The grand opening of a large new real estate office had councillors in Conception Bay South taking some comfort at their regular public meeting Tuesday night.
Jim Burton held the official opening of the RE/MAX Infinity Realty office in Foxtrap last week.
The event comes as house prices on the Northeast Avalon have seen a moderate decline in the face of uncertainty over the provincial government's handling of the budget and a downturn in the oil industry.
But unlike some other towns in the province, CBS continues to tick along with new housing developments, said Mayor Steve Tessier.
Ward Four councillor Richard Murphy, who attended the grand opening, said he was impressed by the new building, which houses some 31 agents and is expected to serve as the headquarters for as many as 51 people by Christmas as Burton takes on more staff.
"I have to say it is a beautiful building, well put together," said Murphy. "And I'm very grateful for the comments the owner Jim Burton made during the opening ceremonies whereby he thanked the Town and staff especially for the excellent cooperation in getting through all the hoops and making sure that he got that building up and running as quickly as he could. And of course the Town is very appreciative as well of any new business that comes in to the town."
Mayor Steve Tessier said he talked with Burton at the event and the realtor told him Conception Bay South remains one of "the biggest growth areas in the province right now for new homes. I think it's positive to see that he is putting his money where his mouth is by opening his new office here."
Ward 1 councillor Darrin Bent said Burton is a great ambassador for the town, including through his weekly radio program on VOCM. "More than a few times he has spoken very highly of Conception Bay South, and what a pleasure it is to do business here... and to expand in the housing market," Bent said.
After the meeting Mayor Tessier noted that in the past year some 43 businesses have either set up shop in CBS, moved to new locations here, or transferred ownership, indications that the business community remains strong.
"CBS is a good place, we're still growing," Tessier said. "There are 26,000 people and in the next census we're looking for more. So it's still a growing community, we're still building, I think, anywhere from 180 to 200 new houses a year. People have great faith in Conception Bay South. For anybody who wants to live in a rural community that's close to St. John's, they're choosing Conception Bay South."