Valerie Chiba, president of the Vernon Native Housing Society, is pleased with the opportunity to house Elders, persons with accessibility challenges and aboriginal families. (Brieanna Charlebois - Morning Star)

Valerie Chiba, president of the Vernon Native Housing Society, is pleased with the opportunity to house Elders, persons with accessibility challenges and aboriginal families. (Brieanna Charlebois - Morning Star)

Economic, residential growth solid in Vernon

City comes off impressive year for buidling permits, both residential and commercial

The City of Vernon is coming off one of its strongest economic years for commercial and residential growth.

Economic development and tourism manager Kevin Poole told Vernon council in February that building permit numbers made 2018 one of the strongest years since 2008-09.

“We had $148.8 mllion in total building permit value, most of which was driven by residential,” said Poole. “We had $117 million in residential building permits. Total residential units in 2018 were 507 throughout the community, the second-best year on record (2006).”

There were permits issued for single- and multi-family dwelling units issued last year. The year before, it was mostly single-family dwelling with Predator Ridge Resort leading the charge.

Currently under construction are multi-family units including The Highlands, near Vernon Jubilee Hospital, which will feature 43 units. The Hub, near the North Okanagan Neurological Association (NONA) building, brought in $8.5 million in building permit value. And Rockwood Landing, on Centennial Drive off Vernon’s downtown core, will be a 60-unit complex when completed.

“We also have the Highlands of East Hill, we had the sod-turning for that shortly after the mayor took office,” said Poole. “That will be 173 units coming on stream.”

Among the commercial developments started in 2017 was a lot of single-use commercial tenants, such as the Healing Garden, on 27th Street, which was a $400,000 building permit.

The former Liquidation World on 30th Avenue has six units being renovated inside and facade improvements made outside, with a $1 million building permit issued in January 2019.

A 9,500 square foot addition to the Vernon School District office on 15th Street was a $7.5 million building permit.

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B.C. Housing and Vernon Native Housing have started projects on 27th Avenue worth a combined $10 million in building permit value, and consumers are eager for the fall when HomeSense will open across from Best Buy in Vernon’s north end.

RELATED: HomeSense coming to Vernon

Poole added interest in non-medical cannabis retail applications for Vernon is gaining.

“We’ve sent seven applications out to referral,” he said. “It’s going to staff departments, external agencies and property owners/tenants within 30 metres of the subject property. Two others will likely be sent out for referral, so there are nine in total.”



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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