“The tough part about the pandemic is that the challenge it brings—and how to deal with it—is not written in any leadership handbook. But by-and-large, our industry has behaved and reacted very well,” Martin says. “However, our business climate here has not returned to an acceptable level yet. Construction spending is down 40% to 45%. That downturn was already in the making going into last year. We were going to experience a decline no matter what happened because nobody was planning to launch another billion-dollar job in the city.”
Martin sees strength in the area’s multifamily and industrial markets, along with education, light retail and recreation work, such as parks, trails and outdoor amenities. “Hospitality and entertainment won’t recover until domestic and foreign travel picks up significantly,” he says.
“Martin-Harris will continue to enjoy the diversity of markets we serve, and that diversity will be the key to growth in the next two to three years, until the ebb and flow of normalcy returns. We just need to bide our time and make smart decisions in the meantime,” he says.