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Commercial construction soars in May

A construction worker seals a top floor window at Princess Park Towers from the bucket on a boomlift as the sun rises in the background on Tuesday.

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A construction worker seals a top floor window at Princess Park Towers from the bucket on a boomlift as the sun rises in the background on Tuesday. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)

After a slow start through the first few months of the year, construction in Brandon took off in May.

Permits were issued for 85 new dwelling units in the city, compared to just 45 in May 2013. That's nearly a 90 per cent increase, year-over-year.

Most of those permits were for condos, duplexes and multiple-family dwellings. Permits were issued for just 11 single-family homes. In total, the value of that construction is just under $8.1 million — down a little over a million dollars from May last year.

Specifically residential construction continues to sputter on a year-to-date basis, with permits issued for 140 dwelling units so far in 2014, worth a total of $20.2 million. That's more new homes compared to last year's 130, but they are worth less overall. Last year, at the end of May, permit values totalled $24.8 million.

However, some of that slack has been taken up by commercial construction — earlier this year, commercial permits for 36 new dwelling units were issued, compared to none by this point that year.

Commerical construction overall leapt this past month, with 14 permits worth a total of $8.4 million issued, including two new buildings that were worth a combined $6.9 million.

That's more than quadruple the amount from May last year, and it takes the year-to-date values up to a whopping $21.9 million — more than twice what had been issued at this point in 2013.

Combined with lesser amounts for educational, institutional and other types of construction, building activity in Brandon now sits ahead of last year's pace.

Some 90 permits were issued in May, about the same as May last year, but permits this past month were worh a total of $16.7 million, which is up from $11.2 million last year.

So far this year, some 285 permits have been issued for Brandon, which is well down from the 338 permits issued last year. But the value of those permits totalled just $37 million by this point last year, and that is up to $48.8 million this year.

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