Rock Products

JUL 2019

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50 • ROCKproducts • July 2019 ECONOMICS By contrast, the largest manufacturing plant project that reached ground- breaking in April was a $250 million paper mill in Green Bay, Wis. The insti- tutional side of nonresidential building decreased 9% in April, which reflected a mixed pattern by project type. The amusement-related category fell 50% after being boosted in March by the $850 million renovation of the KeyArena in Seattle. Healthcare facili- ties fell 29% in April following growth during the previous two months, while the public buildings category (courthouses and detention facilities) dropped 22%. On the plus side, the transportation terminal category soared 159% in April, lifted by the $972 million termi- nal building portion of the $1.3 billion new airport terminal project at Kansas City International Airport. Educational facilities grew 6% in April, registering improvement for the second month in a row after a lackluster performance in January and February. Large high school projects that reached groundbreaking in April were located in Fall River, Mass. ($215 million), Upper Arlington, Ohio ($140 million), and Santa Monica, Calif. ($98 million). The top five states for K-12 school construc- tion starts in April, ranked by dollar volume, were – Texas, Ohio, California, Washington and Massachusetts. The commercial building categories as a group fell 16% in April, after a 22% rise in March. Hotel construction dropped 51% from its March amount, which featured the start of the $850 million hotel portion of a $1.1 billion hotel and theater redevelopment project located in Times Square in New York City. The largest hotel project that reached groundbreaking in April was a $229 mil- lion Embassy Suites hotel in Nashville. Office construction retreated 9% from its March amount, which included such projects as a $750 million Facebook data center in Sandston, Va., the $550 million Norfolk Southern headquarters building in Atlanta, and a $300 million CloudHQ data center in Ashburn, Va. In April, new data center projects con- tinued at a brisk pace, with six projects valued each at $100 million or more reaching groundbreaking, led by a $315 million Facebook data center in New Albany, Ohio. Other noteworthy office projects in April were a $300 million upgrade to the One Post Office Square Tower in Boston, a $170 million office building in Chicago and two Charles Schwab office buildings in Westlake, Texas, valued at $84 million and $81 million, respectively. Store construction weakened in April, sliding 25%, while warehouse construc- tion dropped 12%. The commercial garage category was the one commercial project type that posted an April gain, rising 33% with the boost coming from the $288 million garage portion of the new airport terminal project at Kansas City International Airport. Residential Building Residential building in April slipped 1% to $289.5 billion (annual rate), receding for the third month in a row. Single-fam- ily housing dropped 4%, and April's level of activity was down 9% from the average monthly pace during 2018. By geography, single-family housing in April showed this pattern relative to March – the South Atlantic, down 8%; the Northeast, down 6%; the South Central, down 5%; the West, down 1%; and the Midwest, up 8%. Multifamily housing in April advanced 5% after a 9% decline in March, but April's level of activity was still down 18% from the average monthly pace during 2018. There were 10 multifamily projects valued at $100 million or more that reached groundbreaking in April, led by the $220 million multifamily portion of a $300 million mixed-use development on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles and a $200 million apartment building in the Bronx, N.Y. The top five metropol- itan areas ranked by the dollar amount of multifamily starts in April were – New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and Austin, Texas. The 8% downturn for total construction starts on an unad- justed basis during the January-April period of 2019 was the result of lower activity for each of the three main con- struction sectors. • Nonresidential building decreased 3% year-to-date, with respective declines of 4% and 37% for institutional building and manufacturing building, while commercial building was able to post a 5% gain. • Nonbuilding construction dropped 10% year-to-date, as a 21% retreat for public works was partially offset by a 94% jump for electric utilities/gas plants. • Residential building fell 12% year-to-date, with single family housing down 8% and multifamily housing down 20%. By major region, total construction starts for the first four months of 2019 revealed this pattern compared to last year – the Midwest, down 17%; the South Atlantic, down 11%; the West, down 9%; the Northeast, down 7%; and the South Central, up 1% Useful perspective comes from looking at 12-month moving totals, in this case the 12 months ending April 2019 versus the 12 months ending April 2018. On this basis, total con- struction starts essentially maintained the same volume as the previous period. By major sector, nonresidential building rose 4%, with com- mercial building, up 9%; manufacturing building, up 7%; and institutional building, unchanged. Residential building held steady with the previous period, with single-family housing unchanged and multifamily housing, up 1%. Non- building construction dropped 6% with electric utilities/gas plants, down 1%; and public works, down 7%. Year to-Date

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