Abbotsford is on pace to match, and possibly top, last year’s record-setting pace of growth, council heard Monday.
Last year, the city issued an unprecedented $480 million worth of building permits. But this year’s figures could top those sums, says Mark Neill, the city’s director of community planning.
“By all indicators, we are going to meet last year’s record year,” he told council.
The city had issued $231 million worth of building permits through the first half of 2018. The figure does not include a permit issued in early July for the construction of a new $150 million courthouse.
A large chunk of 2018’s growth came in the industrial sector, where $49 million worth of building permits have been issued, already surpassing the entire total from 2017. More than half the industrial floor space approved in the first half was related to just one major project: the construction of Mayne Coatings’ new plant off of Clearbrook Road.
Meanwhile, applications to build more than 3,000 homes continue to move through the approval and pre-construction process.
This year has seen a surge in the construction of new townhouses, although construction has only begun on 124 new apartment units, far below the 750-plus that work began on last year. Some of that shortfall is due to timing, though, as several major projects have been approved with construction yet to begin.
This spring, council gave staff the go-ahead to hire four new planners to keep up with the demand for new building projects.