Busy year forecast here

CONSTRUCTION has gotten off to a slow start so far this year, but it is anticipated to pick up in the coming months.

GARY MacCarthy of MacCarthy Motors stands outside of his nearly-finished extensive dealership renovation project. Work began last fall.

CONSTRUCTION has gotten off to a slow start so far this year, but it is anticipated to pick up in the coming months. 

City building inspector Bruce Miller says there have been enquiries and proposals that could lead to permits being issue as spring approaches.

For example, work is anticipated to begin on the old River Industries building on Hwy16 this year.

The owners of Your Décor and the RONA Building Centre bought the building late last year and will be renovating it to create a new retail location for Your Décor.

Construction started out slowly last year as well, not picking up until the spring. 

The value of building permits in town last year surpassed the previous year; in 2010, the city’s building permit value came to $8.9 million, while it reached $8.5 million in 2009.

This, however, is still a big drop from 2008’s permit value, which totaled $28 million. 

While the 238 permits in 2008 were a mix of residential, industrial, and commercial construction, the 217 permits in 2009 were mostly for residential work.

The 249 permits in 2010 were a mix of residential and commercial renovations. 

One of these renovation projects now nearing completion is at MacCarthy Motors.

Work began last September to renovate the customer service area, parts department, and showroom.

The service centre area was also expanded as part of the project.

Business licences are also seeing a slow start. The number of business licenses applied for dipped last year, with the city recording 1,083 active licences the beginning of January 2010 and ending the year with 1,075 active licences.

This January, the number of licences fell from 1,075 to 1,059, with 24 closing and eight new businesses opening. 

One of these businesses is the new frame design store has opened up in the old Bevelled Edge location in the Lazelle Ave. mini-mall. 

First-time entrepreneurs Rod Meredith and Sue Nickle are opening up Terrace Frame Design in March, and both have been learning the art of custom framing from former Bevelled Edge owners Al and Ann Richardson. 

“We want to grow what they’ve established,” Meredith said.

Along with custom frames, the store will sell on consignment.


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