As the $1-billion CityScape wraps up its first phase in Phoenix, the downtown landscape will be relatively construction free for the first time in a decade. While commuters might enjoy that fact, the construction industry won�t be. The remaining project, the $252-million Maricopa County Court Tower, is continuing at a rapid pace.
Elsewhere in Phoenix, highly visible projects continue. PHX Sky Train is taking shape around and above the roadways of Sky Harbor International Airport, and Fountainhead Office Park is rising near the major interchange of interstates 10 and 60. This might give those same commuters the impression that the A/E/C industry is in the midst of a recovery.
However, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, non-residential construction starts in April for the Phoenix metro area were down a staggering 70% over last April (which in turn was down sharply from 2008). The year-to-date non-residential totals were also lower, with construction starts down 18% under last year�s totals at just under $613 million.
Fortunately, residential is making a big comeback, boosting the total construction market into positive territory. Single family homes and apartments saw an 89% jump with $847.4 million in starts so far this year.