Rock Products

NOV 2017

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48 • ROCK products • November 2017 ECONOMICS month did include a $550 million med- ical center in St. Louis, a $183 million hospital in Frisco, Texas, and a $176 million medical center expansion in Vail, Colo. The smaller institutional project types showed a mixed performance in Sep- tember. The public buildings category climbed 42 percent with the help of a $113 million criminal justice center complex in Nashville and a $91 million U.S. Land Port of Entry facility at Alex- andria Bay, N.Y. Declines were reported in Septem- ber for religious buildings, down 5 percent; and amusement-related proj- ects, down 59 percent. The reduced amount for amusement-related work was relative to an elevated August that included the start of the $1.2 billion expansion of the Javits Convention Center in New York. Even with the decline, the amusement-related cate- gory in September did include several noteworthy projects, such as the $140 million expansion to the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The commercial building categories as a group settled back 4 percent in Sep- tember, following a 12 percent gain in August. Hotel construction dropped 45 percent from August which featured the start of several large projects, including the $342 million hotel por- tion of the $500 million Resorts World Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, although September did include groundbreak- ing for the $95 million Four Seasons Napa Resort in Calistoga, Calif. Warehouse construction also weak- ened in September, sliding 14 percent after a strong August. On the plus side, office construction advanced 23 percent in September, led by the $1.7 billion 50 Hudson Yards office tower that's part of the massive Hudson Yards development in New York. Also reaching the construction start stage in September was a $300 million office campus in Burlingame, Calif., and an $80 million office building in Culver City, Calif. In addition, gains were reported in September for store construction, up 12 percent; and com- mercial garages, up 2 percent. Residential Building Residential building improved a slight 1 percent in September to $298.9 billion (annual rate), with modest increases for single-family housing, up 1 percent; and multifamily housing, up 2 percent. Single-family housing appeared to lose momentum in late spring, but now seems to be stabilizing with gains in August and September. Multifamily housing has shown an up-and-down pattern so far during 2017, as its 2 percent increase in Sep- tember followed an 8 percent drop in August. There were seven multifam- ily projects valued at $100 million or more that reached groundbreaking in September, led by the $235 million multifamily portion of a $290 million mixed-use building in New York, a $200 million multifamily high-rise in San Diego, and a $189 million multifamily high-rise in Jersey City, N.J. Nonbuilding Construction Nonbuilding construction in Septem- ber was $147.1 billion (annual rate), down 3 percent from August. The public works categories as a group fell 6 percent, retreating for the second month in a row. Highway and bridge construction descended 6 percent, although September did include the start of several noteworthy bridge projects, including $452 million for renovation work on the George Wash- ington Bridge in New York. During the first nine months of 2017, the top five states in terms of the dollar amount of highway and bridge con- struction starts were Texas, California, Florida, Pennsylvania and New York. The environmental public works cat- egories showed September gains for river/harbor development, up 41 per- cent; and water supply construction, up 18 percent; while sewer construction slipped 1 percent. The miscellaneous public works category dropped 35 percent in Sep- tember, continuing to recede from its exceptionally strong volume regis- tered during the first half of 2017 that reflected the start of several major pipeline projects. The electric utility and gas plant category improved 10 percent in Sep- tember, and included the start of three large gas-fired power plants, with two located in Pennsylvania ($750 million and $700 million) and one located in California ($550 million). Through the first nine months of 2017, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were $557.7 billion, essentially matching the corresponding amount from a year ago. The "no change" for total construction starts on an unadjusted basis during the Jan- uary-September period of 2017 was the result of a varied pattern by major sector. • Nonresidential building advanced 8 percent year-to-date, with institutional building up 18 percent while commercial building settled back 7 percent. The manufacturing plant category, up 35 percent so far in 2017 (aided by the start of several large petrochemical plants), contributed to nonresidential building's year-to-date improvement. • Residential building increased 1 percent year-to-date, as 7 percent growth for single-family housing slightly outweighed a 13 percent decline for multifamily housing. • Nonbuilding construction year-to-date dropped 11 percent, reflecting the 38 per- cent plunge for electric utilities/gas plants while public works was down only a slight 1 percent. By geography, total construction starts during the first nine months of 2017 showed this performance relative to a year ago – the Northeast, up 21 percent; the South Atlantic, up 2 percent; the West, up 1 percent; the South Central, down 7 percent; and the Midwest, down 12 percent. Year-To-Date

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