NEWS

City of Vancouver building permits value hits $2.83-billion

01/15/2015 09:00 EST | Updated 03/17/2015 05:59 EDT
The City of Vancouver hit a record high in the amount of revenue it generated through building permits last year.

It issued $2.83-billion worth of commercial and residential permits in 2014, which is a 28 per cent jump compared to 2013 and a 77 per cent increase over 2008.

"The low interest rates has absolutely been a factor in making development affordable for developers to build and for people to finance the redevelopment of their own properties," said Brian Jackson, the city's general manager of planning and development services.

Click here to see a zoomed version of the graph of the city's building permit values

According to the city's press release, here are some examples of building permits that generated high revenue:

- The Teck Acute Care Centre at B.C. Children’s Hospital, valued at $287 million. 

- Kensington Garden by Westbank, including three 14-storey towers, a 5-storey building and a proposed grocery store, valued at $65 million.  

- The Charleson by Onni, a 44-storey tower with 253 units with a child daycare facility, valued at $46 million.

- A new Student Services and Science Building at Langara College, valued at $46 million.

- A 195-unit rental building by Bosa BlueSky Properties on Main Street at East Georgia Street, valued at $27 million.

The city says the money generated from the permits goes toward running the city more efficiently and pays for council decisions.

But the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation is wondering whether that money could be put towards better public transportation. At present, mayors across Metro Vancouver are getting ready for a referendum on whether the provincial sales tax should be increased to fund transit.

"So when you talk about things like Translink taxes or wanting a subway to Arbutus, you should be looking in the mirror as a local government and seeing how you can help pay for those issues," said Jordan Bateman, spokesperson for the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation. 

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