City Grill

Shawn CarlinShawn Carlin
Vice President and Head of Philadelphia Office
Gilbane Building Co.

Starting the year “ahead of plan” before the COVID-19 crisis hit “will inevitably help offset any temporary setbacks,” Carlin said. “The virus has certainly caused a pause and created many questions, and most cannot yet be answered as we do not fully understand the long-term effects.”

Commenting just after Pennsylvania on March 19 became the first state to halt construction in an effort to slow the COVID-19 outbreak, Carlin said Gilbane was “solidly in a growth mode.” (The Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation later allowed emergency and critical transportation projects to proceed.) Carlin said the firm had 329% regional revenue gains since 2016.

Carlin said adaptive reuse work spurred the market in Philadelphia because of the city’s plethora of older buildings. He said mixed-use projects in the town center were also “popular as they attract the younger population that this city so desperately needs to retain  as they graduate from the city’s abundance of colleges.”

Carlin said the education and health care markets were also booming before the crisis. “The work rarely ceases,” Carlin said before the number of coronavirus cases began growing exponentially.