Even with a number of large-scale projects being built, West Michigan developers say they’re still thinking big for 2019. Multiple real estate and construction executives say they see no sign of the industry slowing down in the new year, although many believe companies’ focus could shift away from market-rate housing in downtown Grand Rapids.
The rising price of steel and other building materials might cause sticker shock for some developers, but the costs are doing little to curb building activity around West Michigan.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) publishes the quarterly Architectural Billings Index (ABI), which is generally viewed as a leading indicator for the construction industry. While the data fluctuated throughout the year, architects’ billings have been largely positive, according to the Washington, D.C. trade association. Heading into 2018, AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker generally expects more of the same, albeit with some uncertainty surrounding national policy issues.
To some local economic observers, the success of the architecture and engineering industry in West Michigan serves as a microcosm of the region’s broader economy.
Stakeholders in West Michigan’s commercial real estate and construction industries remain generally upbeat as they look toward the second half of the year.
West Michigan construction industry executives believe some of their recent worker training efforts have started to pay off.
Despite political uncertainty and fears of an impending economic slowdown, commercial real estate and construction stakeholders have faith in the fundamentals of the industry in West Michigan.
The Grand Rapids chapter of American Institute of Architects (AIA) held its annual Honor Awards Gala last night. Twenty entries were submitted this year, in categories such as: individual buildings, interior architecture and small commercial design. That’s fewer entries than a year ago, but it isn’t a bad thing, according to Thom Danckaert, Grand Rapids AIA board president and lead design architect at Grand Rapids-based Progressive AE.
Stakeholders in West Michigan’s commercial real estate industry continue to express cautious optimism for the foreseeable future, despite the emergence of some headwinds.
West Michigan’s construction executives hold to the notion that the region’s industry will continue to accelerate for the foreseeable future, despite increasing concerns of a broader economic slowdown.