Rock Products

OCT 2018

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www.rockproducts.com ROCK products • October 2018 • 57 ECONOMICS On the plus side for commercial build- ing in July, hotel construction jumped 37 percent with the help of the $450 million Omni Boston Seaport Hotel in Boston, the $212 million hotel portion of the $300 million Aman Hotel & Condo- miniums in New York and a $150 million JW Marriott Hotel in Tampa. Store con- struction improved 10 percent, and the commercial garage category rose 6 percent with the help of a $100 million parking deck project at Atlanta's Harts- field-Jackson International Airport. The amusement and recreational facil- ity category dropped 25 percent in July, falling for the second month in a row. Educational facility construction retreated 12 percent after June's 21 percent increase, even with the July start of several large high school proj- ects such as a $128 million high school in Saugus, Mass., and a $115 million high school in Roseville, Calif. Running counter to the broad decline for institutional building in July was a 28 percent increase for transporta- tion terminals, led by two noteworthy airport terminal projects – the $650 million main terminal upgrade at Denver International Airport and the $268 million Concourse D project at Nashville International Airport. The public buildings category jumped 56 percent in July, reflecting ground- breaking on the $207 million Center for Law Enforcement and Public Health in Philadelphia, and church construction was up 2 percent from a very weak June. Residential Building Residential building in July was $326.5 billion (annual rate), advancing 2 per- cent. Single-family housing registered a modest 3 percent gain, although in a broad sense this project type continues to hover around the level of activity established at the end of 2017. By geography, single-family housing showed this performance for July – the South Central and West, each up 5 per- cent; the South Atlantic, up 2 percent; and the Midwest and Northeast, each unchanged from the previous month. Multifamily housing in July receded 1 percent, after the 8 percent gain reported for June. There were seven multifamily projects with a construction start cost of $100 million or more that reached ground- breaking in July, matching the seven such projects that were reported for June. The large multifamily entries in July were led by the two projects in Brooklyn, N.Y. – the $524 million multifamily portion of a $600 mil- lion mixed-use building and the $375 million redevelopment of what had pre- viously been a Macy's garage. Other large multifamily projects that reached groundbreaking in July were a $200 million multifamily tower in Hous- ton and the $174 million multifamily portion of a $255 million mixed-use building in Los Angeles. Nonbuilding Construction Nonbuilding construction in July was $172.8 billion (annual rate), holding steady with the pace reported in June. The public works categories as a group were up a slight 1 percent in July, fol- lowing a 34 percent slide in June. Highway and bridge construction grew 8 percent, helped by a $203 million state highway tollway in the McAllen, Texas, area and a $177 million bridge rehabil- itation project in Boston. Through the first seven months of 2018, the top five states ranked by the dollar amount of highway and bridge con- struction starts were – California, Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania. Sewer construction jumped 70 percent in July, aided by the start of the $225 million headworks facility in San Fran- cisco. The other two environmental public works categories retreated in July, with water supply construction, down 1 percent; and river/harbor development, down 17 percent. The miscellaneous public works cate- gory (pipelines, mass transit and site work) fell 29 percent in July. Offsetting the slight gain reported for public works was a 4 percent decline for electric utili- ties/gas plants. Providing some support to July's electric utility/gas plant total were the start of five large wind farms, with three located in Iowa ($450 mil- lion, $250 million and $136 million), while two were located in North Dakota ($225 million and $85 million). Year-to-Date During the first seven months of 2018, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were $471.4 billion, up 2 percent from the same period a year ago. If the volatile electric utility/gas plant category is excluded, total construction starts during the January-July period of 2018 would be up 5 percent compared to last year. By geography, total construction starts during the first seven months of 2018 revealed this performance – the South Central, up 11 percent; the South Atlan- tic, up 6 percent; the Midwest, unchanged from the same period a year ago, the Northeast, down 3 percent; and the West, down 4 percent. The 2 percent gain for total construction starts on an unadjusted basis during the January-July period of 2018 reflected a varied pattern by major sector. • Residential building year-to-date increased 7 percent, with single family housing, up 7 percent; and multifamily housing, up 6 percent. • Nonresidential building year-to-date grew 1 percent, as a 52 percent jump for manufacturing plant construction offset slightly weaker activity for com- mercial building, down 3 percent; and institutional building, down 5 percent. • Nonbuilding construction year-to-date dropped 4 percent, with a 52 percent plunge for electric utilities/gas plants outweighing a 7 percent rise for public works.

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