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Saturday, December 21, 2019

Construction Value in Owen Sound Tops $46-Million

Owen Sound | by Matt Hermiz  

2019 marks big year for development in city as a number of major projects move ahead.

With less than two weeks left in 2019, Owen Sound is taking stock of a big year for development in the city.

Owen Sound Mayor Ian Boddy says total construction value in the Scenic City this year as of mid-December was over $46.7-million -- almost double the average annual value over the past 20 years.

"We've spent the last number of years trying to attract development and investment in our town and it's starting to come together," Boddy says. "This is exactly what we've been dreaming about and we're excited about it."

In all, the city's building division issued 312 permits as of Dec. 16. Some of those included major commercial and industrial uses.

Boddy highlights a $13-million new six-storey TownePlace Suites by Marriott to be built on 16th Avenue East, a new $9-million luxury apartment building Georgian Landing with 39 units on 18th Street East and the $3.5-million renovation of the former Strathcona School on 4th Avenue East into 68 rental apartments.

A new gas station, convenience store and drive-thru restaurant at Alpha Street and 10th Street, renovations at a planned cannabis processing facility on 16th Avenue East and several new townhouse units throughout the city were some other notable projects the city issued permits for in 2019.

Boddy adds the former development charge exemption offered to residential builders between 2015-19 likely helped spur some of the building activity the city is seeing. 

"It gave a message we were open for business," Owen Sound's Mayor says. "I think that got us going again and got some of the land owners in the area interested in moving ahead.

In the city's new development charge by-law there is no longer an exemption for residential builds, but purpose-built apartment units will not have to pay fees.

The outlook for development in Owen Sound looks positive into 2020 too, as a city statement explains site plans are currently under review for a 160-bed long-term care facility by Southbridge Health Care and for the expansion of the Heritage Grove commercial property on the east end to allow for a 75-room hotel, gas bar and new restaurants.

The city has also approved draft plans for three different subdivision builds that would see the construction of over 1,000 new mixed-residential units in the city's east side, although it's not yet clear if those all of those developers will start construction next year.

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