Chicago -- Upward growth in large-scale, new construction projects as well as an uptick in fine dining and hospitality construction, is predicted for 2014, according to Englewood Construction’s Commercial Construction Forecast 2014.
While small-scale projects and commercial construction renovation jobs sustained the industry in recent years, big projects are coming back as the economy continues to improve,” said William Di Santo, president of Englewood Construction. “Next year, we will see a number of large, ground-up commercial construction projects that were once sidelined coming back into the fray.”
However, this commercial construction activity is not being spearheaded by typical projects of the past. The focus is no longer on new retail power centers, but rather, large mixed-use construction projects that have a considerable amount of retail. A number of substantial projects will break ground in 2014, including the long-anticipated New City development at Halstead Street and Clybourn Avenue in Chicago, which will include 360,000 sq. ft. of retail, a 199-unit apartment building and 40,000 sq. ft. of medical office space. Developers recently received a $182 million construction loan to initiate the project.
“Many developers are sitting on large parcels of land that they want to put into use, but plans have been altered to reflect the new economic reality,” said Di Santo. “While retail will still be a big portion of these projects, developers will also incorporate apartments, hotels and office space to make the project more viable to receive funding. We expect to see several of these projects initiated in the Chicago-area this year.”
Englewood expects new restaurant construction to continue at a robust pace in 2014, and not just in the fast-casual segment. “Fine dining, white-tablecloth establishments are making a big push as the restaurant industry is performing remarkably well,” said Di Santo. “This activity will continue as restaurants still offer an experience and entertainment value that the online market cannot compete with.”