CDG Contracting’s development of 23 single-family homes on Cory Drive taken last December. (Brittany Gervais/Terrace Standard)

Residential construction skyrockets in Terrace

Permit values surpassing 10-year average

Residential construction in Terrace is skyrocketing with permit values well ahead of last year’s pace and well above the city’s 10-year annual average. 

As of the end of September, $9.5 million in residential construction permits had been issued, more than double the city’s 10-year average total of $4.35 million.

READ MORE: Residential projects delayed for years in Terrace pick back up

While the construction season is coming to a close, this latest report is a positive forecast for Terrace’s housing market, says city planner David Block.

Block estimates the city will see 30 residential housing permits before the snow falls, nearly double the number issued last year.

“It’s almost primarily driven by single-family dwellings, single residential. We’ve got one fourplex [on Park Avenue] and one duplex [on Terrace’s south side]. There’s a bit of new commercial additions but a big chunk is residential,” he says.

According to the September building synopsis, nearly $25 million dollars in value across 195 residential, commercial and industrial permits have been issued so far in 2019.

This is $5,173,994 more than last year’s year-to-date value of around $19.8 million.

In 2015 when Terrace saw an all-time high for permit values totalling $47 million in construction, almost $16 million of that was for major institutional projects, Block says. The city saw the same thing happen in 2017 when Coast Mountain College started work on its extensive trades building renovation and expansion.

“If you pull out those big institutional numbers, then $24 million is considered even more above-average. It’s been a good start to the boom that’s coming,” Block says.

The city’s push to encourage developers to subdivide larger lots into smaller lots has seen some results with more subdivision applications and secondary suite permits than last year.

Wirtl Construction’s 34-lot subdivision on McConnell Avenue on the Bench is close to being complete, with other developments poised for more single-family residential, in particular the property on Thomas St. just south of Uplands Elementary.

A small lot bare-lands strata is under construction now off Halliwell Avenue to the east of Uplands Elementary. Another permit for the first phase of a 48-unit Riverside Meadows phased strata off of Graham Avenue on the Southside will be coming to council Monday night, Block says.

READ MORE: City advocates for smaller residential lot sizes

The Swiss Real townhouse development on Cory Drive on the Bench has yet to commit to phase two, but the city anticipates construction will start in the spring.

Construction for LNG Canada’s $40 billion facility in Kitimat will only spur more activity in Terrace as the work gets off the ground, Block says.

“It’s really hard to gauge in two or three years what the demand might be, and how fast we’ll need to get there, but in the short term I think those market developments are going to respond to the need.”

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