Contractors Getting More Optimistic-ish

The Master Builders’ Association announced its Commercial Contractors’ Condition Index (C3) on April 10 and the results were a bit surprising given the winter slowdown. Using a 4.0 grade point system, the MBA contractors gave the industry a solid ‘C’ grade of 2.12. That’s the highest quarterly grade in the two-year history of the C3 Index. View the press release at:

http://mbawpa.org/documents/C3Index2014Q1.pdf

The drags on the index were the lower backlog levels and the lower sentiment about the current business conditions – including low margins. Pushing the grade up from the previous quarters was the increased bidding activity during the past 60 days. My experience is that most contractors tend to judge how things are going by how busy their bid board is and this quarter seems to confirm that suspicion. Several contractors even expressed that they were being more selective in what they were bidding.

One mini-segment of the market that is seeing a boom is the food storage/logistics industry. Gordon Foods is under construction on its 450,000+ sq. ft. warehouse in the Findlay Business Park. As we reported recently, Paragon Foods is taking design/build proposals for a $12 million warehouse in Lawrenceville. And Aldi’s is going through the approval process on a 110,000 sq. ft. expansion of its warehouse at the Victory Business Park in Saxonburg. A. M. King from Charlotte, NC will build that project.

To follow some other projects that recently took proposals, Sewickley Porsche hired A. Martini for its dealership addition; Baker Hughes also selected Martini to handle the expansion of its Clarksburg, WV facility; Ohio Valley Hospital awarded Franjo Construction the contract for renovations to its Hattman Building.

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