Is Chicago construction on the rise?

April 11 2017

Chicago construction could continue to see healthy growth this spring and beyond, according to 2016 and 2017 industry numbers and predictions. Here's a look at the recent past and what's possible for the future.

Impressive Growth in 2016
The Chicago metro area experienced the best year-to-date new construction growth of any large metro area in the United States, according to a Dodge Data & Analytics report. New construction spending reached $6.756 billion last year, a 46 percent increase over 2015.

High-Rises Going Up
According to Curbed, 44 high-rise projects were in the works as of mid-January, and the new construction activity is comparable to that which occurred in the early years of the recession. The majority of these high-rise projects are apartments, hotels and offices, but the number of new condominiums is slowly increasing. Neighborhoods with multiple high-rises currently going up include Gold Coast, Magnificent Mile and River North.

Crane Permits Increase
If crane rental activity is any indication, Chicago will continue to see positive growth in the construction industry this spring. The Chicago Tribune reported in December that the number of construction addresses seeking crane permits reached 43 in 2016, a big jump over the 28 applications in 2015 and nearly three times higher than the 15 requested in 2013.

Into the Future
Economics expert Ryan Severino says the trends suggest that Chicago's real estate market could stay strong over the next several years. He cites the city's diverse workforce and high numbers of degreed professionals and downplays the impact of interest rate hikes in his predictions.

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