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San Francisco 1 2019 1000
San Francisco 1 2019 1000

Billions in Health Care Construction Offers Reason to Cheer in an Otherwise Soft Market

May 21, 2020
EM's editors found more than 100 big-time construction projects underway or on the drawing boards.

While the construction industry faces challenges from the COVID-19 coronavirus that would have seemed unthinkable just six months ago, there’s enough new project activity underway or on the drawing boards to offer even them most down-in the-dumps pessimists some reason to cheer.

Electrical Marketing’s editors found dozens of big-dollar projects either underway or in the planning stages right now, and you can see them in the table below..

Our research revealed more than $3.2 billion in the construction of hospitals, medical buildings and medical education facilities. One of the larger medical projects that recently broke ground is the $800 million New Valley Hospital project in Paramus, NJ. Other big health care construction projects include the $221-million upgrade to hospital facilities on the University of Cincinnati campus in the planning states; the $500-million Good Samaritan Hospital renovation on the drawing boards in West Islip, NY; the $420-million Asante Rogue Medical Center being considered in Medford, OR; and the $250-million Anschutz Medical Campus planned for Aurora, CO.

Airport construction continues to be an active category of infrastructure work. Along with the on-going construction of a billion-dollar rental car facility at LAX Airport in Los Angeles and the $340-million addition planned for Sea-Tac Airport’s C1 Building, work on the $950-million Portland International Airport renovation started in April, and a smaller $80-million project at Long Beach International Airport is also underway. And when it starts, it looks like the expansion of San Diego International Airport will be huge. A post on www.Airport-Technology.com said the project will be worth $3 billion. Another large potential project is the construction of a new Terminal C at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport in California.

Even with this construction activity, metrics measuring the health of the construction market were very bearish in April. According to a recent report from Dodge Data & Analytics, on a year-to-date basis through four months of 2020, total construction starts were -8% lower than the same period in 2019.

“The April starts data is definitely sobering, but also very much expected,” said Richard Branch, the company’s chief economist, in the press release. “The near shuttering of the economy during April had a significant negative effect on the construction industry, leading to delays in both ongoing projects as well as those about to break ground.

“Even though parts of the country are beginning to reopen, and some areas that had paused construction are now restarting, it will be a very long road back to normalcy for the construction industry. Continued fear of a resurgence in the virus will lead to a continued reduction in economic activity over the coming months, affecting construction projects across the country. The economic and construction recoveries will remain sluggish until a vaccine or viable treatment becomes available.”