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Moncton’s construction boom second highest in its history


January 28, 2014
 
MONCTON – A combination of new big box store developments, warehouse construction, strip mall renovations, health institution growth and the construction of three new schools all contributed in 2013 to pushing Moncton to record its second highest building permit activity totals in its history.

A total of 969 permits valued at $188.5 million were issued in 2013, up 18.4 percent from 2012’s total of $159.2 million. Only 2009, with its total of $217.8 million, was higher in the City’s history.

The key categories of institutional and government and commercial and industrial were up significantly over the previous year.

Institutional and government construction permits reached $60.3 million in 2013, a significant increase over 2012’s totals of $20.7 million. Commercial and industrial construction permits came in at $72.4 million, up considerably from 2012 totals of $54.4 million.

“Considering that 2013 was our second best year in terms of issuing building permits, our community is clearly thriving. In fact, the health of our local economy is closely linked to public and private investments in our city,” said Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc. “The fact that we are continuing to grow in these essential categories is a very positive sign and positions us well for the future,” he added.

The total value of institutional and government building permits was three times greater than the total value in 2012, while commercial and industrial was up 29 percent.

The year also ended on a positive note in residential construction. Residential building permits in the month of December 2013 were up 19 percent from a year earlier. A total of $1.6 million in permits were issued in December 2013, compared to $1.4 million in 2014. The overall yearly trend showed a decrease of 36 percent in 2013 from 2012, from $80.5 million in 2012 to $51.5 million in 2013. 

“The year 2013 marked a renewed interest in Moncton with significant investments coming from a wide variety of business and institutional partners,” said Mayor LeBlanc. 

“What is even more encouraging is that we know going into 2014 that we already have some additional significant projects in the works,” he added, referring in particular to the recent announcement that major North American retailer Cabela’s they will start construction on a store in Moncton in 2014, with a target date of being open in spring 2015.

“Businesses and retailers in particular are clearly identifying the Metro Moncton market as the place they want to be,” said LeBlanc. “We are encouraged by comments made by Retail Council of Canada President and CEO Diane Brisebois when she visited our city in November. She noted that when giant retailers such as Cabela’s announce they are coming into a new market, they in turn attract other retailers, big and small.” Brisebois predicted that Metro Moncton’s current string of retail successes would continue.

In the retail industry in 2013, building permit figures were pushed up by the renovation of the former Zeller’s store in Moncton’s north end to turn it into a Target Store ($3.9 million) as well as renovations to Walmart in Moncton  A new Kent Building Supplies store opened along Harrisville Boulevard in Moncton ($5 million).

In 2013, permits were granted for the creation of a new complex for the northwest intersection of Elmwood Drive and the Trans Canada Highway (Route 2) which will be home to a new Home Hardware and other retail stores. Another retail development is planned at the southwest corner of the Trans Canada and Mapleton Road.

Businesses continued to reflect their confidence in Moncton in 2013 as well. In Caledonia Industrial Park, a new 400,000 square foot Kent Building Supplies distribution centre was built. As well, Atlantic Air Cooled Engines built at 254 Horsman Road ($1.1 million), Parts for Trucks at 387 Desbrisay Avenue ($2.5 million), and Prism Construction and Lara Enviro constructed new facilities. A new warehouse was also constructed at 50 Commerce St. ($26 million value).

Mayor LeBlanc noted the trend for 2014 looks strong. Already national tire distributor RTD-TriCan has announced it will construct a new 100,000 square foot distribution centre on Deware Drive in the Caledonia Industrial Estates. The firm, a major national distributor of dozens of brands of automotive and industrial tires, already has two locations in Moncton. With this new construction, Moncton will be the hub of their operations in Atlantic Canada.

The construction of three new schools within the city helped to push building permit numbers up. Two of them, École Sainte-Bernadette on Upton Street in the west end and École Le Sommet on Ryan Street in the north end, opened in 2013. Work continues through the winter months on the building of the new $27.4 million high school off Elmwood Drive to replace the current Moncton High School on Church Street.

“These new schools are significant catalysts in the growth of the city because they tend to be the instigators for new housing developments and increased population growth,”  added LeBlanc.

Institutional construction in 2013 was led by the creation of a breast cancer clinic and MRI Centre in the Dr. George-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre and an oncology clinic at Moncton Hospital. Elsewhere in the city, Université de Moncton’s renovation project at the Centre étudiant had a building permit valued at $2 million.

Significant projects in Moncton’s downtown in 2013 included renovations to the Terminal Building at 1234 Main Street ($8 million), and replacement of heat pumps at the Public Works and Government Services Canada building, 1045 Main Street (($1.5 million). New restaurants including Starbucks and a soon to be open Freshii were created on Main Street, as were a number of new retail outlets on St. George Street.

In residential construction, a new special care home was constructed at 15 Lady Russell Street ($800,000), the senior’s residential facility located at 75 Brialea Dr. was expanded ($650,000), and a two-storey special care home with 119 rooms at 270 John Street ($4.5 million) . A four-storey apartment building has been announced for the corner of St. George Boulevard and Dixon Boulevard.

Total values of “other” permits, such as swimming pools, fences, sheds, garages and signs, in 2013 came to $4.3 million, up from $3.6 million in 2012.

Sherry Sparks, the City’s Director of Building Inspection, said 2013 was a year of change in her department as well, and she is pleased with the smooth transition into the new Urban Planning department and the new one-stop service counter.

“We have received very positive feedback that Moncton and Riverview residents and businesses are experiencing a much more streamlined service and, as a result, a much more positive experience when applying for building permits,” she said.

Any structure being added to a site, including accessory buildings, fences, decks, etc., requires building and development permits, as stated in the Building By-Law Z-410 and Zoning By-Law Z-202.

For information on building permits, contact the Building Inspection Department by phone at 856-4375 or by email at info.inspection@moncton.ca.

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Contact:
Isabelle LeBlanc
Director, Communications
City of Moncton
(506) 863-4544 / Isabelle.leblanc@moncton.ca