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Brandon construction down 15% in 2013

Joaquin Pena bundles up against the cold while working on a construction site in the city's southwest corner earlier this month. A boom in residential construction is not quite enough to make up for a shortfall in other Brandon construction.

COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN Enlarge Image

Joaquin Pena bundles up against the cold while working on a construction site in the city's southwest corner earlier this month. A boom in residential construction is not quite enough to make up for a shortfall in other Brandon construction.

Construction activity in Brandon faded in December to end 2013 significantly down from the year before.

Although a $1.9 million seed-processing facility being built on Grand Valley Road helped boost December's numbers to just under $8 million, they were still down a little bit from the $8.2 million tallied in December 2013.

The year ended with a total of $112.9 million in construction permits issued in the city. That's down nearly 15 per cent from the $132.7 million in 2012.

That money was spread over 876 separate permits in 2013, down from the 925 that were issued the year before.

It's the second decline in a row for Brandon construction, which was at $153.3 million in 2011. Over the past two years, construction in Brandon has declined more than 26 per cent.

However, one continuing bright spot has been residential construction. Brandon builders took out permits for 411 dwelling units, worth a total of $77 million in 2013. That's up from the 356 dwelling units that were started in 2012, worth $69.8 million, and 323 dwelling units in 2011, worth $53.4 million.

The biggest permit issued this past December was a 24-unit apartment building on First Street North, worth $2.75 million. In total, 41 dwelling units were begun last month. That's up from just 11 a year prior, but comparable to the 49 that were begun in 2011.

The City of Brandon’s Planning and Building Safety Department also issues permits for the RMs of Elton and Cornwallis, which saw almost no activity in December 2013. Elton ended the year at just under $5.5 million — almost exactly the same level as 2012, when they were at a little more than $5.4 million; Cornwallis was down in 2013 to $5.1 million in construction activity, a million dollars less than the $6.1 million recorded in 2012. The numbers from both rural municipalities are higher than in 2011.

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