Cranbrook city hall.

Cranbrook construction values continue to soar despite pandemic

The City of Cranbrook is on pace to finish the year with close to $60 million in building permits — the highest amount over a 10-year period, according to an update from the economic development office.

Year-to-date building permit values is currently totalled at $56 million with 182 permits issued. That’s a $19 million difference from the same time last year, which had $37 million in value from 179 permits.

The 2020 third quarter currently sits at $17 million, with 76 building permits issued, compared to 2019 Q3 numbers that saw $19 million in value with 62 permits.

Of note, the 2020 third quarter saw 12 new stand-alone single family dwelling starts as well as four mobile home placements, while construction began on a 63-unit apartment building on Innes Ave.

Specific Q3 building permit sectors have included $5.9 million for residential, $6.4 million for multi-family residential, $3.6 million for commercial and just under $1 million combined for industrial and signs.

Notable projects and their construction value this year have included:

• COTR – $20M Residential (student residence)

• Innes Ave – $35M multi-family residential (Broadstreet development)

• BC Housing – $7.5M multi-family residential (21st Ave. South)

• 6th St N – $6.8M multi-family residential (Chief Agnes McCoy Centre)

• Legacy Lookout – $5.5M multi-family residential (Wildstone)

• Bayer Canada – $2.5M industrial

• Sports Dome – $1M recreation

• Nissan- $1M commercial

• Hyundai- $1.5M commercial

• Hiedout Renovation – $300,000 commercial

• Food Bank – $600,000 industrial

• KIA – $1.2M commercial

• Old Andre’s – $600,000 commercial

• CBT – $1.3M commercial

Tembec Industrial Lands Development update

Darren Brewer, the city’s economic development officer, told council that a Cranbrook Industrial Lands Value Added Assessment and Economic Impact Study have been completed, focusing on the development of the former Tembec lands, in order to inform the city’s decision-making process.

The intent is to support new businesses moving and setting up operations on the land, which is expected to generate economic benefits that include employment, wages and salaries; ongoing purchases of goods and services for corporate operations; and tax revenue and other charges during the land’s development.

The land, approximately 100 acres formerly owned by Tembec, were purchased by the city two years ago. A preliminary plan to install deep and shallow utilities was postponed as the COVID-19 pandemic began earlier this year.

The city estimates that as the lands are developed roughly 700-900 jobs will be created during construction, with 500-600 jobs during occupancy.

A further $29-36 million is expected in annual salaries and wages, with $1.8-$2.3 million projected in annual property taxes.

In his update, Brewer also referenced an investment attraction strategy that was presented to council earlier in the same meeting. The plan recommends businesses that would be target candidates for the area, creation of a standalone economic development website, and identifies local, provincial and federal partners.