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Construction sector had a positive 2012 in Richmond

Townline Homes is developing a new residential neighbourhood in Richmond where the Fantasy Gardens theme park once stood. It’s one of the developments that buoyed residential construction in Richmond last year. - Matthew Hoekstra photo
Townline Homes is developing a new residential neighbourhood in Richmond where the Fantasy Gardens theme park once stood. It’s one of the developments that buoyed residential construction in Richmond last year.
— image credit: Matthew Hoekstra photo

Richmond City Hall issued $465 million in building permits in 2012, representing a slight climb in construction value from the previous year.

City officials granted developers 1,532 permits worth $464,527,025 last year, according to data compiled by The Richmond Review. That’s a meagre amount compared to the record-setting $813 million in 2010 but more than the $424 million mark reached in 2011.

A big month in May led the way in 2012, when developers—led by Canada Sunrise Developments (Richmond) Ltd. for its multi-tower Quintet project in City Centre—lined up for 132 building permits worth $143.5 million.

The year also ended strong, with $46.9 million worth of permits issued in December. The Gardens, a residential neighbourhood being constructed on the former Fantasy Garden World site by Townline Gardens Inc., was responsible for $30 million of December’s permit totals.

Construction activity was strong throughout Metro Vancouver in 2012. According to the most recent report from Statistics Canada, total permit values by November were up 26 per cent year-to-date over 2011.

Those numbers have prompted the Vancouver Regional Construction Association to predict that 2012 will finish ahead of the previous year, and for the non-residential sector to have its best year since 2008.

“The 2012 year-to-date permit numbers continue to lead 2011 in all categories, and…commercial market conditions still continue to gradually improve,” said Keith Sashaw, association president, in a recent news release.

Although construction activity last year didn’t come close to the record set in Richmond’s Olympic year, it easily beat the figure from 2009. That year, economic recession gripped Richmond’s building sector, causing construction activity to plunge to $163.2 million.

City hall requires building permits for construction, change of use, additions or alterations to structures

2012 building permits

•January: $11,393,536 (113 permits)

•February: $24,627,586 (99 permits)

•March: $30,657,860 (126 permits)

•April: $30,959,539 (111 permits)

•May: $143,540,643 (132 permits)

•June: $24,062,021 (154 permits)

•July: $23,781,155 (165 permits)

•August: $41,768,146 (140 permits)

•September: $22,332,179 (121 permits)

•October: $48,327,269 (163 permits)

•November: $16,138,298 (115 permits)

•December: $46,938,793 (93 permits)

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