Top Building Jobs Approach $2B in Value

by George Waldon  on Monday, Apr. 14, 2008 12:00 am  

Bill Hannah, CEO of Nabholz Construction Corp., reports that construction demand remains strong, including at St. Vincent Infirmary in Little Rock.

"We've been very fortunate," said Bill Hannah, CEO of Nabholz. "There's been a lot of volatility in the market, not so much in the work but in building material costs."

Hannah has wondered if the ever-rising cost of key building materials, egged on by higher transportation costs, will begin to have a negative impact on construction work.

"We haven't seen a tremendous change in the number of projects," he said. "You would think at some point it's going to have some effect on new starts, but it hasn't yet.

"We feel pretty good about the market through 2008. We think it will continue to hold strong into 2009."

The company's 16 projects on this year's list total $190.3 million, compared with more than $233 million in 2007.

Health care, institutional and K-12 sectors continue to generate a stream of projects. Even a sector that has been sluggish for Nabholz of late is showing signs of improvement.

"The industrial market is starting to make more of a comeback, new industry as well as expansions at existing industry," Hannah said.

The largest industrial project on this year's list is the $30 million Welspun Plant in Little Rock, overseen by May Construction Co. of Little Rock.

Hannah isn't seeing any restraint in the market from customers worried about a downturn in the economy either.

"There doesn't seem to be a lot of fear factor among the clients or owners that building right now is a bad idea," he said. "Most of them think the faster they can get their projects started, the better off they will be.

"They're more worried about the cost of their project escalating than the economy."

CDI Contractors Inc. of Little Rock posted 11 entries on the 2008 list of largest commercial projects with a whopping total of $423.8 million. CDI's total last year surpassed $512 million.



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