- Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and other metros in Linn County, Iowa, have seen $1.6 billion of construction since 2016, according to a study conducted by the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, The Gazette reported.
- Ron Corbett, former Cedar Rapids mayor and currently the alliance’s business retention and expansion strategist, made the announcement at a local Optimists Club meeting and said the figure included 125 projects valued at $1 million or more. The alliance’s analysis included both private and public projects and showed activity was strong across commercial, industrial, financial and manufacturing sectors, as well as in residential. Corbett called the level of construction “quite impressive” and said perhaps it was “the new normal” for the area.
- Existing business reinvestment accounted for much of the new construction, but Acreage Holdings, a new company entering the Linn County market, contributed $5 million with construction of its medical marijuana manufacturing plant. Another big project contributing to the $1.6 billion of building activity was a $46 million headquarters project for Collins Community Credit Union.
Much of the attention generated by the current U.S. building boom has been focused on major metros like New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. However, a great deal of construction is also underway in other, more low-key areas of the country.
For two years running, the value of building permits in Allen County, Indiana, which includes the city of Fort Wayne, reached $1 billion. As of the beginning of December, total permits had surpassed $1 billion, with a daily volume of $2.2 million, which put 2018 in line to be the county’s best year for construction in the past five years.
Also driving future construction activity in Fort Wayne should be the next two phases of the Riverfront Fort Wayne project. Work will include a master plan for the riverfront neighborhood, analysis and planning for the development’s infrastructure and a proposal for what kind of improvements will be built where the Maumee, St. Marys and St. Joseph rivers meet. The project’s $20 million first phase, Promenade Park, is underway now and should be complete in June.
Omaha, Nebraska, is also seeing its share of new development. The city’s Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority recently selected Kiewit Building Group to manage a downtown riverfront renovation project valued between $260 million and $290 million. Work will include a wide variety of recreational facilities, including an event pavilion. Also set for the Omaha riverfront is ConAgra’s $500 million redevelopment of its former headquarters. The 23-acre, mixed-use project will eventually include seven new buildings that will feature 900 residences, up to 200 hotel rooms, 500,000 square feet of office space and 80,000 square feet of retail.