The latest information from McGraw-Hill Construction indicates that the value of new Southeast retail project starts will decline by more than $1 billion, compared to last year.

The slump in retail sales is hitting the market for new construction of stores and restaurants. According to the latest information from McGraw-Hill Construction, the overall value of new retail starts in the four-state Southeast Construction region of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina will total about $3.1 billion during 2009.

That would be a decline of approximately $1.2 billion from McGraw-Hill Construction’s 2008 tally for this sector, when new projects equaled roughly $4.3 billion. It would also be the lowest volume for this sector since 1997, when the stores-and-restaurants category totaled $2.7 billion. Just two years ago, in 20077, this sector tallied a record dollar figure, with approximately $5.7 billion in new starts.

McGraw-Hill Construction
Stores and Restaurants Construction Starts (Billions of Dollars)
  Rank Average Annual Starts Forecast
  1994-1998 1999-2003 2004-2008 2009
Southeast Region 2.8 3.6 4.5 3.1
Florida 1.3 1.7 2.2 1.4
Georgia 0.7 0.9 1.1 0.8
North Carolina 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.6
South Carolina 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.3

Within the four-state region, McGraw-Hill Construction is now predicting the following totals: Florida – $1.4 billion; Georgia – $800 million; North Carolina – $600 million; and South Carolina – $300 million.