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Hamilton Economic Development

Hamilton’s building boom continues in 2013

Hamilton had another $1-billion year.

The city issued its building permit reports for December 2013 and its year-end results which showed it had a total of $1.03 billion in construction value.

Construction activity was nearly divided in half between residential and non-residential. The residential sector represented 51.2 per cent of the annual total with more than $524 million. Industrial, commercial and institutional sectors were worth $496 million in construction value.

“Last year (2012) we hit the $850 million, but we first broke $1 billion in 2010. It’s really remarkable,” said Neil Everson, the city’s director of economic development. “We’re actually averaging $1 billion in construction a year since 2009.”

The city recorded a record $1.5 billion in construction in 2012.

Some key projects leading the 2013 construction values including downtown’s Homewood Suites and Bella Towers complex, the McMaster health campus downtown, the new Tim Hortons Field stadium and large industrial projects such as the new Maple Leaf meat processing plant in the Red Hill business park.

Finishing the year 2013 with a slight majority of construction in the residential sector is good and bad, said Everson.

Bad, because the city needs more industrial and commercial development to generate economic growth.

But good, because Hamilton’s population is aging, making new homes a possible indication of a demographic shift to younger families. Everson said it’s important to also look at where the growth is happening, which includes the older parts of the city with several renovation projects.

“We have 15 planned residential projects for the downtown, that’s really good news,” he said.

Construction in Hamilton has surged compared with surrounding regions, particularly the Niagara Peninsula, said Everson. But in Burlington, construction values have stayed strong, but heavily weighted in residential.

Article courtesy of Lisa Marr, The Hamilton Spectator

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