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Construction: 2013

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Construction: 2013

You'd have to go back before the recession to find a year as good as 2012 for the Chicago construction industry. Can '13 top it? We wandered around town asking that exact question.

 
Construction: 2013
Leopardo VP Dan Ulbricht (left, at a Bisnow event this year) sees moderate growth for commercial construction in Chicago. “Short-term leases signed during the bottom of the market two years ago are coming due with tenants willing to spend more dollars to build out new or renovate,” he says. On average, construction spending has increased by more than 15%, according to the company’s 12-month project history. That’s not only due to material increases but also landlords providing more improvement dollars, which tenants are reinvesting back into their space.
 
Reznick (CohnDebut) MCHI
Construction: 2013

Developers are also getting more creative, looking at adaptive reuse of vacant buildings for office, hospitality, and retail, Dan says. Recent examples: 400 S Jefferson (pictured), 1000 W Fulton and 113-125 N Green. By replacing the façades with floor-to-ceiling windows, adding additional floors and installing the latest tech, infrastructure and amenities, these older West Loop buildings could be more competitive with those within the CBD.

 
Leopardo Intext
Construction: 2013
Morgan/Harbour Construction VP Ben Warriner cites improvements in macroeconomic trends—as slow as they are—affecting the outlook for construction in 2013 for the better. For example, consumer spending is improving. Despite the looming fiscal cliff, he tells us he's "cautiously optimistic" given that business in 2012 "increased significantly" and many market indicators are trending up.
 
Bisnow (PropManage)
Construction: 2013
We caught up with Reed Construction’s prez Bill Birck as he was getting ready to spread holiday cheer. “We’re increasingly optimistic about 2013,” he tells us. He expects more opportunities particularly in healthcare, corporate interiors and possibly in hospitality. (All of this, of course, hinges upon whether the world ends tomorrow.)
Related Topics: Reed Construction