Non-res­i­den­tial ac­tiv­ity boosts 2018 Swift Cur­rent build­ing per­mit val­ues

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Swift Current - BY MATTHEW LIEBEN­BERG — mlieben­berg@ prairiepos­t. com

A sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the num­ber of non-res­i­den­tial build­ing per­mits is­sued by the City of Swift Cur­rent dur­ing 2018 made up for a slow­down in res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity.

“I think we did pretty good last year,” Di­rec­tor of Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Marty Sal­berg said. “We had no real big projects, but on the com­mer­cial end we ac­tu­ally saw a 58 per cent in­crease in com­mer­cial/in­dus­trial per­mits. So on the busi­ness side I was pretty pleased. and that was prob­a­bly 150 or so new busi­ness li­censes is­sued. So 2018 as it turned out was quite pos­i­tive.”

The to­tal value of build­ing per­mits is­sued in 2018 was about $19 mil­lion, which con­sisted of around $7.7 mil­lion in res­i­den­tial build­ing per­mits and just over $11 mil­lion in the com­mer­cial, in­dus­trial and in­sti­tu­tional cat­e­gory.

“It wasn’t a record year by any means, given the econ­omy be­ing the way it was with the low oil prices and the uncer­tainty in that sec­tor, and we didn’t see a heck of a lot of rain on the agri­cul­ture side of things,” he said. “It was chal­leng­ing, to say the least.”

The to­tal value of build­ing per­mits is­sued in 2018 was about $10 mil­lion less than the pre­vi­ous year. In 2017 the over­all value of build­ing per­mits was about $29 mil­lion, of which res­i­den­tial per­mits rep­re­sented about $22.7 mil­lion.

While 86 new sin­gle and multi-fam­ily res­i­den­tial units were con­structed in 2017, it dropped to 25 new units in 2018.

Sal­berg noted that con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity in the res­i­den­tial sec­tor dur­ing 2018 was ac­tu­ally higher than these num­bers might in­di­cate, be­cause work con­tin­ued on some of the larger multi-fam­ily res­i­den­tial projects for which build­ing per­mits were is­sued in 2017.

“There were some good hous­ing de­vel­op­ments go­ing on in the south side and still some units get­ting built in the north­east area,” he said.

He was a bit sur­prised that there was not more res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity in 2018, but in that re­gard he felt pos­i­tive about the ac­tiv­ity at the Cy­press Point res­i­den­tial com­mu­nity at the Elm­wood golf course.

“It’s nice to see that we’ve now sold 20 lots in Cy­press Point res­i­den­tial neigh­bour­hood and five new per­mits were is­sued,” he said. “So that’s pretty good. We’ve also talked with var­i­ous landown­ers and bare land de­vel­op­ers who are still look­ing at de­vel­op­ing in the Heights area or the north­west by High­lands and the area across from the Catholic Church and we’ve seen more pri­vate de­vel­op­ment of homes across from The Mead­ows long-term care fa­cil­ity. So we’re still po­si­tioned well for fur­ther res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment, with­out a doubt, and I do be­lieve we’re go­ing to have a cou­ple maybe smaller multi-fam­ily projects this year.”

His op­ti­mism for more res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion in 2019 also ex­tends to the po­ten­tial start of ac­tiv­ity at one of the old school sites, which have been ear­marked for in­fill de­vel­op­ment.

“We’re try­ing to make sure that we have a va­ri­ety of res­i­den­tial lots to choose from,” he said. “We’ll see the en­gi­neer­ing de­sign and work be­ing done for the Oman school res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment this year. I guess if all goes ex­tremely well there may be lots avail­able at the end of the year, if not the early 2020.”

There are also pri­vate de­vel­op­ments go­ing on, which is an in­di­ca­tion that res­i­den­tial build­ing ac­tiv­ity in the city will con­tinue this year and also there­after.

“Bare land lots will get de­vel­oped this year, but if noth­ing else they’ll keep with the plan­ning stages so that at some point in time we’ll con­tinue to see the de­vel­op­ments on the perime­ter of the city take place,” he said.

The higher value of non-res­i­den­tial build­ing per­mits in 2018 was due to an in­crease in con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity in the com­mer­cial and in­sti­tu­tional cat­e­gories. The $11.1 mil­lion value of non­res­i­den­tial build­ing per­mits break down into $6.7 mil­lion in com­mer­cial, $1.6 mil­lion in in­dus­trial, and $2.8 mil­lion in in­sti­tu­tional build­ing per­mits. In 2017 those num­bers were $3.6 mil­lion in com­mer­cial, $2.75 mil­lion in in­dus­trial and $590,000 in in­sti­tu­tional build­ing per­mits. Ac­cord­ing to Sal­berg the main rea­son for the in­creased value of in­sti­tu­tional build­ing per­mits is the con­struc­tion project at the East Side Church of God. The over­all 58 per cent in­crease in non­res­i­den­tial build­ing per­mits was due to a mix of con­struc­tion projects in the city.

“We saw a new restau­rant up by Cana­dian Tire and we saw a re­ally nice med­i­cal cen­tre,” he said. “We’ve seen a cou­ple of new shops be­ing built on the in­dus­trial side.”

Sal­berg is pos­i­tive that the in­creased con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity in the non­res­i­den­tial sec­tor will con­tinue in 2019.

“We’ve got some re­ally pos­i­tive dis­cus­sions hap­pen­ing with a num­ber of busi­nesses that are look­ing to de­velop their prop­er­ties that have been sit­ting va­cant for a few years,” he said. “We ac­tu­ally have the starts of some de­vel­op­ment per­mits that we’ll be pretty pleased to see. Some pretty sig­nif­i­cant projects this year on the com­mer­cial side. I’m more than happy with the con­ver­sa­tions and di­a­logue I’ve had with the busi­ness com­mu­nity and a cache of busi­nesses from out­side of Swift Cur­rent look­ing at Swift Cur­rent.”

He is ex­pect­ing to see some new busi­nesses in the ser­vice sec­tor dur­ing 2019 and that some in­dus­trial shops will be con­structed dur­ing the year.

“On the in­dus­trial side we’re happy to see some of the in­dus­trial lots that sat va­cant for a num­ber of years are start­ing to get de­vel­oped,” he said. “There’s not that many of them, but they’re get­ting de­vel­oped. Munro In­dus­trial Park ex­pan­sion is tak­ing a lit­tle bit longer due to some ease­ments and the le­gal ti­tles and setup and all those things, but we’re go­ing to have our in­dus­trial park ready to go real shortly. So we’re po­si­tioned well for the in­dus­trial side.”

Com­mer­cial lots are avail­able for de­vel­op­ment in the area north of the casino and the Home Inn and Suites.

“That whole area is a real good area to de­velop and I think we might see some new com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ments in that area,” he said. “That’s all pri­vately owned. So I think we’re sit­ting pretty good in terms of avail­abil­ity of land.”

The City con­tin­ues to look at new ways to mar­ket the busi­ness po­ten­tial of Swift Cur­rent and they have a new eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment web­site. Sal­berg at­tended re­new­able en­ergy con­fer­ences and oil and gas shows with Mayor De­nis Per­rault to talk to busi­nesses about Swift Cur­rent as an busi­ness friendly in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion.

“We’re mar­ket­ing our city bet­ter and bet­ter,” Sal­berg said.“We’ve even had del­e­gates from Viet­nam and Ko­rea meet­ing with us to see if there are in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, as they look at the im­mi­gra­tion pro­gram to come to Saskatchew­an and par­tic­u­larly Swift Cur­rent. So when you add all that up, the at­mos­phere is fairly con­fi­dent from what I can tell and I re­ally be­lieve that's go­ing to trans­late into in­creased con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity this year.”

think we did pretty good last year. e had no real big projects, but on the com­mer­cial end we ac­tu­ally saw a 58 per cent in­crease in com­mer­cial/in­dus­trial per­mits. So on the busi­ness side I was pretty pleased. and that was prob­a­bly 150 or so new busi­ness li­censes is­sued. So 2018 as it turned out was quite pos­i­tive. Marty Sal­berg, Di­rec­tor of Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment, City of Swift Cur­rent

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