Office Construction Boom Predicted for 2017

📅   Wed February 01, 2017 - National Edition
BY Barbara Eldredge


Rainier Tower, in downtown Seattle is one of the many new office buildings under construction in 2017.  via Wright Runstad & Company and NBBJ. http://url.ie/11o6v
Rainier Tower, in downtown Seattle is one of the many new office buildings under construction in 2017. via Wright Runstad & Company and NBBJ. http://url.ie/11o6v

It's barely February, but analysts are already predicting a bumper crop of office construction in the U.S. this year. Researchers from Dodge Data & Analytics anticipate a 10 percent increase in office construction starts—and 10 million more square feet—over 2016. Meanwhile, the chief economist of ConstructConnect, Alex Carrick, pegs the increase at 11.3 percent. Whatever the number, experts agree that private office construction is poised for a boom compared to other types of commercial construction. But why?

The answer is twofold. For one, there's a bump in the number of jobs—like accounting, architecture, and engineering—requiring office space for more workers. Secondly, companies are building additional urban offices near public transportation to attract millennials who'd rather live and work downtown. Pedestrian-friendly locations near nightlife and transit hubs are especially coveted.

At the same time, some suburban cores are also expecting an infusion of office construction as a segment of millennials seek out more affordable locales to start raising families. Suburban workplace construction could help stoke the densification of formerly sprawling towns.

New office design trends including sustainability, wellness, and playful interiors are also driving construction growth. Employers are looking to architecture to encourage collaboration and communication.

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