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Building permits soaring, nearing $1 billion

2015 was a record year for construction permits in Richmond, B.C.

The City of Richmond set a new all-time record for annual building activity two months before the end of the year, according to a news release from the city.

Construction value of Richmond building permits issued for 2015, through the end of October, was $876.9 million. The previous “extraordinary” high for a single year was $812 million in 2010, according to the city.

Between 2010 and 2014, annual building activity was valued at $400-500 million.

The city noted multi-family residential construction continues to lead the way for building permits. From January to October, 90 multi-family permits were issued for a total of 1,911 units. By comparison, in all of 2014, 49 multi-family permits were issued for a total of 1,215 new units.

“Sustained, planned growth provides many benefits for our community,” stated Mayor Malcolm Brodie. 

“It creates jobs, increases our tax base and leverages developer contributions to expanded and improved public infrastructure and amenities, such as new parks and roads, affordable housing, childcare and more. It also supports our Official Community Plan vision for Richmond to be a sustainable city, by directing most new development into our transit-focused City Centre.”

According to the city’s 2016 budget report, the tax base is expected to grow by an estimated $2.8 million.

The city noted a total of 1,448 permits were issued from January to October of this year, covering all building types. There were 420 commercial building permits issued in the first 10 months of 2015, compared to 363 issued for the same period in 2014. 

Meanwhile, according to the city, single-family residential construction has seen a spike, with 413 permits issued for new single-family home construction by the end of October, compared to 341 in the same period for 2014.

Richmond’s population is roughly 210,000. Residents can expect at least another 70,000 people to join them within the next 25 years.

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