Nanaimo is coming off a banner year for construction. In 2022, the city issued building permits valued at $410 million, the second-highest amount in a single year.
Among them, a project on Linley Valley Drive in north Nanaimo will see one four-storey and two five-storey buildings constructed with a total of 152 units.
They will be rental buildings completed in April 2024 and valued at more than 29 million, making the project the highest-valued building permit the city issued in 2022.
“You have to go to a market where you know people are moving there. The community is growing and there is a good hospital, good education, you have the university, et cetera,” said Andre Molnar, president of the Molnar Group. Molnar has been bullish on Nanaimo since their first project in the city 13 years ago.
Though shy of the record $445 million worth in 2019, building permits totalling $410 million were issued last year.
Molnar says Nanaimo’s growth comes as no surprise.
“Nanaimo is a business place,” he said. “There’s no question about it. Nanaimo will be a very large city in the next 30, 40 years.”
In 2022, Nanaimo saw building permits taken out for 144 single-family homes, well below the 250 average. The city says it’s part of a trend away from single-family homes to multi-family buildings.
“The reality is many people can’t afford a single-family dwelling anymore, certainly not for their first home and accordingly, the market is responding with multi-family dwellings, whether they be apartments for rent or townhouse developments. We certainly are encouraging and happy to see townhouse developments in town,” said Mayor Leonard Krog.
He says the continued high rate of development shows the city is an attractive place to build.
“It reflects the incredible need in this community for housing generally. The other year we were rated one of the fastest-growing regions in the country and that essentially continues. There is much to attract people here to Nanaimo,” said Krog.
The mayor says despite higher interest rates and a predicted recession, Nanaimo will likely see another banner year for construction in 2023.
City of Nanaimo staff presented the annual building permit numbers at a council meeting this past week.