.

At the midway point of 2014, development activity across Central Alberta was a mixed bag.

Some communities, like Blackfalds, were enjoying stellar years; others, such as Red Deer, had building permit stats that were lagging well behind last year’s pace.

With $89.0 million in work approved as of June 30, the Town of Blackfalds had already surpassed the $75.6 million worth of permits it issued through all of 2013. Its six-month figure last year was $37.8 million.

Residential projects had accounted for $65.3 million of Blackfalds’ 2014 approvals, up from $29.3 million six months into 2013.

With $78.5 million worth of permits issued to the end of June, including $57.7 million for residential work, the City of Red Deer has a lot of catching up to do if it’s going to match 2013 development by year’s end.

By last June, the city had approved $132.1 million worth of work, with $53.6 million of this related to residential construction.

However, Red Deer’s 2013 numbers were inflated by approvals for three new schools — École Barrie Wilson, Father Henri Voisin School and École La Prairie — and several other multimillion-dollar projects in the industrial and commercial categories.

“Overall permit values to date in 2014 remain behind those of 2013,” acknowledged Howard Thompson, Red Deer’s inspections and licensing manager. “However, permits in process remain strong at more than $80 million, with several large building projects ready to proceed soon.”

While not at Blackfalds’ level, building intentions in Olds were also strong to start 2014. The town had approved $29.8 million worth of work to the end of June, up from $9.0 million a year ago.

Olds College’s new student residence accounted for more than half of this year’s total, at $15.6 million. Permits related to residential work in Olds added $9.6 million, up from $6.0 million for the same period last year.

Rocky Mountain House also put up some impressive numbers to start 2014. It had $31.4 million in total permit values, with $12.4 million of this connected to residential work. Last year, the six-month figure was $7.7 million, of which $2.0 million was for residential permits.

Rocky’s upward spike can be attributed to a pair of projects: $13 million for an upgrade and expansion of the Rocky Mountain House Arena Complex, and $11 million for the Park Avenue seniors complex being developed by Christenson Communities and Laebon Developments.

The planning department at Sylvan Lake has also been busy, with $25.6 million worth of permits issued to the end of June, up from $20.8 million. Residential construction accounted for $22.2 million of this year’s figure, as compared with $15.1 million for the same six months of 2013.

Meanwhile in Penhold, building permit approvals to start 2014 were up to $18.1 million, of which $7.9 million were for residential projects. A year ago, the town’s planning department had issued $7.5 million worth of permits, with $6.7 million of these related to residential work.

Penhold’s 2014 numbers have been boosted by a $6.5-million permit for a sewage lift station in Laebon Developments’ new Palisades subdivision, and commercial development in the town’s Hawkridge Market Square.

The City of Lacombe issued $10.6 million worth of permits during the first half of 2014, down from $9.1 million. The residential component slipped to $7.9 million from $9.5 million.

Further north in Ponoka, total permit values declined to $10.4 million in the first half of 2014 from $15.5 million for the same period in 2013.

However, renovations to the former Diamond Willow Middle School and Ponoka Composite High School accounted for more than $12 million of last year’s tally.

This year’s permit values in Ponoka received a $5.5-million boost from a couple big commercial builds.

Innisfail also saw a drop in its six-month permit figures as a result of multimillion-dollar projects in 2013: $7 million in modernization work at École John Wilson Elementary School and a $3.2 million expansion of Bilton Welding & Manufacturing Ltd. These helped lift the town’s January-to-June development tally to $16.9 million in 2013, a figure that dipped to $7.9 million this year.

Residential approvals in Innisfail declined to $3.6 million from $6.3 million.

Finally, Stettler issued $5.3 million worth of permits during the first half of 2014, including $1.2 million for residential work.

Last year, the east-Central Alberta town produced $3.9 million in permits, of which $1.7 million was for residential construction.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

STARS Lottery is back

Lacombe STARS patient tells his story

Sylvan Lake council adopts waterfront plan

Sustainable Waterfront Area Redevelopment Plan to guide development for next 20 years

Two people die in Rocky-area collision

Rocky Mountain House RCMP investigate

RDC launches week of activities focusing on student mental health

Learners invited to join the discussion at #MakeSomeTimeRDC

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Canada’s Conners on his way to full PGA Tour card with fast start to 2019 season

Corey Conners was working on his putting last Friday when fellow Canadian… Continue reading

Canada’s Milos Raonic, Denis Shapovalov advance at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — Canada’s Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov have advanced to… Continue reading

Study finds more than half of food produced in Canada wasted

The study released Thursday is the world’s first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates

AP Exclusive: A peek at how Disney resort shows are made

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — With excitement building over a new “Star… Continue reading

Justin Bieber’s ‘Steps to Stardom’ hometown exhibit makes plans for a book

STRATFORD, Ont. — Justin Bieber’s meteoric rise to pop stardom will be… Continue reading

Most Read