Regional Contracting Firms Thriving on an Abundance of Private-Sector Work
Most regional firms have reported robust activity in 2017, with private-sector work leading the way. And construction executives like Allan Bliesmer, vice president at Hensel Phelps, say they’re not anticipating a slowdown. “The market remains strong in almost every aspect, with no significant surprises this year,” he says. Bliesmer cites strength in hospitality, office, commercial, multifamily, technology, health care and industrial projects.
“The growth is happening across the board, in every sector,” adds John McEntire, CFO at Okland Construction.
“The year is shaping up to be as good or perhaps somewhat better than 2016,” notes David S. Layton, president and CEO of Layton Construction. “We’ve also seen a strong uptick with a wide variety of projects in neighboring states.”
Industry insiders had forecast a decline in multifamily, but Big-D CEO Rob Moore says that “the multifamily market is still one of the largest we have ever witnessed in Utah and through our regional offices across the country.” The market uptick appears to be region-wide, with a few exceptions.
“The construction market continues to be strong across Idaho,” says Wayne Hammon, CEO, Idaho AGC.
“We’ve seen almost a reversal of fortunes, with western Montana now experiencing robust activity and eastern Montana dwindling as the oil, coal and agriculture industries are all in the doldrums,” says Cary Hegreberg, executive director, Montana Contractors’ Association.
“The Denver market remains strong, with backlogs growing to 9.8 months for most contractors,” says Mark M. Latimer, president and CEO of ABC Rocky Mountain Chapter.
However, public-sector projects—especially highway work—lag in some states like Colorado. “The market for public highway and road work has been stagnant due to a lack of sufficient funding,” says Tony Milo, CCA executive director.