Permits slip but numbers reflect confidence

The value of construction approved by the City of Red Deer last year slipped to $243.4 million from the 2012 tally of $267.9 million.

The value of construction approved by the City of Red Deer last year slipped to $243.4 million from the 2012 tally of $267.9 million.

But despite this nine per cent decline, the 2013 figure was still well ahead of the $169.7 million in building permits issued by the city in 2011, and the $118.9 million in work approved during 2010.

And the number of permits issued by the city last year reached 1,524, up from 1,494 in 2012.

Howard Thompson, manager of Red Deer’s Inspections and Licensing Department, said two consecutive years in the $250-million range indicates “there is a greater confidence in the local economy.”

The record year for building permits in Red Deer was set in 2007, when the total value of construction approved reached $421 million.

With the subsequent onset of the economic downturn, the tally fell to $258.4 million in 2008 and $140.9 million in 2009.

The value of residential projects approved by the city last year was virtually unchanged from 2012, at just over $115.6 million.

“Building permits were steady, and I think going on to 2014 we’re going to have similar or better,” said Kevin Wilkie, president of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association — Central Alberta Region.

Wilkie said his own company, True-Line Homes, is seeing increased enthusiasm at its show homes, and other home builders are noticing a similar trend.

“It just seems like people are more interested.”

Two months ago, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation was forecasting that Red Deer would finish 2013 with 715 housing starts — up from 568 in 2012 — and that in 2014 the figure would hit 715.

“I’d agree with that,” said Wilkie.

Not only is a strong local economy fueling demand for homes, new lots in subdivisions like Garden Heights, Clearmont and Timberstone are attracting buyers, he said.

Wilkie doesn’t anticipate an overheated market like the one prior to the recession, when builders were hampered by a shortage of tradespeople.

“I think it will be a good busy. I don’t think it’s going to be anything like 2007, where it was taking over a year to build houses.”

In the case of commercial construction last year, the city issued permits for $35.5 million worth of work, down from $66.2 million in 2012.

The value of industrial projects approved dropped to $55.8 million from $74.8 million.

A news release issued by the city said permits for new commercial areas like Clearview Market Square, and the $53-million expansion of Red Deer’s wastewater treatment plant, inflated the 2012 totals in these categories.

In the case of public projects, the city approved $36.4 million in work last year, up from $11.2 million. Permits for three new schools in Red Deer contributed to the 2013 total in this category.

The Inspections and Licensing Department was busy in the final month of 2013, issuing permits for $16.3 million worth of work.

Residential projects accounted for $12.3 million of this, with commercial work adding $2.4 million and industrial approvals $1.5 million.

By contrast, the combined figure for December 2012 was $11.2 million.

This was made up of $8.7 million in the residential category, $545,000 for commercial construction and $1.9 million for industrial projects.

Boosting last month’s numbers was a permit for $6.8 million issued to Seymour Pacific Developments for a 78-unit apartment building at 2450 22nd St., and another for $2.3-million to Scott Builders for the first phase of a hotel, restaurant, lounge and retail complex at 6852 66th St.

Among the other big projects approved last month was construction of a $775,000 industrial building at 509, 39015 Hwy 2A, and $400,000 in renovations to Riverside Kennels at 4640 61st St.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

WATCH: Rappelling down Red Deer’s Stantec Building a thrilling, scary experience

Advocate reporter chronicles his trip down the 13-storey buildling

Red Deer raises $60,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation

27 brave residents rappell down Stantec Building

People hurt in rollover near Red Deer

Occupants of a vehicle that rolled south of Hwy 11A were airlifted… Continue reading

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

WATCH: Gazebo groundbreaking in Waskasoo

Fifty per cent of the $100,000 project is funded by a provincial government grant

Woman killed in collision near Olds

A woman is dead after a collision west of Olds Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

SUMMERLAND, B.C. — Officials in British Columbia’s Okanagan region hope that fire… Continue reading

Survivors recount deadly Missouri duck boat sinking

BRANSON, Mo. — “Grab the baby!” Those were the last words Tia… Continue reading

HMCS St. John’s to return to Halifax after six-month deployment overseas

HALIFAX — The countdown is on for the homecoming of a Halifax-class… Continue reading

Trump says lawyer taping him may be ‘illegal’

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — The Latest on President Donald Trump and his onetime… Continue reading

Spieth part of 3-way tie for British lead as Woods lurks

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Jordan Spieth has a share of the lead in… Continue reading

WWII hero’s lost Purple Heart returned to his family

NEW YORK — A lost Purple Heart medal has been returned to… Continue reading

California girl, 2, accidentally shot and killed by boy, 4

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Authorities say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month