Build­ing boom con­tin­ues de­spite drop in per­mits

$724 MIL­LION IN SIX MONTHS

The Hamilton Spectator - - FRONT PAGE - MARK MCNEIL

Hamil­ton has had a whop­ping 35 per cent in­crease in con­struc­tion this year com­pared to last, ac­cord­ing to a new re­port from the city.

More than $724 mil­lion in con­struc­tion value has taken place over the first six months of this year com­pared to $535 mil­lion over the same pe­riod last year.

The val­ues are cal­cu­lated from in­for­ma­tion pro­vided on build­ing per­mit ap­pli­ca­tions that re­quire an es­ti­mate of the cost of the work.

The ac­tual num­ber of build­ing per­mits is down slightly, to 4,326 this year com­pared to 4,788 last year.

But Dio Or­tiz, the man­ager of build­ing en­gi­neer­ing and zon­ing, said that shows the ac­tual pro­jects are big­ger this year.

Most no­tably, he said, is a re­cently started $88-mil­lion ex­pan­sion project at the wa­ter and waste­water treat­ment plant. It’s a first phase of a five-year ren­o­va­tion and that will even­tu­ally to­tal of more than $300 mil­lion.

Con­struc­tion for the sec­ond phase of the project — val­ued at $76 mil­lion — is ex­pected to start later this year or early next year.

The res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion sec­tor has been hot as well, with a 22 per cent in­crease, driven largely by con­do­minium and apart­ments, said Or­tiz.

The fig­ures from the city’s plan­ning and eco­nomic depart­ment com­pare con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity this year to an av­er­age of the pre­vi­ous three years. Those fig­ures found a 38 per cent in­crease in over­all con­struc­tion.

Or­tiz says con­tin­u­ing high con­struc­tion growth over the past sev­eral years is partly ex­plained by a more di­verse econ­omy.

“Hamil­ton is well poised to with­stand a lot of down­turns be­cause of di­ver­sity in the lo­cal econ­omy. We’re not as de­pen­dent on heavy in­dus­try as we once were.”

Matt Ver­voorn, the pres­i­dent of the Hamil­ton-Hal­ton Con­struc­tion As­so­ci­a­tion, says the in­dus­try is so busy it’s be­com­ing in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to find com­pa­nies to take on new pro­jects.

“Peo­ple are so busy do­ing work that they don’t even have time to

price on­go­ing and up­com­ing pro­jects,” he said.

HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR FILE PHOTO

The fig­ures from the city’s plan­ning and eco­nomic depart­ment com­pare con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity this year to an av­er­age of the pre­vi­ous three years. Those fig­ures found a 35 per cent in­crease in over­all con­struc­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.