Large construction cranes have become a leading focal point of Seattle’s skyline. However, for the first time in years, 2018 has observed a significant reduction in the number of cranes in use. Seattle now only leads the pack by 9 cranes, closely followed by Los Angeles, Denver, and Chicago who are all tied for the second place spot.
What Does This Crane Reduction Mean?
Although it may seem shocking to see such a large reduction in cranes in a short period of time, economists are still very optimistic about growth in the city. Many of the big construction projects are now complete, and others are on the schedule to begin this year. In addition, Major companies such as Amazon and Google, are still actively building new offices in the city, which will continue to bring in new people to the city.
While the reduction in cranes may seem like the end of an era, many construction companies argue that this is not the case. New projects are slated to begin, but instead of building prior to occupancy, the building projects will be pre-filled, meaning that they will be pre-leasing to tenants before beginning the building.
What Is Being Built?
In 2017, Seattle saw 3.3 million square feet of office space added. This type of building is slowing down, however. Only 1.8 million square feet of additional office space is estimated to be added each year for the next decade.
The majority of cranes in Seattle are being used for high-rise apartment buildings. Many new residents are still flocking to Seattle. However, apartment living may be on the decline. Rents have been unable to keep up with the construction costs, so banks have been less likely to fund new construction.
Whenever construction on a new building is complete, it’s important to find tenants right away. Landlords that want to charge competitive rents should look into submetering for their tenants. Every unit receives a utility bill based upon their own usage, so landlords don’t have to figure that amount into rental rates. Lower rent prices mean fewer empty units.
How to Take Advantage of Fewer Cranes
With fewer cranes going up, existing apartments and offices now have a chance to fill their units. Landlords looking to rent out multifamily units should consider contracting with Submeter Solutions to create a fair utility billing system. By billing every unit separately for their own utility usage, rent prices will be lower. This is the easiest way to entice new tenants.
While Seattle still holds the number one spot in the country with 45 cranes, other cities are beginning to catch up. In North America, Toronto holds the lead with 88 cranes. Although building may be slowing down, the economy in the city is still booming.