When you see cranes in the sky, you know development is on the rise. San Francisco saw the largest increase nationwide in cranes dotting its skyline between July and October 2017, according to Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB), a property and construction consulting firm. RLB’s most recent quarterly report shows an 18 percent jump in the city by the bay’s crane count, putting it at 26. Largely driven by job growth in the tech industry, construction projects include commercial, office, mixed-use, and residential, such as the Salesforce Tower (61 stories), 181 Fremont (70 stories), and the Chase Center complex.
Despite seeing a 22 percent decline in the past six months, Seattle still leads the nation with 45 cranes. However, that’s the lowest count for Seattle since July 2015. Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles all tied for second, each with 36 cranes in the sky. When examining all of North America, Toronto tops the list with 88 cranes.
Construction costs increased most in San Francisco (7.63 percent), Los Angeles (7.08 percent), and Portland, Ore. (5.76 percent), according to RLB. The only market surveyed with a decline in construction costs was Honolulu, with a decrease of 0.51 percent.
Overall, the U.S. saw a national average increase in construction costs of about 1 percent, with a slight uptick in crane count from 381 in July 2017 to 383 in January 2018. The overall breakdown of cranes by sector are 44 percent residential, 26 percent mixed-use, 12 percent commercial, and 18 percent other categories.
Source: North America Quarterly Construction Cost Report, (Fourth Quarter 2017) Rider Levett Bucknall