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'The place is booming': Amherstburg sees $12-million worth in new building permits in 2024

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Construction values in the Town of Amherstburg have more than doubled in the first quarter of this year, compared to 2023, according to municipal officials.

Council was presented with an information report on Monday evening, revealing the building department had issued 54 permits from January to March, compared to 36 permits during the same time span in 2023.

“Last year slowed down a little, the year before was the banner year and this year is right back to where it was in 2022,” said Amherstburg Mayor, Michael Prue.

“This is a booming town,” Prue exclaimed. “There's a lot of people wanting to come here. I've opened two new businesses already this month. I have two more that I'm coming to cut the ribbon at by the end of the month.”

The 54 permits have an approximate construction value of $12-million, compared to $5-million in 2023 in the first quarter. Of the permits issued it consists of eight single-family dwellings, six semi-detached dwellings, and three additional dwellings.

It also includes several commercial permits that were issued, including permits for the new LCBO that will be across from Walmart along Pickering Drive, and the commercial property on Sandwich Street which includes three restaurants with a drive thru.

“The place is booming,” Prue stated. “I don't know what to tell you!”

Construction in Amherstburg, Ont., on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (Chris Campbell/CTV News Windsor)

“Amherstburg has gone from a town of about 8000 people up to 25,000 and is growing rapidly. We have houses coming in. We've approved houses way in advance of what the province is asking for. We've requested money to put in a new sewer line in advance so we can put in 1700 houses because it's already approved.”

Prue added, “We think that Amherstburg is going to be a boomtown. For those who lived here their whole life and remember when you could come down on Sunday and everything was closed and they liked it. That's not the way things are anymore. I'm sorry.”

Council was told on Monday evening that a Starbucks, Taco Bell, and Burger King will be tentatively built next to the Tim Hortons on Sandwich Street South.

Prue explained, “We rely on commercial industrial money's coming in to offset the taxes for homeowners, which any politician will admit is too high, especially in a place like Amherstburg that doesn't have a huge industrial base. So we rely on this commercial coming in as quickly as it can.”

Councillor Linden Crain believes big chain brands expressing interest in Amherstburg is indication of more good things to come.

“It says people want to invest in Amherstburg,” Crain told CTV News. “They believe in what we're doing. They're seeing the growth. They're seeing a number of commercial businesses come to town and they want to be a part of that action.”

He continued, “For massive franchises to come to Amherstburg, it tells us we're doing something right. They see the growth, the number of homes that are going to be built in the next few years. There's potential and yes, we still need those local mom and pop shops for sure, no doubt. But this project and projects that are in the queue are creating great jobs, good paying jobs.”

Crain added, “We just need to continue to market ourselves. We have a great tourism team and marketing division here and it's just telling our story more and attracting people here with the number of growth that's taking place with the Gordie Howe Bridge and Stellantis project. We're going to see the price of real estate and everything just boom here because of the demand and the ability to have a great quality of life and Amherstburg.”

With files from AM800's Meagan Delaurier.

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