Chicago Schools Need $3 Billion In Repairs, Yet CPS Spends Big On New Construction


Hundreds of Chicago public schools collectively need more than $3 billion in repairs — including leaky roofs, unreliable boilers, and decaying windows that are made worse year after year as critical needs are deferred.

And yet, school staff, parents, and students have no way of knowing when — or if — their buildings will ever get attention from the cash-starved school district. (read more) 

Illinois ranks near the middle in construction employment growth: AGCA


Illinois ranks near the middle in US construction employment growth, according to data Labor Department data reported by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA).

Overall, in between March and April, 800 additional jobs were created between March and April, bringing the total to 225,800.  In the past year, 7,000 new jobs were added, an increase of 3.2 percent, from the employment total last year of 218,800. (read more)

$135 million financing to turn Cook County Hospital into hotels, office spaces



The long empty Cook County Hospital building is one step closer to getting a new lease on life as two separate hotel properties and office and retail spaces thanks to $135 million in financing.

According to the Chicago Tribune, construction on the site is set to begin in about two weeks. The 14-acre site will see as many as five development phases and will include office spaces as well as some apartments. The hospital has sat unoccupied since 2002 and this facelift has been long awaited. (read more)

Finding New Buildings in the Dust of the Old

With the continued and growing emphasis on sustainability in construction we could be on the verge of a radical shift in how we think about the current stock of buildings. The time may be coming when we stop planning for building replacement, and instead plan for building reuse. That in turn would significantly change the roles of designers and builders.

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How To Build A Construction Plan

Learn how to market your contractor business professionally. In depth knowledge of attracting clients with online marketing strategies and deep thinking about who you want your clients to be.

The housing industry has proceeded at a red-hot pace for several years running. An all-time record was set in 1998, when 886,000 new-site single family homes were sold. That represented a 10% gain from the robust total of 804,000 homes sold in 1997, and an 8.1% rise from the prior record of 819,000 units in 1977. Single-family housing construction accounted for $48 million of the total $125 million generated in the industry.

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Is Chicago Desperate For new Construction?

From Chicago Agent Magazine

Eighty percent of U.S. metro areas are lacking in single-family home construction, and few areas are in greater need than Chicagoland, according to a new analysis from the National Association of Realtors.

Comparing home construction to job gains from 2013 through 2015, NAR found that among the 171 metro areas it studied, Chicagoland’s housing need is the fifth-worst in the nation, with 94,457 permits required to maintain the historical equilibrium of 1.6 jobs to every single-family permit.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says this is a problem that has persisted since the downturn.

“Inadequate single-family home construction since the Great Recession has had a detrimental impact on the housing market by accelerating price growth and making it very difficult for prospective buyers to find an affordable home – especially young adults,” Yun said. “Without the expected pick-up in building as job gains rose in recent years, new and existing inventory has shrunk, prices have shot up and affordability has eroded, despite mortgage rates at or near historic lows.”

Here is NAR’s full top 10 list:

  1. New York (218,541 permits required)
  2. Dallas (132,482 permits required)
  3. San Francisco (127,412 permits required)
  4. Miami (118,937 permits required)
  5. Chicago (94,457 permits required)
  6. Atlanta (93,627 permits required)
  7. Seattle (73,135 permits required)
  8. San Jose (69,042 permits required)
  9. Denver (67,403 permits required)
  10. San Diego (55,825 permits required)

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