"Nonresidential Construction Rebounding"

A couple leading indicators that CoStar has picked up on is showing signs commercial construction is on an upswing, and not from public works, i.e., stimulus money projects. The Construction Backlog Index and the Architecture Billings Index both were up over the last few months. These indices help determine what construction is either in the pipeline or is in early stages of planning and design.

We've written on new development and construction before here for Northern Ohio. The project in Toledo Marina District project seems totally dead - we recently visited Toledo and the development signs previously up were nowhere to be found. Financing just isn't going to happen. Newport Pavilion in Cincinnati is probably in receivership by now with millions in defaulted loans. Midtown Cleveland development is going to be a marathon, so while there's no new news to report, that means there is no bad news either.

But that's not to say new construction is happening, though whether it's "public works" isn't in question - it clearly is. Cleveland State University's campus is under a huge transformation, with numerous projects under way now, including new extensive new student housing. CSU also just announced they finally selected a developer for their massive, mixed-use project in what is now surface parking. According to the Plain Dealer, construction could start next year.

With new construction having been at a virtual stand still for going on two years, something has to give. We're hearing about a number of new, non-government projects in the early planning stages, which is consistent with the leading indicator increases.