The dollar volume of ConstructConnect’s ‘grand total’ construction starts in full-year 2018 was -5.0% compared with full-year 2017. The percentage change for nonresidential work was -2.0%.
How significant were the largest project initiations in those overall percentage changes? Each month, to update clients on showcase project activity, ConstructConnect publishes a Top 10 groundbreakings list. The summation of the Top 10 projects for every month in 2018 (i.e., 120 projects in total) was $85.4 billion, +1.3% versus 2017’s comparable figure of $84.2 billion.
Many of 2018’s biggest project starts are set out in six accompanying tables. While there were other type-of-structure categories with multiple extra-large projects last year, six that stood out were: high-tech data and fulfilment centers; hotels and conference centers; bridges; manufacturing and distribution centers; medical facilities; and law enforcement.
Also view the related infographic, “Infographic: U.S. Large Project Starts – High-Tech Data Centers and Hotels“.
High-tech Data and Fulfillment Centers:
There were nine ‘high-tech data and fulfillment center’ projects sprinkled among 2018’s monthly Top 10 projects lists. Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft were prominent project owners. Virginia was the only state with two projects (rather than just one) receiving go-aheads.
The dollar volume of ConstructConnect’s ‘warehouse’ starts in full-year 2018 versus full-year 2017 was -7.3%. Warehouse starts may have experienced a small setback last year, but their longer-term trend line has been moving sharply upwards.
Table 1: U.S. 2018 Large Project Starts by Type of Structure* –
High-tech Data and Fulfillment Centers
|Virginia||Sandston||Facebook Data Center at White Oak Technology Park||$1,000|
|Nevada||Reno||Apple Data Center||$1,000|
|Georgia||Social Circle||Facebook Social Circle Data Center Campus Phase 1||$750|
|Utah||Eagle Mountain||Facebook Data Center||$750|
|Oregon||Prineville||Facebook Data Center expansion||$480|
|Virginia||Boydton||Microsoft Data Center expansion||$347|
|Alabama||Bessemer||Amazon Fulfillment Center||$325|
|Minnesota||Thief River Falls||Digi-Key Electronics Fulfillment Center||$300|
|California||Beaumont||Amazon Fulfillment Center||$276|
Hotels and Conference Centers:
Eleven ‘hotel and conference center’ projects appeared among 2018’s 12 Top 10 starts lists (i.e., almost one per month). Three of the projects were in New York and two in Missouri. Many of the best-known names in the hospitality sector gave ‘the green-light’ to expansions.
ConstructConnect’s ‘hotel/motel’ starts in 2018 retreated by -10.9% versus 2017. But 2017 was a huge peak for accommodation construction. The dollar volume of 2017’s hotel/motel starts was double the sector’s previous best record, which occurred in 2008.
Table 2: U.S. 2018 Large Project Starts by Type of Structure* –
Hotels & Conference Centers
|Arizona||Paradise Valley||Ritz-Carlton Resort||$2,000|
|Washington||Seattle||Washington State Convention Center expansion||$1,600|
|Massachusetts||Boston||Boston Seaport Omni Hotel development||$550|
|Texas||Round Rock||Kalahari Resorts & Convention Center||$550|
|New York||New York||Ritz Carlton Towers||$500|
|New York||Jamaica||Resorts World Hotel & Casino expansion||$400|
|Nevada||Las Vegas||Caesars Forum Conference Center||$375|
|Missouri||Kansas City||Hyatt Hotel||$325|
|Missouri||Grandview||Loews Kansas City Convention Center Hotel||$324|
|New York||Long Island City||Toyoko Inn||$315|
|Florida||Orlando||JW Marriott Hotel||$282|
2018 was a great year for ‘bridge’ starts. The dollar volume, year over year, was +16.2%. Seven major crossings were featured in the Top 10 lists. Three of them were in Texas.
Table 3: U.S. 2018 Large Project Starts by Type of Structure* –
|Texas||Houston||Ship Channel Bridge replacement||$962|
|Colorado||Denver||Central 70 bridge replacement project||$811|
|Texas||Dallas||Southern Gateway project||$666|
|District of Columbia||Washington||Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge||$441|
|Texas||La Porte||Port Crossing Commerce Center||$378|
|New York||New York||Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge replacement||$274|
|Massachusetts||Boston||North Washington Street Bridge replacement||$177|
Manufacturing and Distribution Plants:
There were nine manufacturing/distribution plants in 2018’s Top 10 project starts lists. Virginia distinguished itself as the only state with two; but Wisconsin won top honors because it managed to attract Foxconn Technology’s $10.0 billion new facility, the biggest of all last year’s mega projects.
ConstructConnect’s ‘industrial’ project starts in full-year 2018 were -6.8% relative to 2017. Despite the boom in the economy, the Federal Reserve’s capacity utilization figures remain lower than might be expected. And it is high capacity utilization rates that spur on new square-footage capital spending.
Table 4: U.S. 2018 Large Project Starts by Type of Structure* –
Manufacturing and Distribution Plants
|Wisconsin||Racine||Foxconn Technology Group manufacturing plant||$10,000|
|Virginia||Manassas||Micron Technology ‘Clean Room’ plant expansion||$3,000|
|Kentucky||Ashland||Braidy Industries Inc aluminum plant||$1,500|
|Michigan||Wayne||Ford Motor Company retool & expansion||$850|
|Rhode Island||North Kingstown||General Dynamics Electric Boat Submarine Assembly facility||$800|
|Ohio||Toledo||Hot Briquette iron processing plant||$700|
|California||Rancho Cucamonga||IPT Arrow industrial building||$329|
|Arkansas||Gentry||Simmons Foods processing plant / Gentry||$300|
|Virginia||Virginia Beach||Birdneck Road battery manufacturing facility||$250|
There were 13 ‘medical facility’ projects in 2018’s monthly Top 10 projects lists. Ohio and California were home to two each. Many of today’s largest health care structures are being built in conjunction with universities. They double as ‘teaching’ hospitals.
ConstructConnect’s 2018 volume of all medical facility (i.e., hospitals, nursing homes and smaller acute care clinics) starts was -8.0% compared with 2017. The hospitals alone number was -5.1%.
Table 5: U.S. 2018 Large Project Starts by Type of Structure* –
|Ohio||Cincinnati||Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center expansion||$650|
|District of Columbia||Washington||MedStar Georgetown University Hospital expansion||$567|
|Maryland||Largo||Prince George’s Regional Medical Center||$543|
|Maine||Portland||Maine Medical Center addition||$512|
|Michigan||Lansing||McLaren Greater Lansing Regional Medical Center||$450|
|Tennessee||Memphis||St. Jude Research Building||$412|
|California||Clovis||Clovis Community Medical Center expansion||$390|
|Indiana||Bloomington||Regional Academic Health Center||$389|
|Virginia||Richmond||Virginia Commonwealth University Adult Outpatient Facility||$349|
|California||Los Angeles||Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Headquarters||$302|
|North Carolina||Chapel Hill||UNC Hospitals New Perioperative Tower||$290|
|Pennsylvania||Wexford||Allegheny Health Network New Wexford Hospital||$275|
Four ‘law enforcement’ projects made it into 2018’s monthly Top 10 projects lists. Two of them began in Kansas.
ConstructConnect’s ‘prison’ starts dollar volume in 2018 over 2017 was +12.4%. ‘Police and fire station’ starts were +6.7%. Courthouse work, however, fell back by about one-third, -32.1%.
Table 6: U.S. 2018 Large Project Starts by Type of Structure* –
|Michigan||Detroit||Wayne County Criminal Justice Complex & Jail||$533|
|Kansas||Lansing||Lansing Correctional Facility reconstruction||$362|
|Kansas||Olathe||Johnson County Courthouse||$182|
|California||Redding||Shasta County New Redding Courthouse Project||$155|