2016 Predictions From Your Ottawa Commercial General Contractor

As we close the Ottawa commercial general contractor books for 2015, we’re happy to report it’s been an awesome year for Argue and the industry.  2015 saw a significant uptick in large-scale and ground-up Ottawa commercial construction projects. Here are some of the commercial construction trends and factors we predict will shape the construction landscape in 2016:

Increased Competition For Senior Communities 
Everyone knows that baby boomers are an extremely large demographic rapidly approaching retirement, increasing a demand for quality senior housing. This forces current homes to upgrade and many to be built. We predict 2016 will bring a steady pipeline of work in this sector as existing facilities, looking to emulate the features and amenities offered by brand new centers, enlist trusted commercial general contractors for everything from large-scale renovations to simple cosmetic updates.

Restaurants “Feeding” the Ottawa Construction Pipeline
When the economy is better, people eat out more and the demand for more restaurants rises.   Many local and regional brands are capitalizing on consumers having more disposable income for entertainment, and actively look for opportunities to expand outside their hometown market.

Developers and Tenants Create Entertainment Zones to Drive Traffic
Food service and entertainment venues have evolved to a point that one feeds off of the other. In fact, restaurants, theaters and music venues are increasingly moving from individual stand-alone buildings to integrated entertainment districts. While there is an inordinate amount of infrastructure work involved with building multiple restaurants, theaters and music venues, the advantage of this concept is the spaces complement one another as opposed to competing. As more developers and tenants embrace this concept as a successful model for driving traffic, we see this trend sustaining for several years to come.

Labor Shortage Spells Higher Pricing, Scheduling Challenges
The good news is construction activity is up and subcontractors have an influx of work coming their way. The bad news is many of these subs cut back to a very lean team during the downturn, and have yet to recalibrate from a labor standpoint.

With a shortage of construction workers, subs are getting busier more quickly and, subsequently, are escalating their construction pricing. Already, we’re seeing competitive construction bids that have shot up to pre-recession numbers in terms of costs. Besides impacting construction budgets in the year ahead, the construction labor shortage will make scheduling more important than ever. We’ll be counseling our clients to consider scheduling projects in the off-season. They may be able to offset some of those increased construction costs – not to mention ensure labor is available to complete the project within their desired timeframe.


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