The City of Nanaimo is experiencing a building boom with the amount of construction underway unparalleled in its history. Last year staff approved building permits worth $445 million. That eclipses the former record set in 2017 of $240 million.
“It’s an incredible number. It speaks volumes about the confidence people have in Nanaimo and Nanaimo’s economy,” said Leonard Krog, Nanaimo’s Mayor.
The permits allowed the building of close to 1,900 residential units.
One of the projects the city calls significant is the long-sought hotel by the Vancouver Island Convention Centre. Construction started in earnest this past week.
2019 also marked a record year for completed city infrastructure construction, 54 projects worth $50 million.
The head of the Vancouver Island Construction Association says the numbers show Nanaimo is vibrant and growing.
“I understand next year it will grow over 100,000 people and with that comes a lot of needs when it comes to supporting a community of that size so it’s becoming attractive,” said Rory Kumala, the Vancouver Island Construction Association’s CEO.
“We’re seeing strong migration to the area and with migration from other parts of the province, other parts of the country obviously creates demand for the built environment.”
The city says while the number of building permits isn’t expected to set another record in 2020 it is expected to be another strong year with Nanaimo’s population growing 1.5 percent per year.
“People are coming here cause it’s a beautiful city. We’re a perfect location. We have a regional hospital, Vancouver Island University and one of the top ten dive destinations in the world,” said Krog.
Krog says all the construction that’s been announced and is underway will carry the region’s economy for some time to come.
The city of Nanaimo knew it had broken the building permits record in the first six months of the year of 2019.