Retail and condos are still hot right now, but when the economy shifts these sectors are likely to slow. While multifamily seems more stable, some are already anticipating that spring will eventually stop flowing as strong.
So where should contractors look when the springs dry up?
GlobeSt.com caught up with Skanska USA’s executive vice president and general manager for Florida, Fred Hames, to get his thoughts on the industries to bank on the final installment of this exclusive interview series. (You can read parts one and two: The Real Impact of the Construction Labor Crunch and Why Some Contractors Have a Leg Up With Labor.)
GlobeSt.com: When it comes to new construction, which industries are driving the most activity?
Hames: Florida’s residential and retail sectors have been notably hot over the past few years, but Skanska doesn’t make a practice of chasing hot markets. Instead, we focus on pursuing sophisticated projects on behalf of clients in institutional sectors such as higher education, healthcare and aviation in markets like Tampa, Orlando, and South Florida.
These categories tend to be stable and in-demand regardless of economic volatility, and they demand a higher level of skill from the construction team. Each of these industries is strong right now, and we anticipate that trend will hold steady as Florida’s population grows and new domestic and international capital continues to pour into the state.
GlobeSt.com: What are some of Skanska’s high profile projects underway today?
Hames: In Saint Petersburg, we are building a 230,000-square-foot research and education facility on the Johns Hopkins Medicine All Children’s Hospital campus and re-building the Saint Petersburg Municipal Pier in downtown. Our higher education projects include the UF Health Shands Cardiovascular and Neuroscience Hospital in Gainesville, the University of Central Florida in Orlando, the University of South Florida in Tampa and Florida Southwestern State College in Southwest, Florida.
We are also building the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center in Osceola County and the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in downtown Miami. In addition, we are leading healthcare construction projects in Southwest Florida at Lee Memorial Health System and Sarasota Memorial Health Care System.