The City of Wetaskiwin reached a record high in development permits over the 2015 year.
As of Dec. 16, the city has seen 129 development permits issued, totalling just over $55.7 million.
Some of the largest projects underway include: the development of a fertilizer storage shed/control building and chemical and seed warehouse for Parkland Fertilizer, valued at approximately $4.7 million; office additions for Manluk Global Manufacturing Solutions, $3.9 million; Cold storage and an industrial addition for Supreme International, $4.5 million; Wetaskiwin High School modernization, $15 million; New Imperial Inns, $962,000; Central Sled Yamaha addition, $323,070; 42 apartments for Josan Properties, $5 million; seniors’ supportive living (76 units), $13.5 million.
Of the $55.7 million, $435,720 is from commercial development, $17.3 million from industrial, $15 million from institutional and $22.8 million from residential.
“The only year we’ve had that’s comparable was the permits for the hospital and the Reynolds Museum in the same year,” said Lisa Novotny, city development manager.
Novotny says she is already seeing an above average number of developers come forward for next year as well.
“We’re kind of at a point where we’re poised for great things,” said Novotny. She says land remains available and affordable in Wetaskiwin and developers are zeroing in on opportunities.
As of late late fall 2014 and early 2015 city development was slow. “All of a sudden the bubble burst,” said Novotny.
“It was a pleasant surprise,” she added, referring to the record year.
A typical development permit year in Wetaskiwin brings in between $20 million and $25 million, leaving 2015 as a year that has more than doubled the average.
“This is very extraordinary for us,” said Novotny.
She says some developers end up in Wetaskiwin by coincidence while others arrive after doing some research of the area.
“A lot of them have been here for many years,” said Novotny. “A lot of development is businesses expanding.”
Despite Alberta’s economic atmosphere development permits continued to come in and Novotny says some developers are taking advantage of the fact many companies do not have a lot of work to offer employees. She says other developers are undertaking projects to help keep their own employees busy.