Category: Construction news

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Adderall xr dosage range for adults The recommended dosage range for adults depends strongly on the age and level of anxiety. For example, a 12-year-old who is already anxious may need a significantly higher dose of amphetamine. The following table outlines dosage range for children and adolescents based on this factor. Fluoxetine xr dosages may be increased COPD patients who are already using other medications or supplements to treat their symptoms can now prescribe fluoxetine at an increased dose of 2 to 4 mg/day (4 20 mg, given as a one dose) for period of six to 12 months. Important: There is no FDA-approved dose of fluoxetine for the treatment COPD. dosage of fluoxetine, according to the product label, should not exceed 16 mg/day. Pregnancy/Lactation Infants <12 months of age: Do not use fluoxetine. Fluoxetine cannot be safely used during pregnancy. Do not take more than 7 days for an infant over the age of 12 months and 2 days for a 1-month-old infant. Do not take more than 2 days per week for a child between 12 and 17 years old. Do not take more than 5 days in the month for a child who is 12 to 17 years old. Do not take the medication unless person taking it is at least 18 years of age. Breastfed infants up to 5 months: Coadministration of fluoxetine with a prescription drug is not recommended. Use in pregnant women: Fluoxetine may cause birth defects. Coadministration of fluoxetine with a prescription drug cannot be recommended. Women who are breast-feeding: Fluoxetine should be started 1 to 3 weeks prior the anticipated dose of their last menstrual period. If you are also taking another medication, your dosage must be adjusted to keep these drugs from interfering with each other. Pregnant women must not use fluoxetine. If using fluoxetine with other medications, keep in mind that the total dose of these medications may include other active ingredients, therefore the total dosage of average adderall dose for add fluoxetine could change. Before taking any medication, call your healthcare provider to find out if your condition has changed and to obtain the most generic drug for adderall up-to-date doctor's instructions. Ask your healthcare provider any questions you may have about the medications you take. Do not start Adderall blue pill 20 mg or what is a generic drug for adderall stop taking any antibiotic without first checking with your healthcare provider. provider can tell you if there is a drug interaction between the fluoxetine and any antibiotics. If you are already taking other medications, check with your healthcare provider prior to starting this medication. If your condition is diagnosed with a serious side effect, stop the medication until your healthcare provider gives you the all-clear. Amphetamines (meth, speed, dextroamphetamine) Use with caution in children younger than 12 years of age until there is evidence that the drug safe and without making a rash. Fluoxetine and amphetamines can affect growth in children. Children under 12 years of age, or those who are elderly, may be more sensitive to the drug and may have increased need for care if they take the drug. Children and adolescents: If you use amphetamines, follow the directions for your particular drug. Pregnant women: Amphetamines use is not recommended in pregnant women because amphetamines can harm a developing embryo. The Adderall for weight loss and depression dosage of amphetamines must be increased by 1 mg for each month of pregnancy. The drug is available without prescription for treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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Usual dose of adderall for adults. This is not a medication that well regulated by the FDA for medical purposes. Adderall should be taken at a dose of 1 to 2 mg. If the doctor prescribes less than 3 mg per day, it is not advisable. The goal of Addyall is to provide the best possible therapeutic benefit while reducing any potential for tolerance. For adults, the maximum dose that can be taken is 1.5 mg. When taking Adderall for depression, take it at least 4 to 6 hours after meals. If any of the drugs in medication combination is taken at the same time as Addyall, potential for an abnormal or increased metabolic effect may persist and be higher. When taking adderall for anxiety, take it at least 4 to 6 hours after meals. Coupon for generic adderall 30 mg If any of the drugs adderall xr dosage for narcolepsy in medication combination is taken at the same time as Addyall, potential for an abnormal or increased metabolic effect may persist and be higher. Use of this medication without appropriate supervision may cause withdrawal reactions including tremors and sweating, which may continue for several hours. For children and adolescents, the maximum recommended dose is 1.5 to 2 mg, given 4 hours after meals. Take this medication at least 4 to 6 hours after eating and drinking. This is not a drug that may be taken by children of any age, including premature babies. Children under 12 months of age should not take this medication unless a health care professional gives their consent. Do not take this medication if it is already known to cause unusual behavior. This medication should not be used if children are receiving certain treatment for ADHD which may cause excessive drowsiness or dizziness. This medication should not be used if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or breast feeding. How should the medication be taken? This Adderall prescription cost no insurance medication should not be taken in large amounts. Take the prescribed dosage at usual time and the same each day. It is best to take Addyall by mouth as you normally would. This makes it more easier to measure the correct dosage. amount of medication to take is usually provided in a medical information pamphlet that is included with the medication. Do not cut any open tablet or liquid tablets. This may cause the medication to clump together. Do not use Addyall with any other stimulant medication, including: stimulants (including amphetamines) with effects such as excitement, alertness and energy that last longer than usual medication that contains cocaine, such as Ritalin, Concerta or methylphenidate (Ritalin SR), due to severe reactions medications to treat ADHD which include the combination of methylphenidate and amphetamine medications to treat ADHD which include the combination of methylphenidate and amphetamine stimulants that are not available over the counter medications that contain amphetamines, such as Dexedrine® medications that contain stimulants are in the same class as amphetamine, but are longer-acting and have other symptoms similar to amphetamines Medications used to treat ADHD that are not available over the best drugstore retinol cream for acne counter should be taken with food and only the advice of a health care professional. When considering taking Addyall for depression, you may want to discuss possible side effects with your health care professional. This medication should not be taken by the following age groups: children below 12 years of age girls less than 12 years of age girls less than 18 years of age women who have or had heart problems, such as: an abnormal heart rhythm, such as ventricular tachycardia (VT) an abnormal heart rate congestive heart failure high blood pressure high cholesterol problems with your liver or stomach intestines a severe stomach pain diabetes a blood disorder such as thalassemia, von Willebrand's disease, hemolytic anemia, or sickle-cell disease A medical history and physical examination that includes: chest X-rays and CT scan urinary system examination including ultrasound and U-tube test family medical history, including history of: heart attack cardiac disease stroke cancer all heart problems, including failure kidney disorders problems with the nervous system such as epilepsy, psychosis, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia a brain disorder such as autism an eating disorder anorexia or bulimia a condition called "metabolic bone disease" or diabetes insipidus a rare condition called rhabdomyolysis, which is caused by a lack of enzymes normally produced by the muscles of body, which breaks.
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Second Phase of Major AHN Construction Projects Nearly Complete

UPMC

Details on the Jefferson Hospital Expansion Project

Commercial Property Executive

AHN Jefferson Hospital

Recent Allegheny Health Network CRE Investments

new Harmer Hospital location this fall

AHN Wexford Hospital

AHN Waterworks Outpatient Center

How Medical Construction Impacts Western PA Commercial Real Estate

greater healthcare investments

aging population

dead malls

Pittsburgh’s Tech Boom is Driving the Local Real Estate Market

Pittsburgh’s real estate landscape has changed significantly since the slowdown of the manufacturing and steel industry decades ago. The influx of technology giants such as Uber and Google has brought a rise in the demand for both commercial and residential real estate. The low cost of property relative to cities like New York and San Francisco has been attracting companies such as Duolingo, a language learning app that moved its headquarters to Pittsburgh and subsequently put up billboards in San Francisco in 2018 advertising, “Own a Home. Work in Tech. Move to Pittsburgh.” Although plenty of attention has been paid to the effects of the tech industry on residential real estate, not as much as has been placed on commercial real estate.

Today, we will try to connect the dots between the influx of high profile tech companies, trends in local employee behaviors, and how this new Pittsburgh business atmosphere is having a major impact on the local commercial real estate market.

The Current State of Pittsburgh’s Tech Boom

Most of us in Western PA have noticed the recent boost in high tech presence in our local regions. Splitting from our historical business ventures like steel and coal, Pittsburgh is becoming an affordable alternative for tech companies who are no longer willing or able to pay for spaces in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and other bloated commercial real estate markets.

Much of this tech boom is reliant on the rich talent pool being churned out by local universities. In particular, computer science, robotics, and other high tech programs at Carnegie Mellon University are routinely ranked amongst the best in the world. In recent years, companies like Google and Uber have been working hard to keep these young tech professionals in the local Pittsburgh area after graduation. Those efforts are starting to pay dividends.

Today, there are significantly more jobs (approximately 41%) in research and development than there are in iron and steel mills. Pittsburgh is also experiencing attention from investors. “SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) last year led a $93 million investment in Pittsburgh-based AI company Petuum. Innovation Works recently hosted 30 Chinese investors interested in robotics and health care start-ups.”

Office Spaces for Google, Uber, Duolingo, and More

While there are many players in the technological revitalization of Pittsburgh, there are a few key players who are leading the way.

Google has long made massive investments in Pittsburgh, particularly with their Bakery Square office spaces. The refurbished Nabisco factory is a fitting transition from the old to the new. Much like Duolingo, Google has actively pursued bringing tech talent to the Pittsburgh area to live and work in the East End.

Uber employs thousands of workers in the Pittsburgh area, which of course does not include the drivers themselves. Perhaps more importantly, Uber has selected Pittsburgh as a research center for self-driving cars. This move ties the ridesharing tech giant to our region for years to come.

Duolingo was founded and is currently headquartered in Pittsburgh. In December, Duolingo became Pittsburgh’s first tech “unicorn” when a fundraising round pushed the company’s value above $1 billion. Rather than going the route of other tech giants and selecting our region as an affordable alternative, Duolingo has always been committed to revitalizing the Pittsburgh area. Duolingo employs 200 workers in local offices.

The Impact of Tech Companies on Commercial Real Estate in Pittsburgh

Beyond the obvious connection of tech companies’ presence being an injection to the local economy, here are some concrete ways in which tech companies have impacted the local commercial real estate industry:

  • Office jobs are on the rise: commercial real estate value for office spaces have been increasing as tech companies continue to occupy more and more space. Thousands of jobs were added in the summer of 2019 as a continuing trend of higher occupancy rates for local office space.
  • Tech companies are investing in properties: not all CRE impacts are directly related to office spaces. For example, Uber recently purchased 600 acres of commercial real estate in Findlay County, PA. This space is going to be used for a self-driving test track for their latest vehicles.
  • Tech workers are driving occupancy in apartment complexes: large multi-family CRE complexes have been going up around the Pittsburgh area, particularly in areas like East Liberty, Lawrenceville, and South of downtown. These complexes are being built in part to accommodate a rising number of tech employees in our area.
  • More tech investment = more local wealth: last but not least, it is undeniable that tech dollars drive local economies. A strong local economy often means a strong commercial real estate market.

Going Forward

There are no signs that the trend of high tech companies choosing Pittsburgh will slow any time soon. An industry-wide trend of shifting away from California and other west coast markets towards traditionally affordable markets is driving the tech industry overall. Other cities experiencing similar growth include Nashville, TN and Austin, TX. The Pittsburgh commercial real estate market has responded in turn, focusing more on offering high scale amenities at premium prices.

What remains to be seen is whether any other large companies like Amazon will set up additional headquarters in our area. Regardless, the effort to keep local talent and recruit local talent to our area will certainly continue to have a major impact on our economy and real estate markets.

Understanding Triple Net Lease (NNN) Agreements

Understanding the intricacies of different commercial real estate lease agreements allows investors, property managers, and lessees to come to an arrangement that is mutually beneficial. One common “special” type of lease arrangement for commercial real estate is known as a triple net lease or a NNN lease. These types of lease arrangements are typically utilized in situations where a single tenant rents out an entire space. While NNN leases are almost always for commercial real estate agreements, they apply to other real estate ventures as well.

With all of this in mind, today we will define triple net leases in detail, explain how they differ from standard leases, single net leases, and double net leases, and finally discuss why NNN leases can benefit both investors and tenants for medium to long term commercial real estate agreements.

What is a Triple Net Lease (NNN) Agreement?

As mentioned in the introduction, a triple net lease may also be called a NNN lease or a net-net-net lease. In a triple net lease agreement, “tenant(s) agree to pay the property expenses such as real estate taxes, building insurance, and maintenance in addition to rent and utilities.” In other words, the landowner will not be responsible for many, if any, maintenance expenses on the property during the term of the lease.

For a multitude of reasons, NNN leases are less common for short term leases. It is more common for triple net leases to range from 10 to 15 years with stipulations for rate increases over the term of the loan as appropriate. As we will discuss in greater detail below, the primary benefits of NNN leases are lower risk for investors/property owners and lower rates for lessees.

Single vs. Double vs. Triple Net Lease Agreements

Net leases are not necessarily an all or nothing proposition. Instead, there are also single and double net leases that are sometimes used to balance risk vs. cash flow. Here are the similarities and differences between single net leases, double net leases, and triple net leases:

Single net leases are less common than triple net leases, particularly for commercial real estate. According to investopedia.com, single net leases are when: “the landlord transfers a minimal amount of risk to the tenant, who pays the property taxes. This means any other expense—such as insurance, maintenance and repairs, and utilities—are the landlord’s responsibility. The landlord is also responsible for any maintenance and/or repairs that must be done during the course of the lease within the property.”

Double net leases are much more common for commercial real estate agreements. In double net leases, tenants are responsible for insurance premiums and property tax on top of their rent owed. Maintenance costs remain with the landowner.

Triple net leases put the biggest responsibility on the tenants, essentially making the tenants responsible for any ongoing fees and costs related to the property. These include all three of the costs discussed above: insurance premiums, property tax, and maintenance costs.

Gross vs. Net Leases for Commercial Real Estate

Of course, not all commercial real estate agreements are considered “net”. There are also gross leases in CRE in which the property owner maintains fully financial liability for the property during the course of the lease. All commercial real estate leases are considered either gross or net, with single, double, and triple net lease agreements being the differentiator for the degree of responsibility that will reside with the tenant(s).

Benefits of NNN Agreements for Commercial Real Estate Properties

This leads us to our last question: why are NNN leases preferable to other commercial real estate leases? The answer is that they aren’t preferable in all situations. All types of leases from gross to triple net lease arrangements have their share of benefits and risks. Here is a high-level checklist of the benefits of triple net leases:

  • NNN leases carry the lowest risk for investors. The primary benefit of a triple net lease from the perspective of the investor/property owner is the low risk. If insurance premiums go up or if a major repair is required, with a NNN lease, that onus falls on the tenant.
  • Triple net leases are more affordable for tenants. On the flip side, the selling point for NNN leases to tenants is their affordability. Lessened risk for the commercial real estate investor also means lower rental rates.
  • Triple net cap rates are easier to calculate. While this is all relative, calculating NNN cap rates is more reliable than calculating gross cap rates. This is tied into the concept of risk and a more reliable return on investment.

In Summary

Double and triple net leases are likely to remain an appealing option for commercial real estate investors and tenants for many years to come. In the right circumstances, NNN leases are mutually beneficial with their ability to reduce risk for investors and reduce total costs for tenants. Yet they are not appropriate for all CRE lease agreements. As with many decision-making processes, understanding all options available before entering into a commercial real estate lease agreement is a great way to make the best possible choice.

Construction Underway at Beaver Valley Mall

Recently, we discussed what commercial real estate investors were doing to solve the problem of America’s dead malls. As part of that article, one of the solutions which have effectively brought life back to struggling retail real estate is to invest in renovations or other related construction projects. The Beaver Valley Mall in Beaver County, PA has recently broken ground on a new construction effort. If successful, this revitalization could be a blueprint for other dying malls in the Western PA region.

Today, we will review some highlights of the Beaver Valley Mall, discuss the details of the newest construction project, and how this project might impact the local commercial real estate landscape.

CBRE Heads New Strip Mall Construction at the Beaver Valley Mall

Funded by commercial real estate giant CBRE, plans to redevelop a now-defunct Macy’s location are underway at the Beaver Valley Mall. The former site of a Macy’s megastore will be turned into a mini strip mall. This is part of a plan to redevelop large retail locations that were struggling in the region. This new mini strip mall is to be named The Shops at Beaver Valley Mall. JJO Construction started work on the first building in the fall of 2019.

As reported by timesonline.com: “The Shops at Beaver Valley Mall, which will include about 50,000 square feet of retail, office and service space with mall access available in various sizes. According to a CBRE press release, there will be nearly 27,000 square feet of retail space facing Brodhead Road. The Shops at Beaver Valley Mall will join other anchor tenants, such as JCPenney, Dick’s Sporting Goods, U-Haul, Rural King, Planet Fitness and Boscov’s.”

This is not the first renovation and/or construction effort that has recently taken place at the Beaver Valley Mall. Recent construction updates for restaurants and entertainment venues including escape rooms have been part of the shift away from large retail locations and towards smaller, more profitable business partners.

Beaver Valley Mall History and Current Climate

Beaver Valley Mall is located less than an hour north of downtown Pittsburgh. The location first opened in 1970 and boasts over 100 individual stores, a gym, restaurants, and is getting more involved in the entertainment space. Beaver Valley Mall is also dedicated to offering free programs and events for local community members and their families.

As with many American malls, Beaver Valley Mall enjoyed financial success through partnership with anchor tenants including JCPenney, Gimbels, The Joseph Horne Company, and Sears. The location of this latest construction, a now-empty Macy’s, is just one example of these retail giants struggling in the 21st century. Sears and Macy’s locations closed in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Despite all of the hyperbole surrounding the detail of traditional retail, many malls remain successful. Recent history has shown that successful malls have been willing to make updates to both their facilities and their business model. With the recent backing of CBRE, Beaver Valley Mall is looking towards the future.

Following the Beaver Valley Mall Template

As a continuation of this point, Beaver Valley Mall is by no means in a unique situation. Other large, local malls such as Ross Park Mall, Monroeville Mall, and The Pittsburgh Mills, are all in relatively similar situations. In particular, the Galleria at the Pittsburgh Mills has an uncertain future. Despite promises by Mason Asset Management that renovations were high on the priority list, no action has yet been taken.

The four most recent tenants of the Pittsburgh Mills: Allegheny Health Network Citizens’ School of Nursing, Focus on the Arts, Chicken Connection, and Himalayan Salts Co, tell the story of a shift away from large retailers and towards alternative mall tenants. Many Western PA malls are considering what these new tenants might require from an infrastructure perspective.

Beaver Valley Mall is amongst the local commercial real estate leaders investing significant capital into their retail facilities. With backing from a well-financed organization such as CBRE and a commitment to investing in the space, local commercial real estate professionals and residents will be watching how this new construction effort pays dividends.

Going Forward

As all commercial real estate professionals know, there is not much room for waiting in this industry. As the retail space continues to evolve, so too will commercial real estate investors’ mindsets about malls and other large spaces. The process of revitalizing America’s dead malls is already well underway. In the local Western PA area, it remains to be seen which malls will be able to successfully adapt to a changing retail reality. The truth likely lies somewhere in between exaggerated reports of the demise of traditional retail and the rosy reports of modern retail evolutions.

The mall industry will need to adapt to changing consumer behaviors. Beaver Valley Mall is using a now-defunct mega-retail location as an opportunity to develop a location for multiple, smaller, more profitable tenants. Whether this investment will pay dividends remains to be seen. In either case, the success or failure of mall renovation projects will inform future decisions in our area.

Interest Rate Cut Boosts Housing Market, Other Pittsburgh Construction Market News

Right off the bat, let me offer a disclaimer about the Fed’s rate cut. It’s going to help certain (very limited) parts of the US economy but will do nothing to help with whatever economic headaches result from the coronavirus. You can read more of this rant in the Publisher’s Note of the March/April BreakingGround in a couple weeks. The economy doesn’t need stimulus. What will be needed is a safety net for those who get thrown out of work. That will probably be cheaper for us taxpayers and way more effective than measures that will mainly please big donors to political parties. The oil and gas industry is getting clobbered further because the Russians and Saudis have started an oil price war. If the coronavirus was cured tomorrow that wouldn’t change. Likewise, giving people payroll tax relief helps those who are on someone’s payroll, not those who are laid off. That’s the disclaimer. I didn’t say it would be short.

Cutting rates is bad overall for banking because it reduces bank interest income from lending. Rate cuts are good for banks and lenders, however, when the cuts stimulate mortgage loans. Boy, has last week’s cut worked in that regard. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported this morning that there was a 79% jump in refinancing activity since last week. SINCE. LAST. WEEK. Refinancing activity is up 479% compared to last year. Refinancing is a zero sum game, which in the long run reduces the interest income for lenders overall. But, in the meantime, a 479% increase in refinancing will mean a significant increase in fees associated with the new loans. And, for the consumer, the refinancing means a big improvement in the household balance sheet. Cost of home ownership is lower. There’s more discretionary income. Mortgage indebtedness is cut to 15 years or less for millions.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

The Mortgage Bankers also reported that there had been a 6% increase in home purchase mortgage applications, which was a 12% increase year-over-year. That pales in comparison to refinancing applications but there isn’t a Realtor in America who wouldn’t take a 12% jump in home sales. Likely that increase would be greater if there was a normal inventory of homes for sale.

On to Pittsburgh construction contracts. The Builder’s Exchange is reporting that Mistick Construction is taking bids on its $13 million 49-unit Clairton Inn mixed-use project. PBX also reported that Watson Institute is taking bids from A. Martini & Co., PJ Dick and TEDCO. Turner Construction was awarded the $12 million Price Waterhouse TI at One Oxford Centre. PJ Dick will be the contractor for the $10 million conversion of the Roundhouse at Hazelwood Green. Volpatt Construction was awarded the $4 million Carnegie Library Downtown Branch renovation. Stevens and Chapman Corp are building the new 250,000 sq. ft. plant for AmeriPrecision Metals in Canonsburg. Landau is the CM for Grove City College’s $8 million library renovation. And in non-Pittsburgh construction news, Mascaro Construction is the CM for the $90 million Carolina Panthers headquarters and training center just south of Charlotte in Rock Hill, SC.

Renovations have Brought the US Steel Tower Back to Prominence in Pittsburgh

The US Steel Tower, also referred to as the Steel Building and the USX Tower, has been a trademark of the Pittsburgh skyline since its construction was completed in 1970. The building is now also known as the UPMC building, and has a long history of importance to the Pittsburgh people, identity, and economy. Recent renovations have breathed new life into the now 50-year-old building. Office spaces in Pittsburgh have become more decentralized in recent years with tech companies like Google and Uber electing to headquarter outside downtown offices.

With all of this in mind, today we will review the recent work being done on the US Steel building and what impact this might have on the building itself and downtown as a whole.

Details of Steel Tower Renovations

Although there is no onset of renovations, the US Steel Tower has undergone some major facelifts in the past months and years which will be noticeable to regulars in the area. Here are some of the highlights:

The US Steel Tower is now the second-largest LEED Silver Certified office building in the world

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. While the US Steel Building may be thought of as a 50-year-old dinosaur, it is likely the most economically and technologically advanced building in downtown Pittsburgh. This is thanks to recent renovations aimed at efficiency and eco-friendliness.

The US Steel Tower renovations modernized the infrastructure

As a continuation of the above, the US Steel Tower has implemented a number of modern changes that improve cost and environmental inefficiencies. Modern renovations/improvements include retrofitting water supplies, sustainable energy practices, offering alternative transportation services, installing eco-friendly LED lights, installing eco-friendly HVAC products, and much more.

US Steel Building has renovated office spaces

As part of UPMC moving in, several large renovations took place to the office amenities of the US Steel Building. These renovations included:

  • Renovation of seven (7) full floors of office space to be used for UPMC headquarters
  • Changing cubicle like layouts to more modern designs including high-end, high-tech offices and support areas
  • Updates to the 60th floor “Center for Connected Medicine (CCM)”
  • Overall renovations to existing workspaces and offices

These renovations covered a total of 185,000 square feet over 11 months and were all part of the LEED silver certification process.

Pittsburgh Steel Building Facts

To understand why renovations of the US Steel Building are so significant to the local Pittsburgh economy and atmosphere, let’s look at some quick facts on the building itself.

  • The US Steel Building stands at approximately 841 feet tall, making it the 66th tallest building in the United States.
  • Those 841 feet are spread across 64 floors, which are mostly comprised of office space.
  • The single floor area equals 41,163 square feet, which is only ~2,000 square feet shy of a full acre.
  • The facilities include a 2,900,000 square foot grass area which is used as a local park for the public.
  • The US Steel Tower underbelly holds a three-level parking garage which can accommodate 700 cars.
  • The building holds 11,000 windows, 54 elevators, and boasts a massive lobby area with full amenities

List of Recent US Steel Tower Updates

In a five year period, over $60 million was invested into the US Steel Building in total renovations with no end date in sight. These changes include:

  • Lobby updates including renovations to many interior businesses
  • The addition of two (2) garage elevators
  • Newly installed brick and granite in the plaza area
  • A new fire alarm and security system
  • A new tenant and building sprinkler system
  • Renovated restroom facilities
  • Energy-efficient upgrades (as mentioned above) including closed water loops, HVAC upgrades, energy-efficient light installations, and more
  • Improved facilities to comply and exceed the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements
  • New infrastructure including improved electric distribution panels and “base building mechanical improvements”

Going Forward

For those of us native to Pittsburgh, the US Steel Tower is probably the building we think of when we think of the downtown area. While the name and ownership may have changed hands, the importance of this structure remains. Recent renovations have improved both the work lives of the office tenants within and the amenities for the public passing through the building for a bite to eat or just to take in the sights. With major backers including CBRE and Jamestown L.P., it is likely that we will continue to see investments being made into the tallest and most historic Pittsburgh skyscraper.

Construction Labor Shortage and Commercial Real Estate Projects

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Most commercial real estate professionals already know that there is a construction labor shortage in our country. This is true for major construction projects and renovations alike. There are a number of contributing factors which have caused this shortage which are likely to continue this shortage moving forward. As CRE professionals, this labor shortage has a material impact on construction deadlines, construction prices, and much more. 

 

Today, we will explore this topic by identifying the current state of the construction labor shortage, discuss what factors are causing the labor shortage, and finally how the construction labor issues are impacting and will continue to impact commercial real estate construction.

 

The Current State of the Construction Labor Shortage

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According to a new survey from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and Autodesk, 80 percent of construction firms say they are having a hard time filling hourly and craft positions – which represent the bulk of the industry’s workforce. That same report suggests that labor shortages are the biggest threats to the construction industry. By extension, that’s a significant risk for the commercial real estate industry as well.

 

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 263,000 available jobs in the construction industry as of June 2018. The BLS predicts that the number of available jobs will increase over the next 10 years faster than average, with an above average median annual wage. Estimates place the total number of construction jobs at about 7.2 million.

 

Perhaps the most telling statistic is that 79 percent of construction companies are looking to hire new employees this year, but many are having a difficult time finding workers with the appropriate skills. To make matters worse, the disparity between the need for skilled construction workers and the availability of skilled construction workers is expected to increase moving forward.

 

What is Causing the Construction Labor Shortage?

The construction labor shortage would perhaps be more appropriately called a skilled construction labor shortage. Yet the reasons for the labor shortage are diverse. Some of the primary reasons for the current construction labor shortage include:

 

The industry is still recovering from 2008

 

The Great Recession of 2008 shook the commercial real estate world. A healthy construction industry in the early and mid 2000’s was suddenly placed into a depression where workers were laid off and construction projects were slowed or canceled altogether. The CRE industry has since recovered, but in the 10 plus years since 2008, the construction industry has been less appealing to prospective workers, leading to a shortage.

 

A decline in young workers with the necessary skills

A steady stream of young men and women graduated from technical schools and other training institutions ready to come into the construction workforce up until 2008. The Great Recession made construction a much less appealing option, which essentially slowed the flow of students and the flow of new employees needed for skilled positions.

 

The construction industry has grown and worker supply can’t catch up

Last but not least, it would have been difficult for construction companies to keep up with new hires even if there was the same level of skilled workers entering the workforce. Consider the labor statistics cited in the previous section regarding how many available jobs there are in construction. 

 

How the Labor Shortage Impacts Commercial Real Estate Construction

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Recent estimates suggest that ~70 percent of contractors are having difficulties meeting deadlines due to labor shortages. This simple fact causes a number of trickle down effects including:

 

  • Overall construction costs are increasing
  • Skilled laborers being asked to do more work
  • Investors are unhappy with contractors and construction crews
  • New projects are being rejected by construction crews
  • Many more

 

Labor costs make up about half of any building construction budget. Perhaps more importantly, no construction project can be completed on time and on budget without the appropriate construction crew. Construction labor shortages have a direct impact on the viability of commercial real estate construction projects for new construction and renovations alike. 

 

One of the keys for CRE professionals in the current construction is being realistic about costs and timelines. Labor shortages are a bottleneck for any construction project. They are even more of a detriment for large scale, commercial real estate projects.

 

Going Forward

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All of the available data points towards the construction labor shortage continuing in the immediate future. It is likely that the market will balance itself out as wages rise and skilled construction jobs become more appealing to younger generations. The question moving forward will become when the scales tip and the workforce begins to fill the available jobs. It is also worth noting that while many economists are predicting an imminent recession, most predictions also lean towards the next recession being much less impactful on the commercial real estate market

 

It is likely that a long term, stable construction labor demand will sort itself out. In the meantime, construction crews and commercial real estate investors alike will do well to understand how the labor shortage will impact construction costs, construction timelines, etc.

More About COVID-19 and Construction

Now that that Coronavirus (COVID-19) has become a political football, it’s worth noting two things: 1) it’s clearly going to have an economic impact, maybe a significant one; 2) we know very little about it.

The second point makes the first point more uncertain.

That point was driven home to me yesterday at the quarterly meeting of the Federal Reserve Bank’s Business Advisory Committee in Pittsburgh. The Fed representatives were very interested in what impact COVID-19 was having on businesses thus far. Representatives from US Steel, Calgon Carbon, and CBRE shared information that shed some light. Again, the most important information shared was that there is little information to share. Because the virus was first detected in China, the reliability of the information is suspect to a degree. Some other places that have begun to experience outbreaks, like Iran, have proven to be less reliable still. Here are some of the things that came out of the discussion:

  • The virus is most dangerous to the elderly and person with compromised systems.
  • Of the 80,000 cases identified, 18,000 have already recovered to full health.
  • Disruptions to the supply chain from China and Asia have already occurred
  • US corporations have begun to implement travel bans. This will accelerate as cases of COVID-19 multiply in the U.S.
  • US corporations have begun to make contingency plans for employees to work from home or stay home.

The latter point is the most relevant for the construction industry in Pittsburgh. Even if nobody from Western PA becomes infected with COVID-19, many construction projects will experience delays in decision-making by owners that simply have higher priorities than capital project approvals. What we’ve learned from the small sample size of the supply chain thus far is that building products will be impacted, especially since U.S. manufacturers trimmed inventories at the end of 2019. Equipment and building products have as many as 20% of the subcomponent supply chain made in China. Japanese and other Asian manufacturers are about 40% reliant upon China for components. Construction projects will be impacted, including those in Pittsburgh.

What is really unknown at this point is the penetration of the virus into the U.S. Americans mostly avoided the SARS virus a decade ago but COVID-19 seems more difficult to contain. A pandemic that last a few months, even if it proves to be less deadly, is going to drain economic activity, which will slow the construction market.

Panic about COVID-19 seems unjustified. Concern about the effect on the economy does not. Read more in the first portion of JLL’s Economic Insights

In construction news, Allegheny County Airport Authority awarded the first major bid packages for the airport’s Terminal Modernization Program. Independence Excavating was awarded a $20.9 million contract for the early access site general construction. Mosites Construction was awarded a $20.7 million contract for upgrades to the PA Turnpike Allegheny Tunnel. Rycon Construction was awarded the $4.9 million AGH Genomic Lab. Rycon will also be building the $38 million, 220-unit 23rd & Railroad Apartments for SteelStreet Capital. PSU approved a contract with Turner Construction for the $112 million Liberal Arts Building at University Park. Jendoco Construction was awarded the $5.7 million Forker Lab Building at PSU-Shenango. University of Pittsburgh selected Turner for the $5 million Brain Institute Lab fitout at BST3. A.M. Higley was awarded a contract for the $9 million Convention Center Green Roof Phase 2. Uhl Construction was awarded the $5 million expansion/renovation to Lithia Motors South Hills Subaru. AHN selected Volpatt Construction for the $3.5 million Allegheny Valley Hospital 2D renovation. Swartz Builders is building a 140,000 square foot fabrication shop for Hranec Sheet Metal in German Township, Fayette County.

Pitt took proposals from Mascaro, Massaro, PJ Dick, Rycon & Volpatt on $3 million Langley Hall renovation. PJ Dick, Massaro & Turner were among the CMs proposing on PWC’s 70,000 square foot tenant improvements at One Oxford Center.

Uber Purchases 600 Acres in Findlay Township, PA

Uber Purchases 600 Acres in Findlay Township, PA

Uber is a now well-known ride sharing service which has 100’s of millions of active users. Uber has been a major disrupter of the taxi and car service industries by offering a unique (at the time) business model of matching passengers to drivers with independently owned vehicles. Today, those 100’s of millions of active users have adopted ride sharing into their daily lives for commuting, when traveling, or even just getting home responsibly from a night on the town. In the Pittsburgh area, Uber is also known as a pioneer in autonomous vehicles and has established a technological headquarters where they are testing their new self-driving cars and trucks.

 

As part of this testing process, Uber recently made another large commercial real estate purchase west of Pittsburgh. Today we will review the details of that purchase, give some background on Uber, and explore how Uber’s presence in Pittsburgh might impact the local CRE industry.

 

Details on Uber’s Recent CRE Purchase near Pittsburgh

Details on Uber’s Recent CRE Purchase near Pittsburgh

Uber’s autonomous car shop in the Strip District is expanding its reach. Uber had been looking for additional facilities to test its self-driving vehicles. In late 2019, it found a new home by purchasing a nearly 600 acre lot in Findlay Township, PA. The land was sold for approximately $9.5 million by Imperial Land Corporation. The new facility will replace the old Uber testing ground at Hazelwood Green along the Monongahela River. Uber’s current lease at the Hazelwood Green expires in 2023. However, the pace at which the Findlay facility is advancing makes it likely that some portion will open as soon as 2021.

 

As part of the deal, Uber will be testing its autonomous vehicles in a newly constructed facility. The land was vacant at the time of purchase. Uber has not yet publicly announced the details of their plans for the location, but they have announced that their autonomous car facility in the Strip District will remain operational. 

 

Uber’s Pittsburgh Presence has Grown in Recent Years

Uber’s Pittsburgh Presence has Grown in Recent Years

By now, most Pittsburgh locals have seen the Uber self-driving cars patrolling the streets from their strip district research facility. Yet the testing of these experimental vehicles is only a small part of their Pittsburgh footprint. Uber has made it no secret that they intend to grow their Pittsburgh presence around their autonomous testing facilities. The latest land purchase is part of Uber’s plan to add more facilities, employees, and testing to the area. Uber is based in San Francisco, and has found Pittsburgh to be a desirable mix of affordability and access to highly skilled and educated employees.

 

According to Mobility21.cmu.edu: “The [Findlay Township] facility is expected to employ as many as 200 people and come with an observation (sic) tower and other developments to create a 24-hour simulated environment in which to test Uber’s autonomous vehicle technology that brought it to Pittsburgh in 2015.” The decision to purchase land and build a test track rather than leasing one is significant.

 

From a commercial real estate perspective, Uber’s expanded investment in the local economy will likely lead to related projects. As for the Findlay Township facility, much more than a test track is planned. While Uber has made no announcements, plans are being reviewed for entitlement and permit purposes. The first phase includes a 140,000 square foot testing facility with entrance doors that are tall enough to accomodate trucks. The site plan shows more buildings in the future, in excess of one million square feet under roof. 

 

Uber by the Numbers

Uber by the Numbers

To understand how Uber might impact Pittsburgh in the near and distant future, it can be helpful to understand a bit more about Uber’s story and their impact by the numbers. Here are some highlights which give recent events some context:

 

  • Uber was founded in 2009, and has since become the most highly valued private startup company in the world.
  • Recent estimates place the valuation of Uber at around $90 billion.
  • Uber is currently operating in 700 cities and 63 countries across the globe.
  • While Uber’s employee numbers range from 19,000 to 27,000 thousand, the total number of Uber drivers likely exceeds 4 million
  • Uber generates approximately $12 billion in gross bookings per quarter.
  • Uber has completed over 5 billion trips since its inception.
  • While these numbers are declining as the market matures, Uber has enjoyed a 70-75% market share of ride sharing services for several years.

 

These numbers illustrate the impact of Uber as a market disruptor and an economic force. Uber’s corporate decision to invest in the Pittsburgh area has already had a material impact on local economy and CRE landscape. While a 600 acre construction project might not be the biggest in the city this year, the real question becomes what will come next for the ride sharing service.

 

Going Forward

Uber’s preeminence in autonomous vehicles was short-lived. Shortly after establishing Pittsburgh as its global AV headquarters, Uber was joined in the region by Argo AI, Aurora, and Aptiv, along with the testing that Carnegie Mellon does on its own. As an employer and consumer of commercial real estate space, Uber has grown by leaps and bounds. Its competitors have expanded their presence as well. Autonomous vehicles appear to be an inevitability, maybe even morphing into fling vehicles or some other form of mobility we can’t as yet imagine. The beachhead that Uber has established by building a major testing facility makes it that much more likely that whatever the future of AV brings, Pittsburgh will be at the heart of it.

An Outlook for Construction Costs in 2020

An Outlook for Construction Costs in 2020

Anybody who works in the construction or real estate industries understands that construction costs are rarely (if ever) static. Going into 2020, construction costs are less volatile than they have been over the past decade, but certainly won’t be static. So how can the commercial real estate industry adjust its outlook for changing costs? How will construction costs drive the market value of new and existing commercial real estate? Will construction costs continue to rise or is there an end in sight?

 

Understanding these and many more questions will give us a reasonable outlook of construction costs when it comes to commercial real estate and other sectors in 2020 and beyond.

 

American Construction Outlook for 2020 and Beyond

American Construction Outlook for 2020 and Beyond

Understanding the overall outlook for the construction industry is a key piece of understanding construction costs. The Dodge Data & Analytics report titled “2020 Dodge Construction Outlook” was put out in late 2019. This report attempts to give a comprehensive report on the construction industry within all sectors in North America. Here are some highlights of that report:

 

  • Total construction is expected to fall to $776 billion in 2020. This marks a 4 percent decrease year over year compared to 2019. 
  • The recovery process that began after the Great Recession of 2007-09 is nearing its end. This is good and bad news, as the construction industry has finally returned to normality, yet it also means that construction will likely scale down over the next few years as the market steadies itself.
  • Dodge Data & Analytics estimates that commercial real estate value will dip approximately 6 percent in 2020. The hardest hit are likely to include hotels and commercial warehouses.
  • The trend of commercial real estate growth in the energy and tech industries (such as data centers and other high security, high value tech facilities) looks to continue and grow in the coming years.
  • Commercial real estate for multifamily units are expected to take a large hit as well, with estimated drops to be between 13 and 15 percent in 2020. (This take isn’t held across the board with prognosticators. Most expect volumes closer to 2019’s.)

 

Construction Costs Outlook in 2020 and Beyond

The above report does not paint a particularly rosy picture for the commercial real estate industry overall. But what about construction costs in particular? Let’s examine some key questions and answer them going into 2020.

 

Will Construction Costs Increase in 2020?

Will Construction Costs Increase in 2020

While there is not a consensus on this topic, many construction experts feel that construction costs will slow their growth 2020 for the first time in many years. Year over year construction cost increases have been in the 5-6 percent range for commercial real estate projects for the past decade. As part of the levelling out referenced above, construction costs may actually slow to around a 2-3 percent increase moving into 2020 and over the next few years. This is partially due to a slowing construction industry, a flattening of real estate values, and many other factors.

 

Of course, all of these are merely projections. The price or permitting, entitlement, construction commodities, and labor are always changing in complex and impossible to predict ways. While there is no way to accurately predict construction costs, many signs point towards 2020 being a relatively stable and cost-effective year.

 

Will the Price of Construction Materials go up in 2020?

The materials price index (MPI) fell approximately 12 percent between Q1 2018 and Q4 2019. This is just one way to measure the prices of construction materials over time. Cumming Insights posits that this downturn is due in large part to trade uncertainty between construction powerhouses U.S. and China. Steel prices have been steadily dropping in recent years as production has outpaced demand, and this trend is likely to continue in the foreseeable future. 

 

However, the cost of many construction materials are still expected to rise according to some industry experts. While prices of steel, copper, and aluminum have been slowly falling, they will eventually flatten and recover. The costs of commodities such as lumber and gypsum will likely increase in 2020 and beyond. Lumber in particular took a sharp 10 percent cost decrease in a year’s time. That trend is expected to reverse and normalize this year.

 

Construction Labor Costs in 2020

Construction Labor Costs in 2020

There is a labor shortage in the construction industry. This and a number of other factors have led construction workers to enjoy an average pay increase of 3 percent year over year, well above the standard for all American workers. This shortage is due in part to a rapidly aging/retiring workforce with a lack of young workers to take their place. In fact, this lack of skilled employees is actually keeping labor costs for construction work manageable. If there were more skilled, experienced construction workers, that 3 percent number would likely be even higher.

 

Going Forward

Predicting the future is something that is both impossible and necessary to do for commercial real estate and construction industry veterans. All the detailed reporting in the world won’t do us any good if it is wrong. Yet understanding industry trends prepares us for the coming months and years of construction projects. All signs point to 2020 being relatively stable when it comes to construction costs. Labor will continue to rise while commodities will fluctuate at different rates. Construction costs will almost certainly increase year over year, just not to the same degree as we have seen in the past.