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Building starts on the rise in Penticton

This year is shaping up to be a good year for building in Penticton, though the number of building permits issued so far closely matches last year.

According to Anthony Haddad, Penticton’s director of development services, the city has ranged between 10 and 20 residential building permits over the last few years.

“This year we’ve hit 40 in November and we will probably issue a few more before the end of the year,” he said.

“It’s exciting for the city, it’s a good signal that things may be turning around. We certainly have more land available now with the recent subdivisions on the hillside that are available for single family development.”

The 40 residential permits issued so far in 2013 are up from 16 last year, and account for $12,950,310 in construction values, more than double the $5.2 million value at the end of November 2012.

Haddad called it a significant increase, noting it was mostly due to the large developments at Grandview Estates and Sendaro Canyon. But there has also been building going on all over the city.

“We’re seeing a lot of infill development in established areas on vacant lots, new one or two-lot subdivisions,” said Haddad.

The demand for multifamily is increased, that is where you see the increase in units approved this year.”

Five permits for multi-family developments were issued in 2012 and 2013, but this year totals have both more units and greater value: 170 units worth $23.6 million versus 105 units at $10.1 million last year.

“We are seeing a lot more interest in and around the downtown as well, which is exactly what we want,” said Haddad, adding that commercial builders are also looking at downtown.

“We are in the process of issuing some building permits for some commercial development as well in the downtown, which will be exciting to see.”

Overall, the value of commercial building permits is down substantially from last year, but Haddad attributes that to a number of large developments that started in 2012.

“Last year, we saw the permits issued for Landmark Cinemas, the Walmart expansion and the Real Canadian Superstore development,” he said.

“Those three building permits made up the majority of that construction value last year. The number of permits is not significantly down. It’s just the value of those larger permits that we haven’t seen this year.”

Dealing with development and building permits just got a little easier with the launch of the city’s new Development Services Online portal this week. The portal allows developers and applicants to follow the process their permit takes from the initial submission to issuance.

“The City of Penticton is looking at all options to foster economic opportunity, and this new online service makes development in the community easier,” said Mayor Garry Litke.

Basic property information and a record of recent land-use applications and building permits can be accessed through this feature. Owners can track to see what stage their building and or planning permits are at and the next steps in the application approval or inspection process.

“The Development Services Division will improve customer service by making information available to the development community 24/7,” said Haddad.

To access the site, visit www.development.penticton.ca. Once registration is complete, the final step is to contact development services staff to link active permits to your account.

For more information, contact development services at 250-490-2501 or via email at building@penticton.ca.

 

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