Building Figures Show City Booming
Permits May Soon Exceed $1B
The value of building permits in Saskatoon for 2011 is heading toward a record $1 billion.
In announcing the city budget this week, city manager Murray Totland told reporters that building permits were set to crack $1 billion for the first time.
Bob Baran, who is with the city's buildings and standards branch, said the value of permits might not hit that amount, "but it will be a record amount”.
"My guess is we will be at $875 million by the end of the year. We are at $833 million right now," he said.
Last year, the city issued 4,100 permits valued at $666.1 million. This year, the number of permits will be close to 4,600.
"If that does happen it will be the highest number ever in the 104-year history of Saskatoon issuing building permits," Baran said.
And the increases have been across the board.
"We have a lot of buildings in the north end between $5 (million) to $10 million, whether they be office buildings or office-warehouse buildings," Baran said.
On the residential side, the city has issued 1,170 permits for single family and dwelling group lots so far this year compared to 1,055 for all of last year.
Alan Thomarat, CEO of the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders Association, said residential housing is the best it's been in about 30 years.
If the weather stays warm, "we could return to a (housing) starts level of nearly 3,000 this year," he said. "That's something we haven't seen since 1978 to 1982."
It is a balanced pool of projects on the go, he added, from entry-level housing to entry-level rental (townhouses and apartments) and multi-dwelling complexes.
Next year's numbers for Saskatoon will likely be bolstered by some big projects that may include the construction of a police station, the children's hospital and the Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan, along with the continuation of the housing.