Nashville construction market sees only small decline compared to rest of nation

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A recent industry report offers confidence that the construction industry has likely passed the worst of COVID-19 impacts, with the market in Nashville only seeing a small decline.

Overall, new projects continue to progress in Nashville but experts say we’re not out of the woods yet.

“Right now is really good, everything is still going,” Ben Rooke said, Regional Vice President of Brasfield and Gorrie, a company that is currently working on around 15 projects in Nashville ranging from $2,000,000 to $400,000,000.

The two biggest include the Central Waste Water Treatment Plant and Asurion Headquarters.

Cumming’s quarterly construction market analysis says unemployment in the construction industry reduced from an industry high of around 16% percent to roughly 6% nationwide, but in Nashville, construction employment is holding steady.

“We didn’t cut a single person while all of this was going on because all of our work was still going on, we were very busy,” Rooke said.

Cumming’s U.S Construction Market Overview says social distancing impacted productivity and the movement of products and people. Their data, showing productivity losses between five and 10%.

“We’re still in this process right now with new work with developers that are planning the office buildings or hotels, they’re on this wait and see about financing,” Rooke said. “The large projects will continue to go on and a lot of those will wrap up in 2021 and I believe towards the end of 2021, you’ll start to see some more projects starting. There might be a bit of a lull early half of 2021 because some of the things we would have brought on right now and gotten started [the] first half of 2021. Those will slide out to the later half of 2021.”

“Nashville’s construction market will feel the impact of the recession and pandemic more strongly next year, with the residential sector dropping 15.7% alongside a further 10.1% decline in the commercial sector,” Cumming wrote.

Cumming says in total, the construction market volume in Nashville fell by around 3% this year. In 2021, that decline is projected to triple, however, experts believe the construction market will bounce back quicker than in previous recessions. They expect a full rebound in 2022, with total construction volume rising 4.7% and growth.

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