Rock Products

SEP 2017

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48 • ROCK products • September 2017 www.rockproducts.com ECONOMICS Minnesota ($300 million), Arkansas ($203 million) and Nebraska ($150 million). Residential Building Residential building in July was $301.1 billion (annual rate), up 8 percent. Multifamily housing increased 30 per- cent, strengthening after three monthly declines in a row. There were nine mul- tifamily projects valued at $100 million or more that reached groundbreaking in July, led by the $360 million Wolf Point East apartment tower in Chicago, the $225 million multifamily portion of the $280 million mixed-use redevelop- ment of the Domino sugar factory in Brooklyn, N.Y., and a $225 million con- dominium tower in Honolulu. Single-family housing in July was flat with the previous month, not yet show- ing renewed growth after settling back 4 percent in the second quarter follow- ing its first quarter 6 percent gain. By geography, single family housing in July performed as follows relative to June – the Northeast, up 3 percent; the South Central, up 2 percent; the South Atlan- tic, up 1 percent; the West, unchanged; and the Midwest, down 3 percent. Nonresidential Building Nonresidential building in July was $231.2 billion (annual rate), down 7 percent. The commercial categories as a group dropped 22 percent, retreat- ing after climbing 24 percent in June. Office construction in June had surged 82 percent, boosted by the start of 8 office projects valued at $100 million or more, led by a $585 million Face- book data center in Omaha and the $400 million office portion of the $500 million renovation of the Willis Tower in Chicago. In July office construction fell 52 per- cent, with only one project valued at $100 million or more – the $118 mil- lion Wheaton Town Center in Wheaton, Md. A similar pattern was present for hotels, which surged 65 percent in June with the push coming from the start of the $575 million hotel portion of the $900 million Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino expansion in Hollywood, Fla. In July hotel construction fell 42 per- cent, with the largest project being the $78 million hotel portion of a $115 mil- lion hotel/apartment mixed-use project near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. On the plus side, warehouse construction jumped 46 percent in July, lifted by the start of a $144 mil- lion warehouse complex in Stockton, Calif.; a $135 million Wal-Mart distri- bution center in Mobile, Ala.; and a $100 million Amazon distribution center in Fresno, Calif. July gains were also reported for com- mercial garages, up 9 percent; and stores and shopping centers, up 7 per- cent. Manufacturing plant construction in July fell 29 percent from its June amount that included the start of a $1.8 billion methane plant in Louisiana. While down from June, manufacturing plant construction did see the start of several large projects in July, such as a $1.1 billion polyethylene plant expan- sion in Beaumont, Texas. The institutional side of the nonres- idential building market climbed 16 percent in July, in contrast to the declines reported for the commercial and manufacturing segments. Health- care facilities jumped 108 percent after a weak June, led by groundbreaking for the $1.5 billion Penn Medicine Patient Pavilion in Philadelphia. Transportation terminal construction also posted a large percentage increase after a weak June, rising 85 percent with the help of a $121 million aircraft main- tenance facility at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City. The religious building category, while still at a very low level, increased 24 percent in July. On the negative side, educational facil- ities slipped 3 percent in July, although it did include the start of several large projects, including a $104 million high school renovation in Cleburne, Texas; a $104 million high school in Buda, Texas; a $96 million public school complex in Willoughby, Ohio; and a $91 million high school in Stoughton, Mass. Year-to-Date During the first seven months of 2017, total construction starts on an unad- justed basis were $411.9 billion, down 1 percent from the same period a year ago. Dampening the year-to-date performance for total construction was a steep 44 percent decline for the electric utility/gas plant category, even with the two massive power plants reported as July starts. If the electric utility/gas plant category is excluded, total construction starts in this year's January-July period would be up 3 percent from a year ago. The 1 percent slippage for total construction starts on an unadjusted basis during the January-July period of 2017 was due to diminished activity for nonbuilding construction, as both residential building and nonresidential building managed to post gains. • Nonbuilding construction dropped 15 percent year-to-date, with electric utilities/gas plants, down 44 percent; and public works, down 2 percent. • Residential building year-to-date was up 1 percent, with a 9 percent increase for single family housing slightly outweighing a 14 percent slide for multifamily housing. • Nonresidential building year-to-date climbed 8 percent, with institutional building, up 12 percent; while commercial building held steady. Combined with a 27 percent increase for manufacturing building, this marks a shift from the category's sharp declines in 2015 and 2016.

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