Shaunavon remains a hotbed for construction starts, continuing a trend that has been ongoing for several years now.
The town issued building permits that totalled over $8.9 million dollars in 2013, which was just slightly higher than the $8.4 million approved the previous year. Projects that got underway in 2013 included the multi million dollar construction of the Prairie Sky Estates, a new 24 unit adult living complex on the east side of town. Other major projects included the construction of a new PetroCanada/SunCor cardlock retail and commercial gas station as well as the construction of a new tire/mechanical shop for Southwest Tire.
Other big projects included new restaurants/lounges (Overtime and Harvest Eatery), the construction of a new industrial shop by a local company, a new campground, and the placement of liquid fertilizer tanks and electronic controls by Southwest Terminal. Several other businesses were also established in Shaunavon in 2013, including a new gym Mainstreet Muscle Fitness, which opened its doors in December after an extensive renovation effort.
The Federated Co-op was also approved to move their fuel operations across Highway #13, although that project has been pushed back.
Commercial properties made up the bulk of the permits, about $7 million of the $8.9 million total. Residential permits accounted for about $2 million, with almost all of that total designated for new construction. Building permits were issued for three new home building projects. A number of permits were also approved for smaller projects such as decks, renovations, and garages.
Meanwhile, the local economy continues to get a boost from a couple of industries. About $96 million was invested into agriculture in 2012 while the oil and gas industry invested some $362 million in the local economy.
“It all points to a some pretty strong overall economic stability for this area,” said Michael Fitzpatrick, the town’s Director of Development. “You don’t see companies like Canalta (a project started in 2011) putting up a 59-room hotel, or Suncor/PetroCanada moving into the community without doing their homework. They don’t invest in an area if they don’t have a pretty good idea of what is happening. I think everything points to a pretty strong economic position for the next 5, 10, 15 years at the least.”
Over the past four years, the town has issued building permits that totalled more than $35 million. Among projects planned for 2014 is Perk Up the Parks Bandstand that should be ready to go up at Memorial Park in the spring. New commercial development slated in the industrial park area as well.
Fitzpatrick also says there is a limited number of Town-owned infill lots available as other lots are being gobbled up. Next up, will be the land available in the areas of 1st and 2nd Avenues East, as well the property available on 3rd avenue between 4th and 3rd street West.
“Commercial and retail opportunities await for those willing,” commented Fitzpatrick.