Planes, Trains, Automobiles, and 3D Printed Rockets Reflect A Healthy Central Florida Construction Industry.
The seismic economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is reverberating across the globe. Every industry is feeling the impact, including construction. Central Florida’s construction volume is down but according to a report by Cumming, the Orlando area “market has been steady this quarter and projects are seeing between three and five bids per subcontractor.” The report further noted that the Orlando area “construction volume in the coming years is expected to return to a pattern of steady growth, with the residential, healthcare, and infrastructure sectors in particular expected to see large increases in 2021.”
Infrastructure projects such as the Orlando International Airport terminal expansion, the 21-mile I-4 makeover, the Virgin Trains Orlando to Miami expansion, and even plans to build a 3D rocket launch complex at Cape Canaveral are all reflective of a healthy Central Florida construction industry.
Population growth is one of the factors fueling construction in the region. An Orlando Economic Partnership 2030 Insight Into Orlando’s Future report projects that Orlando will add more than 1,500 people to the region every week, bringing the area’s population to over 5.2 million residents by 2030.
A growing population translates to demand build-out of more infrastructure. For example, new school construction will be needed to accommodate the 135,000 additional students projected to be enrolled in area schools by 2030. Increasing migration to the area also fuels the new home construction needed to support new residents. More construction projects mean more construction jobs. The region currently employs approximately 90,000 people and the 2030 report noted that Central Florida will continue to significantly outpace the nation in construction jobs by about 8%.
Central Florida is currently seeing its share of billion-dollar construction projects come online. These projects include the $2 billion Parkside Place project in Sanford, the $1.1 billion Vertical Medical City Towers project in Orlando, the $1.1 billion Silverleaf project in Winter Garden, and the $1.0 billion The Grow project in Orlando. These projects coupled with the Orlando International Airport’s $2.15 billion south terminal currently under construction and the $2.4 billion “I-4 Ultimate Project” reflect a growing Central Florida construction market.
Another billion-dollar project underway is the 170-mile Virgin Trains Orlando-to-Miami route. According to the Orlando Business Journal (OBJ), the $4 billion Orlando-to-West Palm Beach expansion is set to be completed in 2022. OBJ reported that this expansion is “expected to create more than 10,000 temporary construction jobs over the life of the project and generate $653 million in federal, state, and local tax revenue. The project will create more than 2,000 permanent jobs post-construction.”
Developers also continue to bring projects to Central Florida including a $96 million 11-building, 496-unit apartment project in west Orange County, and the approximately $1 billion redevelopment of the Orlando Fashion Square mall.
From planes, trains, automobiles, and even 3D rockets, the outlook for the Central Florida construction industry is strong.