The number of single-family residential building permits in Estevan is on the rise.
According to Estevan's permit report for February, 11 new single-family dwellings, with a total value of $1.15 million, were given the green light last month. Only one non-residential permit was issued in February.
So far this year, 13 of the 18 permits granted have been for single-family projects. The total value of those projects is $1.65 million.
"That was expected," said City of Estevan Land Development Services manager Rob Denys. "We have the new Ridge subdivision, so we basically knew that we were going to have permits early in the year. We expect that trend to continue throughout the year."
Still, Denys can't recall the last time that 11 single-family permits were issued during a winter month. Most of their permits are typically approved in spring, summer and early fall.
The Ridge is the new modular home park on the south edge of the city that should be the site of new homes soon. Other new subdivisions that are boosting the number of single-family permits include Solid Rock Developments' Phase 9 of the new Trojan subdivision in northeast Estevan, and Trimount Developments' ongoing work in Dominion Heights on the northern edge of the community.
"The City also has a subdivision that will be coming available in either late spring or early summer, which will likely generate some more interest in single-family homes," said Denys.
"We expect that single-family homes will make up a significant portion of the building permits for 2014."
That new City subdivision is located to the north of St. Joseph's Hospital. It's expected to be the final subdivision developed by the City for some time, as private developers are now tackling new subdivisions.
As for multi-family developments, they were very popular in Estevan in 2013, as 15 permits with a value of $17.87 million were granted. Construction has been happening on several large apartment and condominium buildings.
"Those will continue to be developed this year, so I'm not expecting that there will be a significant amount of multi-family for this year," said Denys. "I think a lot of it will be carry-over from last year."
Single-family and multi-family projects resulted in 182 housing units being approved last year. The City's new housing plan, which was released in mid-2013, stipulates that 200 new units need to come on-line annually for each of the next five years to meet the community's growing demands.
"Multi-family has been lagging behind … for a number of years, and last year was the year that developers got all their ducks in a row, and decided that they were going to proceed with multi-family homes," Denys said.
Denys expects that there will be steady development for commercial and industrial properties in 2014, too, although he's not sure if the overall permit numbers of 2013 – 122 total permits worth nearly $58.8 million – can be matched or exceeded.
"Last year was a banner year," said Denys.
There is one other subdivision that could experience development this year: Essex Development's long-awaited Meadows project. Denys said it's up to the developer on whether they want to move forward, and while indications are that it will proceed, Denys can't say for certain whether that will happen.