Rock Products

MAY 2018

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Page 66 of 75 ROCK products • May 2018 • 65 ECONOMICS February construction starts were the $545 million Gateway Expressway proj- ect in the Tampa area, the $441 million replacement of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge and Suitland Parkway project in Washington, D.C., and a $225 million roadway and bridge improve- ment project in Norristown, Pa. Sewer construction and water supply con- struction both rebounded in February, climbing 36 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Nonresidential Building Nonresidential building in February was $246.7 billion (annual rate), up 5 percent from January. The commercial categories as a group rose 14 percent, with gains across most of the structure types. Office construction advanced 24 percent after a subdued January, boosted by the start of two large data centers – a $600 million Google data center in Clarksville, Tenn., and a $183 million Facebook data center in Ft. Worth, Texas. Other large office projects that reached groundbreaking in February were the $220 million Cerner Corporation Campus in Kansas City, Mo., the $200 million Turkish consulate office build- ing in New York and the $140 million Stafford Place renovation project in Arlington, Va. Hotel construction jumped 60 percent in February, featuring the start of three noteworthy projects – the $250 million Loew's Kansas City Convention Hotel in Kansas City, Mo., the $225 million Grand Hyatt Airport Hotel at San Francisco International Airport, and the $180 mil- lion Margaritaville Hotel in New York. Commercial garages climbed 42 per- cent in February, with the lift coming from a $130 million parking expansion at Midway International Airport in Chi- cago. Store construction grew 6 percent in February, helped by the start of the $271 million expansion of the Bal Har- bour Shops in Bal Harbour, Fla. Warehouse construction in February was the one commercial structure type to decline, sliding 36 percent, although the latest month did include a $100 million Big Lots distribution center in Apple Valley, Calif. The institutional categories as a group increased 5 percent in February, boosted by a 52 percent surge for new healthcare facilities. There were six healthcare facilities valued each at $100 million or more entered as February starts, led by the $400 million Boston Children's Clinical Building in Boston, the $320 million Prince George's County Regional Hos- pital in Upper Marlboro, Md., and the $180 million expansion to the Uni- versity of Mississippi Medical Center Children's Hospital in Jackson, Miss. Educational facilities increased 10 percent in February, aided by large high school construction projects in Townsend, Del. ($149 million), Hern- don, Va. ($84 million), and Nashville ($83 million), plus groundbreaking for a $145 million science facility at Towson University in Towson, Md. Residential Building Residential building in February was $343.3 billion (annual rate), up 1 per- cent from January. Multifamily housing increased 7 percent, reflecting the start of 11 projects valued each at $100 mil- lion or more. Leading the way was the $700 million City View Tower at Court Square in Queens, N.Y., followed by a $300 million high-rise condominium building in Miami and a $215 million high-rise condominium in New York. Single-family housing in February slipped 1 percent, easing back for the second month in a row following the modest increases witnessed during the second half of 2017. In February, single family housing by major region showed gains in the Northeast, up 12 percent; and the Midwest, up 8 percent; but declines in the South Atlantic, down 2 percent; the South Central, down 4 percent; and the West, down 5 percent. Year-to-Date During the first two months of 2018, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were $102.4 billion, down 7 percent from the same period a year ago which had been lifted by the start of several unusually large projects, includ- ing the $3.6 billion Central Terminal replacement project at LaGuardia Airport in New York. On a 12-month moving total basis, total construction starts for the 12 months ending February 2018 were up 2 percent from the 12 months ending February 2017. The 7 percent drop for total construction starts on an unadjusted basis during the first two months of 2018 compared to last year was due to reduced activity for two of the three main sectors. • Nonbuilding construction fell 21 percent year-to-date, with public works down 12 percent and electric utilities/gas plants down 63 percent. • Nonresidential building decreased 17 percent year-to-date, with commercial building, down 12 percent; institutional building, down 21 percent; and man- ufacturing building, down 24 percent. • Residential building year-to-date increased 10 percent, with single family housing up 6 percent and multifamily housing up 19 percent. By geography, total construction starts for the first two months of 2018 versus the same period a year ago performed as follows – the Midwest, up 13 percent; the South Atlantic, unchanged; the South Central, down 12 percent; the West, down 15 percent; and the Northeast, down 17 percent. By major sector, nonbuilding construction grew 1 percent, with public works up 9 percent while electric utilities/gas plants fell 24 percent. Nonresidential building also grew 1 percent, with institutional building up 3 percent and com- mercial building down 5 percent, while manufacturing building improved 16 percent. Residential building advanced 3 percent, with single family housing up 8 percent while multifamily housing retreated 7 percent.

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