When I look back on 2014, I’m kind of sad to see it go. While it was a good year for commercial general construction, it was by no means a record setting year. What does set 2014 apart is the excitement it generated for the commercial construction industry, the optimism it set for the near future, and, perhaps mostly for sentimental reasons, the opportunity it provided to rekindle professional relationships.
These are the three most important commercial construction trends I will take from the commercial construction industry in 2014.
- Retailer reinvention is good for commercial general contractors. Consumers came back to the market in 2014 and retailers and restaurateurs felt the benefits. This meant a new wave of restaurant construction and a nice uptick in retail construction, especially with international retailers as they continue to take large foot prints at street level locations and in major shopping malls. However, this came with a caveat. Retailers were not content to simply put up new locations with old blueprints and designs. With competition heating up, owners are trying to reinvent the physical location and create an experience for the shopper. This is happening with everything from your corner Red Lobster all the way up to a 1 million-square-foot shopping mall renovation project. This is the effect Apple’s successful retail construction model has had on the industry. Apple stores are always packed and other retailers are looking to capture the same buzz. The good news is commercial general contractors are finding themselves on the ground floor of this process, working with retailers and restaurateurs to revitalize the brick and mortar location. As a result, it is a very exciting time in commercial construction.
- Rekindling relationships. It’s no secret that new construction was on hiatus for a few years, but now that consumers are back, retailers and hotel owners are venturing out to begin new retail construction and new hotel construction projects. This has allowed us to work with real estate directors we have not seen for some time. Interestingly enough, many old contacts have shifted to new brands and have brought us new retail construction opportunities. It’s actually been a lot of fun getting to know new professionals and brands as well as reacquainting ourselves with old friends. We are optimistic this will all lead to many new retail construction opportunities in 2015.
- Self-reinvention. As the times change in the commercial general construction industry, so too should the commercial construction contractor. At Englewood, we definitely try to keep up with the times and differentiate ourselves from the competition where we can. It’s why we started this informative, award-winning blog a few years ago. As retailers and restaurateurs set to reinvent themselves, so do we. In 2014 we began a rebranding and redesign of our web site, and all of our on-line marketing efforts. Expect to see more changes from our website in 2015 to give Englewood a fresh look. We are also excited to announce that we are expanding our services and have begun work in the multifamily construction and healthcare construction sectors. It’s an exciting new era at Englewood Construction.
We look forward to all of the opportunities and projects 2015 will bring the commercial construction industry, and, as we see 2014 go, we appreciate the seeds it sowed for what should a very busy future.
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