What promises to be one of the busiest residential construction seasons in at least a decade is underway in the city.
And no one is more familiar with what’s going on then the city’s senior building inspector Bruce Miller who has lived here for nearly 10 years.
“The highest I’ve seen since I’ve been here is 26 houses, I think it was in 2007, and that was a very busy year. Two years in a row we had 25, 26 houses and we are going to have more than that this year judging from people coming and talking to us.”
In March, five building permits were granted by the city for single family residential development and Miller said he expects that number to rise as spring carries on. Home builds are now going on at a number of different places, ranging from newer or new subdivisions to empty lots on established streets or on lots where older homes have been demolished.
“I know there are a whole whack of people with house plans they are working on that I don’t have yet,” Miller said.
But part of the building boom will include multi-unit residential, something that’s been rare up until now.
In March, a permit was granted for a $1.26 million, nine-unit complex at 2707 Kalum St. on the southside, just north of the intersection of Kalum St. and Haugland Ave. So far in April another three permits were granted for developments on Davis St. and Tuck Ave. – two for twin 8-unit buildings, each of two floors, and each valued at $800,000 located at 4719 Davis St.; and one for a five-unit extension to the Tuck Ave Seniors Home at 4623 Tuck Ave. valued at $433,500.
Miller said the Davis St. development appears to be the largest Terrace will see built this year with other units proposed once the first 16 are complete.
The 4719 Davis St. project belongs to Deep Creek Masonry, the same company that built the popular seniors-oriented Maple Estates just behind the former farmers market location.
There’s already a waiting list of people interested in purchasing one of the two- or three-bedroom units, which should be ready for market mid-fall, and isn’t targeting a specific age group.
“It’s called Sleeping Beauty Estates,” said Virginia Goddard, of Deep Creek Masonry, noting the units will have a view of the mountain of the same name.
Foundation work has recently started on the project to be built in two phases – 16 to start and 12 units to follow. The 1,200 square foot lower level condos will feature two bedrooms and carports, and the 1,500 square foot upper level condos will be three-bedrooms. Both will have two bathrooms each. The plan is to sell these units at reasonable market rates, with estimates currently at $285,000.
A clause in the strata sales contract will allow purchasers to rent out units.
Deep Creek Masonry’s regular crew is doing the work, and hasn’t experienced a labour shortage.
“It’s good, he’s got his normal crew,” said Virginia Goddard of husband Kevin. “A regular good group of guys that have been working for many years together.
If Deep Creek Masonry is looking for buyers in the $285,000 range, local developer Kevin Kennedy and two out-of-town partners have higher-end clients in mind.
They’re behind the nine-unit townhome complex at 2707 Kalum St. on the southside and soon, an eight-unit townhome complex on the corner of Graham Ave. and Kenney St., also on the southside and kitty corner to the city’s public works offices and yard.
Each unit will have three bedrooms and three bathrooms and, if wanted, they’ll be fully furnished.
Kennedy isn’t sure yet if the townhomes will be rentals or if they’ll be sold.
“We want to see how the market goes and right now there’s a lot of demand for rental properties,” he said.
The intended clientele could very well be people connected to large industrial projects who need long-term accommodation.
“There’s a demand for that type of housing,” Kennedy said as to why the units are being built now. “It’s safe to say the real estate environment is changing up here.”
Foundations have already been poured and framing is underway at the Kalum St. site.
Kennedy and his partners are also building a single-family home on the bench.
He hopes the Kalum St. units will be finished by the middle of September and the single family home done by late summer.