California Building Boom Pushes Ahead on All Fronts
As construction activity in California continues to rise, contractors are riding a tidal wave of plans and projects. The state’s top 75 contractors tallied $36.55 billion of work during 2017, and the top 10 companies alone posted $16.8 billion, a more than 8% increase over the top 10 in the previous year.
“The construction market in California continues to be white hot and extremely active in multiple sectors,” says Rich Henry, president of the Northern Pacific region for McCarthy Building Cos. “The availability of money and the need for investment in infrastructure is still servicing our building boom throughout the state.”
One of the hottest markets for McCarthy is health care, which Henry says represents between 35% and 40% of the work the company does across California. “Sometimes sectors in one half of the state might be different, but for us as a firm we are as busy as we have ever been in the health care markets,” he says.
A couple of McCarthy’s biggest current jobs are Loma Linda University Medical Center and the new Stanford Hospital project, which together are valued at about $2 billion.
Another company feeling the boom is AECOM, which debuts on our Top Contractors list this year. The firm is busy in markets such as residential and hospitality and sports.
“Our successful efforts to expand our construction capabilities in California parallel the incredible growth this region is experiencing,” says Michael Burke, AECOM’s chairman and CEO.
Eric Schreiner, Southern California operations manager for AECOM Construction Services, says the company is leveraging the strength and reputation of its different brands in defined, yet complementary market sectors.
“AECOM Tishman is known [for building] tall and supertall buildings and complex mixed-use megaprojects, while AECOM Hunt is known for delivering professional and collegiate stadiums and arenas, health care projects and aviation facilities,” says Schreiner. “Finally, our acquisition of Shimmick Construction last year in anticipation of significant infrastructure spend has already enhanced our integrated civil capabilities.”
AECOM is currently working on L.A. Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park, a 70,000-seat arena that will be the future home of the Los Angeles Rams, and South Park 1, a tower project that will add more than 500 residences to downtown Los Angeles when completed next year.
For Webcor, it is the San Francisco Bay Area that is sizzling.
“One of the reasons is the technology boom in Silicon Valley, which is driving everything,” says Tony Rango, the company’s COO and executive vice president. He says tech is driving private developers to build office buildings for companies like Facebook and Apple, which in turn create jobs, which drives residential and infrastructure.
The company is currently working on a $1-billion expansion at UC Merced campus and a $1.6-billion mixed-use development next to Transbay Terminal in San Francisco called First and Mission.