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Halfway through 2023, Brantford looks on track for another record-setting year of construction projects.
By the end of June, the city had issued 850 building permits with a collective construction value of $451.3 million, which puts it on par or ahead of 2022, which was the biggest year for building work the city had seen, hitting $538.1 million in work.
“We’re definitely cruising along and it appears we’re going to set a record for value,” said chief building official Andy McMahon.
Part of the reason behind the increase in the value of the projects is a boom in industrial work, including a permit issued in June for the new $93 million Barry Callebaut Chocolate factory on Bowery Road.
“The Barry Callebaut factory is a very big project,” said McMahon, “and it’s a manufacturing build – not warehousing or logistics – so that will mean more jobs for the area.
The factory is expected to be about 40,620-square-metres or 437,000-square-feet.
Although there is also a Barry Callebaut plant in Chatham, the Brantford project will be the second largest of the company’s North American factories and is expected to create around 200 jobs, focusing on sugar-free chocolate and other specialty products.
Other major projects that received approval from the city included the $70 million new six-storey retirement home and three-storey long-term care home on Lynden Road and a $25 million addition to Mitsui High-Tec on Fen Ridge Court.
Mitsui High-Tec has already doubled its size here and opened a second production plant in May, making motor cores for the American market.
The third plant is aiming for completion in early 2024 and predicted to take the number of workers there from 100 to about 300.
In May, two permits were issued by the city for a new $16-million industrial warehouse on Fen Ridge, which will provide Metrus Construction a logistics centre for materials and equipment, and a $10.2-million industrial auto-body repair shop on Garden Avenue.
Site serving and building permits for 28 townhouses at 620 Colborne St. W., near the Brantford Airport, is valued at about $11.3 million. The new LIV development will eventually feature about 267 medium density homes.
Smaller but substantial investments during the second quarter include:
— A spate of 16 new houses on Dore Drive, off Shellard Lane, ranging in value from $389,000 to $491,000
— A $4.5 million renovation to the Zehr’s grocery store on King George Road
— A $3.3 million booster pumping station for a new subdivision on Colborne Street West
— A $3 million addition for Konstant Manufacturing on Adams Boulevard
— In June a permit for $1.5 million worth of alterations was given to 1 Wellington, a new downtown apartment building, in order to create classrooms and washrooms for Conestoga College classes.
And another $1.5 million permit went to the civic centre where a single-storey addition is helping to bring up the building to OHL standards with new dressing rooms, washrooms, equipment storage space and some minor office space.
That work is being done in conjunction with the Brantford Bulldogs, who are paying a large portion of the overall project, estimated at more than $10 million.
There was also ongoing work at Lynden Park Mall where a permit was issued for $1.4-million in site servicing work that will prepare the area, in part, for the future Costco warehouse.
The mall also was given a $650,000 permit for a proposed new entrance.
Three stores at the mall were given permits for alterations: a new Sephora, The Shoe Company and Maurice’s Retail.
What has slowed somewhat in the first half of 2023 is housing units.
The city has only issued about 455 permits for all types of housing whereas last year it issued permits for 1,482 housing units.
McMahon said it was likely due to the huge push in housing in 2022 and he expects it will even out.
The value of the construction projects is an estimate and each permit granted by the city costs the builder a very small portion of that estimate, with funds going to cover the cost of Brantford’s building department.