Writer: Capital Analytics
2 min read December 2021— While lingering challenges remain, Atlanta’s construction industry finds itself seemingly busier everyday. Whether it be new projects aiming to capture the demand for live-work-play or identifying key growth industries to expand alongside, construction and development firms across the metro area are as busy as they’ve ever been, and expect to remain that way for the long term.
When speaking with Focus:, a number of leaders touched upon their outlook for the construction industry and the future of Atlanta.
Chris Bontrager, Business Unit Leader, Georgia, DPR Construction
“The metrics are still strong. It’s going to continue to be a robust market, at least in the near term. I do think there will be a correction at some point, but I don’t think it’s going to be catastrophic. It’s predicted that Atlanta’s metropolitan area population will go from 6.5 million to 12 million in the next 10 years and that will drive the need for more infrastructure, and demand in all of our local core markets of data centers, commercial, healthcare, and higher education.
At DPR, we are in a great position to take advantage of the growth in the marketplace. We have been investing in technology for years and developing our workforce, as well as leveraging efficiencies in prefabrication. Our self-perform operations increase our ability to service our clients. Right now, our overarching priority is to continue to take care of our people. We want to make sure we create an environment where everybody is comfortable, feels supported and that they can grow in their careers.”
Michael Russell, CEO, H.J. Russell & Company
“This is an incredibly diverse market and the growth the region is seeing presents many opportunities that firms like ours are excited about. We think our prospects for the next few years are very bright. When developing, we consider sustainability, green space, affordability, urban living and other key areas to guarantee smart growth in Atlanta since the decisions we make in the next five years will affect the city for the next 50. I’m excited about the future and about being part of helping to shape some of those decisions.”
Keith Johnson, East Group President, Brasfield & Gorrie
“The outlook is really good. We certainly have the challenges of escalating material prices and availability but there is a whole lot of work out there being planned and discussed. We continue to see a lot of mixed-use type projects, not only in urban areas but suburban areas. Pre-pandemic, everyone was moving into town and post-pandemic, there was a lot of talk of everyone moving out of town. Whether this trend holds or not, who knows, but I think the interest of having the “live, work, play” focus is still very strong. A lot of the projects we’re looking at in Atlanta are in that lane, with mixed-use projects combining office, residential, hospitality and retail into the footprint of one project.”
Craig Anderchak, Principal, NELSON Worldwide
“We were in the middle of a construction boom and that continued through the pandemic. Atlanta is still booming. The activity is back. Proposals and requests are nonstop. During the pandemic, we spent our time working from home, focused on our business, honing our skills and reorganizing the whole enterprise. We made some key hires and went over significant training to prepare us for this boom. We now have boots on the ground. Work has picked up tremendously.
We knew the summer was going to be incredibly busy and it is panning out to be that way. We are going to see sales levels that we have not seen since 2018-19, which were both excellent years. 2020 saw a tremendous decrease in business across the board for all stakeholders. We started to see it heat up in early 2021 and we are already working on our projections for 2022. We are prepared for the growth that is coming. The activity is back on and it shows no signs of stopping, provided the cost of construction materials remains manageable.”
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