KITIMAT VIEWS: Kitimat property assessments show potential in commercial too

While BC Assessment shows a rise in residential home properties, we shouldn't ignore the commercial values too.

You can read a lot into the 2014 report from BC Assessment about property values.

Kitimat, as you may have heard, has led the way for the Northwest with an overall 29.51 per cent increase in its property roll for the year.

Looking at an average one-family home, we saw a 26.67 per cent rise in value, from $180,000 to $228,000.

When BC Assessment breaks down between commercial and residential, we see commercial values went up only 8.71 per cent.

The residential assessment roll rose 27.23 per cent.

So basically the value of residential properties in Kitimat skyrocketed but the business properties didn’t see the same.

I find that a bit interesting, but not surprising.

Early works to LNG export sites and the Kitimat Modernization Project have been the big draws for people coming into town recently.

In fact our residential rates rose significantly last year as well, even earlier in all this speculation for the town.

The demand for housing has been growing at a pace greater than the town can accommodate or plan for.

We know all that, and that’s what we see in the numbers from BC Assessment.

But it also points to a potential in our business core. My own interpretation of this is that there is room for growth commercially in this town.

The town’s economic development office may have already picked up on that as they will be looking at growing the small business base in the town.  (Through the ‘gardening’ concept, which does not mean dirt and trowels.)

I feel confident that the business sector has a lot more room as I look to other communities.

The town of Smithers, as I’ve written before does many things right when it comes to business, saw their commercial value rise 14.53 per cent.  Their residential values only rose 2.96 per cent.

The District of Port Edward’s commercial value shot up 91.30 per cent amazingly, against a residential value drop of 4.16 per cent. (I wish I knew enough about that community to explain what happened there.)

Even the Village of Hazelton saw their commercial value rise, while residential values dropped.

Prince Rupert, with a 8.51 per cent residential value rise, saw it’s commercial value go up 14.84 per cent.

So even with our reasonable housing concerns, I have hopes we can at least see continued energy in our commercial base.

Cameron Orr

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