Bowdeya Tweh reports:
Builders are more optimistic about prospects in 2014 than at any time since the commercial construction market took its deep dive seven years ago, a new report shows.
The Associated General Contractors of America trade group says demand for construction services this year is expected to be stable or rise in nearly every market segment. Many firms plan to add workers this year, the group said.
“There’s no question that the pendulum is swinging up,” Pete Chronis, president of the Lockland-based Reece-Campbell construction firm, said Wednesday.
Ten major projects – including the Steiner development in Liberty Township – worth more than $1.4 billion are underway or planned in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. They’re among dozens of projects pushing a commercial building boom locally.
Chronis cautioned, however, that money available for construction projects still pales in comparison to what was available before the Great Recession started. He said fierce price competition exists among contractors, and some companies still find the current market difficult to operate in.
Mark Fallon, vice president of real estate for Norwood-based Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate, said 2014 will show Cincinnati as the second-biggest Midwest market for real estate development behind Chicago.
“It’s underestimated,” Fallon said of local construction activity. “You can’t deny those real projects going on.”
The report released Tuesday by the Associated General Contractors of America is based on a survey of more than 800 member companies.
It said contractors in Ohio believe money available for construction projects related to manufacturing, retail, lodging and warehouse businesses and highway work will be higher this year than in 2013.
Nationwide, respondents also said they expect costs to rise for construction materials and health care.
Nearly two-thirds reported facing some type of shortage for qualified workers. ⬛