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Year's construction total boosted by three projects.

Year's construction total boosted by three projects

Although the number of building permits issued in Thunder Bay decreased in 1989, they represented $40 million more in construction than was recorded in 1988.

According to figures from the Thunder Bay Economic Development Corporation, 1,507 building permits were issued last year, compared with 1,593 in 1988. The 1989 permits were worth $144.7 million, while the 1988 permits were worth $102.3 million.

The biggest increases in construction values were seen in the industrial and institutional sectors. Forty-one permits worth $36 million were issued for industrial construction, compared with 55 permits worth $7.5 million the previous year.

Seventy-four institutional permits worth $32 million were issued in 1989, compared with the 1988 figure of 85 permits worth $15.2 million.

Commercial construction permits for 1989 were worth $18.7 million, up from 1988's figure of $13.6 million. The increase came in spite of the drop in the actual number of permits issued from 198 to 161.

Several projects were completed in 1989, including the new Royal Trust building on Red River Road, the Bell Telephone building off Balmoral Street and the structure for the Marina Park Tower office complex.

Residential construction decreased in both the number of permits issued and construction value.

The number of permits dropped to 1,231 from the 1988 figure of 1,255. The value of residential construction in 1989 was $57.8 million, compared with $65.9 million the previous year.

New housing starts, totalling 446 and worth $50.7 million in 1989, were down from 1988 totals of 610 starts worth $58.9 million.

The number of single family dwellings dropped to 359, worth $46.8 million, from 1988's figure of 464 worth $51.6 million.

Warren Philp, an analyst with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), said the Thunder Bay economy is "slowing down" in 1990.


CMHC predicts housing starts will decrease to 380 from 417 in 1989. According to its figures, construction of other housing types will boost activity to 718 starts in 1990, up from 519 last year.

The price of an average newly constructed single-detached dwelling will increase eight per cent in 1990 because larger units are being built.

Philp explained that the trend to larger homes has come about because of the increased mobility of society.

"We're heading into an era where people are demanding larger units, and that is moving the figures upward.

"People, baby boomers, are travelling more," he said. "They are seeing what is being built in other cities and are coming back here demanding something other than three-bedroom bungalows."

There is a good supply of lots on the market right now. he said. "Affordability will improve in 1990." The forecast is for interest rates to reduce.

MARIE BRUCE Correspondent
COPYRIGHT 1990 Laurentian Business Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Construction Report; Thunder Bay, Ontario
Author:Bruce, Marie
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:May 1, 1990
Previous Article:Innovation program receives poor response.
Next Article:Builder counteracts costs of government legislation by employing subcontractors.

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