Construction project completions in metro Denver are expected to surpass the 10 million square foot mark this year, far above last year’s 9 million square feet.
According to Patricia Silverstein, president of the real estate analysis firm of Development Research Partners, the most recent completion record was reached in 2018 when the city saw some 11.6 million square feet completed.
The reason for the decline to 9 million square feet last year, said Silverstein in a column for the Colorado Real Estate Journal, was due entirely to “declining office and retail completions, which offset a record level of new industrial space.”
Also noting that employment in the seven-country metro Denver region had increased by 2 percent last year, Silverstein said, “Current economic data suggests continued expansion at a slower place, as businesses and consumers wait for the outcome of the presidential election.”
Overall, the Denver metro area has seen a 2.5 percent unemployment rate, with the largest job gains, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, coming in the construction and professional services segments.
The metro area currently has a construction job force of around 175,000 people. Industry experts contend that in order to keep up with anticipated project demand, the workforce needs to increase to 220,000 in the next 7 years.
Job listings advertised this month by the CDLE show openings in the Denver area for structural engineers, construction project managers, architects, caulkers, and general laborers, among other construction industry-related positions.
A survey recently published by the Associated General Association of Colorado shows 77 percent of construction company owners planning to hire more workers this year, with more projects especially anticipated in the education, warehouse, public building, and bridge/highway segments.
By Garry Boulard