Washington. D.C. Apartments Modeled After Highline in New York City

A new apartment building proposed for Washington, D.C. will be reminiscent of the Highline in New York City.

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Spiderman Actor Tobey Maguire Is Flipping His Plantation-Style Home in Brentwood

Actor Tobey Maguire is reportedly flipping a Brentwood home for a profit of nearly $2 million. The plantation-style home in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Brentwood is on the market for $10.25 million. This price is in contrast to the $8.45 million Maguire paid for the home in 2014.

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New Steel Alloy Discovered by Korean Researchers Could Be Tomorrow’s Super Steel

A newly discovered super steel alloy has the potential to solve a longstanding problem that could make steel as common as aluminum in the manufacture of electronics devices and other consumer products.

steel alloyResearchers at Pohang University of Science and Technology in Pohang, South Korea, have discovered a new steel alloy that’s as light and strong as aluminum or titanium alloy. This new alloy is also much cheaper than titanium alloys.

Steel has long been an important material for making strong, durable objects. Construction beams that support huge buildings and skyscrapers, for example, are commonly made of steel. Steel, however, is very heavy. Its weight means it’s not ideal for use in smaller devices such as computers or smartphones.

Steel is also relatively inexpensive when compared to lighter metals with similar strength, such as aluminum or titanium. That said, cost doesn’t matter much when steel makes an object or device too heavy for practical use.

The new super steel alloy discovered by researcher Hansoo Kim and his team of scientists offers a flexible material with the same strength-to-weight ratio as titanium but at about 10 percent of the cost.

Kim’s discovery also solved a longstanding problem with brittleness of aluminum/steel alloys, creating a material that’s less dense than regular steel with the same strength as titanium.

Before the new super steel alloy can be put into widespread use, however, a process for protecting the material must be devised. The current method of protecting steel with a silicate layer can’t be used on the new super steel material.

Industry sources expect the new super steel alloy will eventually find uses in automotive and aerospace applications.

Construction Monitor provides the most recent information on technological developments in the construction industry, along with data on housing starts and building permit issuances. Contact us today for more information on the newly discovered super steel alloy and how it may be used in future construction.

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Construction to Begin on Block 75, Part of the Burnside Bridgehead Project

Construction is underway on a new mixed-use building in Portland, Oregon’s Burnside Bridgehead area.

residential constructionThe building, known as Block 75, is going up at the corner of Northeast Davis Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

The Block 75 building will include 75 residential units, expected to rent at market rates. There will also be 32,000 square feet of office space and other work areas. At the street level, the building will have almost 10,000 square feet available for restaurants and retail stores. An underground parking facility will be able to accommodate 42 vehicles.

The Block 75 project is expected to qualify for financial incentives under Portland’s Transit Oriented Development program. This program, part of the Portland Metro system, provides financial incentives designed to encourage mixed-use projects served by mass transit.

Developers include Beam Development, Urban Development + Partners, and Works Partnership Architecture.

Block 75 is one of several new construction projects that are revitalizing the Burnside Bridgehead site, which has seen several delays and a significant drop-off in construction activity. This latest addition to Portland construction was inaugurated with a formal groundbreaking ceremony in late January.

East or west, north or south, construction companies in the United States know they can trust Construction Monitor for the latest news and data on construction industry trends and developments. Contact us today for more information on Portland construction and how Oregon-based businesses may benefit.

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Waikiki’s Ritz-Carlton Tower Part of Construction in Hawaii

Construction in Hawaii continues to expand as a new hotel and condominium residential tower nears completion in early 2016.

construction growthThe Ritz-Carlson Residences are under construction on Waikiki Beach at 2121 Kuhio Avenue.

The project consists of two towers combining condominiums, hotel rooms and retail businesses. It’s being developed by Pacrep LLC, an affiliate of prominent California real estate firm Irongate.

The first tower is expected to be finished by early 2016. In February 2015, the structure was completed up to the 24th of 38 floors. The 309 units in the tower have already sold out.

Retail shopping and dining facilities will be part of the first Ritz-Carlton Residences tower. The building is expected to include a BLT Market, BLT Bar & Grill, Sushi Sho and Hawaii’s first Dean & DeLuca, an upscale grocery store and market.

Groundbreaking for the second tower is anticipated in early spring of 2015. The second tower will be 39 stories tall and will contain 280 units. Construction is expected to take approximately two years, and completion is expected in 2017. Nearly 80 percent of the units in the second tower have already been sold.

The new Hawaii construction in Waikiki reflects a continued expansion of construction business and employment across the country and in Hawaii in particular.

Construction Monitor is the construction industry’s go-to source for the most accurate and up-to-date information on building permits, housing starts and industry trends. Contact us today for more information on current developments in Hawaii construction and what the expansion of projects in this area could mean for your business.

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U.S. Construction Industry Expected to Expand in 2015

Recent data on construction employment suggests that improvements will continue and that the U.S. construction industry will expand even further in 2015.

construction workersIncreases in construction employment were identified in more than 250 metropolitan areas around the country between December 2013 and December 2014, according to data from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

The AGC also reported that up to 80 percent of construction companies and contractors indicate that they intend to hire more employees in the coming year.

Increases in both private and public sector construction projects are fueling the boosts in construction employment. Favorable weather patterns in different parts of the country also contributed to the increase in construction projects and associated employment.

The AGC data showed that Texas was the most prolific area for new construction jobs in the year between December 2013 and December 2014. In the Dallas-Plano-Irving area, for example, more than 15,000 construction jobs were added. The Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown area of Texas saw an increase of nearly 15,000 jobs.

Other areas of the country that saw significant construction job growth were the Chicago, Joliet and Naperville areas of Illinois, with 11,000 jobs added, and the Seattle, Bellevue and Everett areas of Washington, with 8,700 new jobs.

The AGC also noted that construction employment decreased in 43 metropolitan areas and remained stagnant in another 39 cities.

Despite an overall positive outlook for the construction industry in the near term, industry sources warn that political gridlock or other issues that prevent government spending on infrastructure repairs and improvements could restrict the upward trend in construction employment growth.

Construction Monitor provides contractors, business owners, developers and other professionals with the most accurate and up-to-date information on housing starts, building permits and developments in the construction industry. Contact us today for more information on current trends in the U.S. construction industry.

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Winter Doesn’t Stop West Loop Tower Construction in Chicago

Three Chicago tower construction projects in the Halstead Street area of the West Loop are progressing despite the late-season winter weather in Chicago.

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Fannie Mae Offering Multifamily Green Buildings Lower Interest Rates

Mortgage lender Fannie Mae is offering lowered interest rates on loans to builders and cooperatives who are developing energy-efficient apartments and multifamily dwellings.

apartment constructionMultifamily structures that have been certified with green credentials such as LEED will receive a lower interest rate on refinance, supplemental or acquisition loans through Fannie Mae’s Multifamily Green Initiative.

The announcement was made by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which created and administers the LEED green building certification standards. LEED certified buildings typically use substantially less energy and water and have a lower maintenance cost than comparable non-certified structures.

The USGBC reported that Fannie Mae is offering an interest rate reduction of 10 basis points on qualifying loans for green-certified multifamily properties. This would reduce a 4 percent interest multifamily loan to 3.9 percent.

Using the same example, a builder or owner with a $10 million loan would see a savings of $95,000 in interest over a 10-year loan.

The Fannie Mae Multifamily Green Initiative seeks to “improve the energy and water efficiency, to enhance the financial and environmental sustainability, and to extend the useful life of the U.S.’s multifamily housing stock.”

The Green Initiative provides financing options that allow builders of multifamily apartments and cooperatives to invest in energy conservation and water-cost saving measures throughout the structure.

Fannie Mae is the top provider of multifamily financing in the United States, with a holdings portfolio worth more than $200 billion.

Construction Monitor is a reliable supplier of the most recent information on housing permits, construction starts and construction industry trends. Contact us today for more information on green building and the Fannie Mae Green Initiative.

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Home Security Systems Evolving With Smart Home Trends

As smart home technology expands and evolves, home security trends indicate that residential alarms, monitoring systems and related devices will also keep up with the increasing integration of electronics and daily living.

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$30 Million Community College Construction Project Gets Started

A new construction project at Volunteer State Community College will add a significant amount of classroom and study space at the Gallatin, Tennessee educational facility, northeast of Nashville.

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