TWO construction projects this month have pushed the value of Terrace building permits issued to date to more than $50 million, a 10-year record.
One is the first phase of a large multi-family residential development on the bench now breaking ground and the other is an addition and renovation of a business on Park Ave. downtown.
Seven townhomes in two duplexes and one triplex now under construction by Vancouver developer SwissReal carry a value of $1.4 million while an expansion to Park Ave. Optometry has a value of $1 million.
The permit value of more than $50 million is more than double last year’s total for the same time period and triple the 10-year average of just under $16 million.
The next closest value year to date was in 2008 when more than $23 million in permits had been issued.
The SwissReal bench multi-residential development on the 5100 Block of McConnell is called Terrace Heights, which will consist of 35 townhomes on 2.7 acres when fully built out.
It will be the largest multi-family residential development of its kind in the history of the city so far, edging out Sleeping Beauty Estates on the 4700 Block of Davis which has 28 units either finished or under construction.
Jeremy Towning from Vancouver-based developer SwissReal said strata development Terrace Heights is the first of what he expects will be a number of company construction projects in Terrace and area.
“Terrace just has such a nice community feel,” said Towning. “It’s someplace we want to be for the next 20 years.”
Its central geographical location within the region, making the city and immediate area a hub for services and activities also contributed to the decision to build here, he added. “We feel the market is the most sustainable. Terrace has had its booms and busts but not as extreme,” Towning said.
SwissReal was first attracted to the area by the prospect of a regional liquefied natural gas industry and purchased the Terrace Heights property earlier this year.
Each of the Terrace Heights townhomes will have three bedrooms carrying a price tag of approximately $400,000.
“We’re just now working out the final costs,” said Towning.
SwissReal had planned an earlier start but there were delays in securing construction-related bids, he added.
“It would have been too risky. The weather is also a factor,” explained Towning as to why SwissReal is starting with seven units.
He said construction of the remaining townhomes will start next spring.
The Park Ave. Optometry construction project also represents a business purchase involving Terrace Vision Care.
Dr. Rebecca Counts from Terrace Vision Care says she and Dr. Stephanie Pietralla, who is already at Park Ave. Optometry, purchased the business from Dr. Harry Murphy.
The Progressive Ventures construction project underway right beside the Park Ave. building will more than double the size of the location’s footprint.
“And there will also be a new exterior. You won’t recognize it when finished,” said Counts of the project.
The existing Park Ave. building will be joined to the new construction and is to be renovated as part of the new construction.
Counts said the combined business will also have a new name, one that has yet to be chosen.
And when the project is finished, Terrace Vision Care will leave its current Lazelle Ave. location.
In terms of commercial construction building permit values this year, the Sunshine Inn development adjacent to city hall tops the list at $15.041 million followed by a warehouse expansion at Bandstra Transportation amounting to $1.3 million, the Great Canadian Oil Change project at $709,000 and a $200,00 project for the Andrew Sheret plumbing and heating business.
The Northwest Regional Airport expansion project valued at $15.709 million comes under the institutional construction category.
As of the end of August, 24 permits for single residential construction were issued for a total value of $5.914 million.
In addition to the Sunshine Inn development, a second hotel past Canadian Tire heading west along Hwy16, a Comfort Inn, is also under construction.
Its building permit of approximately $10 million was issued in the fall of 2014.
SwissReal’s contractor for Terrace Heights is Chilliwack-based Kerkhoff Construction.
Kerkhoff is also active in three residential and/or commercial projects in Kitimat with one, the Haisla Town Centre, being developed by the Haisla Nation.
SwissReal is also planning a major commercial and residential project in Prince Rupert.