KAMLOOPS — The dirt is moving along the Halston Connector, the start of another construction project.
U-Haul is building a $10 million self-storage unit, one development that's helping to facilitate a construction boom so far in 2018.
"We're at $77.1 million to date compared to $32 million and a bit last year at this time," says the city's building and engineering development manager Jason Dixon. "We've seen a good balance. In the last few years, we've seen more residential activity. This year, we're starting to see more commercial and institutional activity."
The $77 million in permits includes work on two apartment buildings that will stand on McGill across from TRU.
Another big project contributing to the boom is the Hudson's Bay Landing development — formerly Mission Hill — a project that's had trouble getting off the ground. But Brentwood Developments has a new contractor and is re-starting the project after another setback.
"They've changed contractors, but Brentwood is still the owner of the project, so that's who we have our dealings with. We just know we've issued a permit to pick up from the restoration work that's been done and finish the building," says Dixon.
The plethora of commercial and residential projects are indicative of growth in the city, according to Venture Kamloops.
"We said if construction happened and units became available, then that would attract business. I think we're in that cycle now," notes Venture Kamloops executive director Jim Anderson. "The opportunities have been identified, they're being taken advantage of. People are going ahead on major projects."
Venture Kamloops has talked with developers from across the province during the past year to open their eyes to opportunities in Kamloops.
"We spent the last 18 months promoting residential development opportunities in Kamloops. We were down in the Lower Mainland, down in the Okanagan, talking to developers who haven't normally looked at Kamloops," says Anderson. "There's a Kelowna developer doing one up on the hill. There are some really good opportunities here."
The city says there is no indication things are slowing down and it's expecting more of the same for the rest of the year.
"We have applications in for other projects that we knew were coming," notes Dixon. "For example, the TRU nursing building. We're working on permits for residential development at The Reach at TRU. We have other projects that we're talking to people about."
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