Quarry Equipment Marketplace

APR 2015

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start cost of the Formosa ethane cracker and propane dehydrogenation plant in Point Comfort, Texas. The next largest manufacturing building starts in February were considerably smaller in scale – a $169 million manufacturing research lab in California and a $43 million carpet manufacturing plant in Georgia. If the manufacturing building category is excluded, nonresidential building in February would still have registered a 19 percent gain. The commercial building group grew 19 percent in February, with a varied performance by project type. Hotel construction bounced back 83 percent after a depressed January, led by $138 million for the hotel portion of the $400 million Four Seasons mixed-use tower in Boston and $108 million for the hotel portion of the $245 million Stadium Towers mixed-use project in Seattle. Offce construction in February climbed 19 percent, featuring groundbreaking for these projects – a $400 million offce building at the Hudson Yards development site in New York, a $150 million offce building in Seattle, and $112 million for the offce portion of the Stadium Towers mixed-use project in Seattle. Both stores and warehouses registered a slower pace for construction starts in February, with stores down 9 percent and warehouses down 15 percent. The institutional side of the nonresidential building market rebounded 20 percent in February after a lackluster January. Educational facilities, the largest nonresidential building category by dollar volume, grew 14 percent as it regained the upward momentum that was established in 2014. Large educational facility projects that reached groundbreaking in February included a $133 million high school in Spring, Texas, a $67 million public safety training facility (for fre and rescue personnel) in Gaithersburg, Md., a $61 million high school in Maywood, Calif., and a $60 million business school at the University of California Berkeley. Healthcare facilities in February jumped 92 percent after a weak January, refecting the start of these hospital projects – the $540 million Methodist Hospital North Campus Tower in Houston, the $228 million Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital in Lake Forest, Ill., and the $165 million Cambridge North Tower in Kansas City, Kan. The smaller institutional categories in February were mixed, with gains reported for transportation terminals, up 27 percent; and public buildings, up 22 percent; while declines were reported for churches, down 26 percent; and amusement-related projects, down 45 percent. Residential Building Residential building in February grew 5 percent to $245.7 billion (annual rate), making a partial rebound after an 8 percent decline in January. Multifamily housing registered a strong February, jumping 46 percent. There were nine multifamily projects valued in excess of $100 million that reached groundbreaking in February, led by the following – the $500 million Flushing Commons apartment complex expansion in Queens, N.Y., a $300 million apartment high-rise in New York, and the $262 million condominium portion of the Four Seasons mixed-use tower in Boston. Single-family housing in February slipped back 7 percent, as severe winter weather in the Northeast led to 24 percent plunge for that region. Single-family declines were also reported for the South Atlantic, down 12 percent; the South Central, down 10 percent; and the Midwest, down 1 percent; while the West posted a modest 3 percent gain. Year-to-Date For the frst two months of 2015, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were up 34 percent from the same period a year ago. If projects in excess of $1 billion are excluded, the result would be more moderate gains for total construction – up 10 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis relative to January, and up 8 percent on an unadjusted basis during the frst two months of 2015 relative to the same period a year ago. The 34 percent increase for total construction starts on an unadjusted basis during 2015, relative to 2014, was the result of greater activity for all three major construction sectors. Nonbuilding construction year-to-date soared 89 percent, with electric utilities and gas plants up 944 percent while public works retreated 7 percent. Nonresidential building year-to-date increased 22 percent, with manufacturing buildings and institutional buildings each up 26 percent while commercial buildings climbed 15 percent. Residential building year-to-date improved 7 percent, with single family housing up 7 percent and multifamily housing up 9 percent. By geography, total construction starts for the January- February period of 2015 revealed this behavior compared to last year – the South Central, up 126 percent; the Northeast, up 12 percent; the South Atlantic, up 9 percent; the West, up 3 percent; and the Midwest, down 5 percent. Through the frst two months of 2015, the top fve metropolitan areas ranked by the dollar volume of multifamily starts were as follows – New York, Boston, Miami, Washington, D.C., and Houston. Added perspective is obtained by looking at 12-month moving totals, in this case the 12 months ending February 2015 versus the 12 months ending February 2014, which lessens the volatility inherent in comparisons of just two months. On this basis, total construction starts advanced 11 percent, as the result of the following performance by major sector – nonresidential building, up 24 percent; residential building, up 9 percent; and nonbuilding construction, up 1 percent. By geography, the 12 months ending February 2015 showed this pattern for total construction starts – the South Central, up 27 percent; the South Atlantic, up 13 percent; the West, up 8 percent; the Northeast, up 3 percent; and the Midwest, up 1 percent. Regards, Mark Kuhar, Editor Rock Products Magazine Mining Media International Member: Construction Writers Association April 2015 QEM – Quarry Equipment Marketplace Page 21

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