© Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
City hall is seen on Monday.
The city set a new record for average building permit value per month.
Michelle Sanson, manager of planning and building with the City of Moose Jaw, said between January 2013 and October 2013, the average value for building permits per month was approximately $7 million. Including the final two months, she estimated the average would be similar if not higher at $8 million per month.
“That’s the highest we’ve ever seen on record here,” said Sanson. “I think it speaks volumes to how we’re doing … People are doing bigger alterations, bigger expansions, bigger projects.”
According to the city’s December monthly building permit report, the city issued fewer permits in 2013 than 2012, but the value was higher in 2013. From Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 2013, the city issued 321 permits valued at $96.13 million compared to 392 permits worth $68.11 million in the same time period in 2012. That is a decrease of 18 per cent or 71 permits, but a value increase of 41 per cent or $28.02 million.
“That’s a significant increase. Even though the number is down, the value is up. So there’s been a lot more bigger projects happening. Of course the hospital is part of that, but I mean that doesn’t represent the full $28 million,” said Sanson.
“They haven’t even got their biggest permit in yet, but there was so much commercial in 2013 that is new for Moose Jaw. That has been a huge change for us.”
There were also 83 new dwellings between Jan. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2013 worth $23.3 million. In the same time frame in 2012, there were 132 new dwellings worth $37.43 million. This is a decrease of 37 per cent or 49 dwellings from 2012 to 2013.
“The number of the units will be up, but the number of actual permits is down. That’s the only difference ... there’s more multiples happening,” said Sanson. “We’ve done a lot of multiples.”
She said the decrease in dwellings indicated in the report doesn’t reflect a decline in the housing market. For instance, in 2013 one of the permits issued accounted for 36 residential units.
“In the past, single-detached dwellings was probably one of the only forms of residential happening. There wasn’t a lot of multiple since the ‘80s, but now that we’re into a different time, multiples are definitely the future here,” said Sanson.
“I just wish there was a way to get that to show on (the report). I’m working with our IT people to see if we can start that for next year, to see if there’s a way to at least put that number in there.”
The December permit numbers were down 50 per cent compared to December 2012. Last month there were six permits worth $800,500 and in December 2012 there were 12 permits worth $689,600.
Sanson said the reason there were only six permits last month was because the city only has one building official and he’s been on vacation since the second week of December.
“So we’ve got quite a few permits that will be approved when he’s back on the 13th that should’ve been done prior to the end of the year,” she said. “They’ll show up in January rather than the end of December.”
Of those six permits issued in December 2013, the largest one went to C&S Builders for the replacement of a cafeteria elevator at a cost of $314,000 at SIAST Palliser Campus located at 600 Saskatchewan St. W. There was also a permit valued at $159,000 for repair to the loading dock at SIAST.
The second largest permit issued last month was for a new mobile home on the 1200 block of Ninth Avenue Northeast in Fairview at a cost of $200,000.
Blanchard Holdings also received a permit for the foundation of a 16-unit multi-family row housing valued at $114,000.
One permit was for the $3,500-deck enclosure for a hot tub on the zero block of Dahlia Crescent in Sunningdale. Another was for $10,000-renovations in a home on the 900 block of Coteau Street West.
Further to those six permits, there was also one demolition on the 1000 block of Willow Avenue.
Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.