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BusINess » Construction

Posts Tagged ‘Construction’

Slow economy hurting scrap metal business

Joe Austgen and his son, Brian, of Highland unload scrap steel items from a trailer at Metro Recycling in Griffith. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Joe Austgen and his son, Brian, of Highland unload scrap steel items from a trailer at Metro Recycling in Griffith. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Like most other businesses, scrap metal yards are not having an easy time in this economy.

Metal prices may be up, but the volume of scrap turned in at Metro Recycling is down, said Neil Semahon, general manager at Metro Recycling in Griffith.

“Things have been steady. We have our regular customers, but volume is down,” he said.
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2010 ends as dismal year for home construction

A worker builds a new home Wednesday in Palo Alto, Calif. Builders began work last year on the second fewest number of homes in more than half a century, as the weak economy kept people from buying houses. (Photograph by Paul Sakuma/Associated Press.)

A worker builds a new home Wednesday in Palo Alto, Calif. Builders began work last year on the second fewest number of homes in more than half a century, as the weak economy kept people from buying houses. (Photograph by Paul Sakuma/Associated Press.)

U.S. homebuilders are coming off their two worst years in more than a half-century, and the outlook for this year is only slightly better.

Economists say it could take three more years before the industry begins building homes at a healthy rate. In the mean time, the housing downturn is dragging on the broader economy, with one-quarter of the jobs lost since the recession began in the construction field.

Builders normally help lead the economy out of a recession. Construction projects fuel growth and that leads to more hiring.
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University Promenade construction to start soon in Valparaiso

The University Promenade proposed for Lincolnway at University Drive is a commercial/residential project planned for Valparaiso's Eastgate commercial corridor. It is set to break ground in the next 30 days. Proposed by Schererville developer Al Krygier, University Promenade would be built on 2.8 acres along University Drive between Lincolnway and LaPorte Avenue, leading into the new north entrance to Valparaiso University. Plans call for two three-story buildings. The first floor will be commercial and retail, and the upper floors will be two-story urban loft style townhomes. (Rendering provided.)

The University Promenade proposed for Lincolnway at University Drive is a commercial/residential project planned for Valparaiso's Eastgate commercial corridor. It is set to break ground in the next 30 days. Proposed by Schererville developer Al Krygier, University Promenade would be built on 2.8 acres along University Drive between Lincolnway and LaPorte Avenue, leading into the new north entrance to Valparaiso University. Plans call for two three-story buildings. The first floor will be commercial and retail, and the upper floors will be two-story urban loft style townhomes. (Rendering provided.)

A few minor details remain, such as finding trees that produce less leaf litter, but construction on University Promenade is expected to begin within the next 30 days.

Representatives of University Promenade LLC met Tuesday with the city’s Site Review Committee to go over changes made since the plan first was reviewed in August. Engineering consultant Jeffrey Bann said the first building could be ready for occupancy by the end of July. The project was selected by the city’s Redevelopment Commission in July 2009.
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Burns Harbor poised for growth in 2011

A rendering of the proposed Manor Homes in Burns Harbor. (Rendering provided.)

A rendering of the proposed Manor Homes in Burns Harbor. (Rendering provided.)

In early December, the Burns Harbor Advisory Plan Commission gave the green light to The Village developer Cliff Fleming to add additional units to his original plat, which Fleming says will fulfill a vision of building up the town.

The addition is planned for the 30-acre parcel just to the east of The Village and will include what Fleming calls Manor Homes. They are two-story buildings composed of eight units with between one and three bedrooms each, some with an attached garage, some with an external garage.
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Local building unions make a play for PLAs with municipalities, developers

A Northwest Indiana group representing unionized building and construction trade workers has a New Year’s resolution to secure more job commitments for its members.

The Northwestern Indiana Building & Construction Trades Council will ramp up its lobbying of municipal officials and even private developers to establish project labor agreements. With construction forecasts showing stagnant activity in the new year and declining union ranks, the labor movement is attempting to gather as much work as it can to tackle significant unemployment.
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Construction hours logged rise 18 percent in ‘10

Construction workers in Northern Indiana will have logged about 18 percent more hours on job sites this year compared to 2009, according to an estimate provided by a regional industry trade organization.

Robert Anadell, executive director of the Building & Construction Resource Center Inc., said by the end of the year area workers will have spent about 19.5 million hours—3 million hours more than in 2009—on job sites. The 2010 total, however, still is down 12 percent from the more than 22 million hours worked in 2008. The work area spans the northern tier of the state from Lake County to South Bend.
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Out with the old: Small urban town takes charge of redevelopment

A demolition contractor's excavator rips through two old homes and the former Memory Makers photography studio to prepare the sight for homes similar to those in the background. The worker in the foreground is busy stacking bricks on pallets to be sold to specialty brick dealers. (Photograph by Adam Madison.)

A demolition contractor's excavator rips through two old homes and the former Memory Makers photography studio to prepare the sight for homes similar to those in the background. The worker in the foreground is busy stacking bricks on pallets to be sold to specialty brick dealers. (Photograph by Adam Madison.)

As the price of construction materials, fuel and other resources continue to rise, coupled with an idle housing market, urban sprawl may be coming to a halt. Building subdivisions in cornfields is a concept quickly going out of style. Urban redevelopment is all the rage, and it’s increasingly cost efficient.

Whiting, Ind., a 125-year-old town just outside Chicago, has adopted a recipe that can breathe new life into a deteriorating community and hopefully keep homeowners in place. It’s as simple as knocking down the old and starting anew. Cost, however, is an issue, so the city must remain frugal.
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Cloud over construction breaking, but slowly

Workers use a back hoe and hand shovel to dig foundations for jail cells at what will be a new government complex, police and fire station set to open in 2011 in Lake Station. At a conference for North American steel industry executives, customers and suppliers in Chicago last month, presenters gave outlooks for the construction sector that ranged from gloomy to slightly less gloomy. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Workers use a back hoe and hand shovel to dig foundations for jail cells at what will be a new government complex, police and fire station set to open in 2011 in Lake Station. At a conference for North American steel industry executives, customers and suppliers in Chicago last month, presenters gave outlooks for the construction sector that ranged from gloomy to slightly less gloomy. (Photograph by John Luke/The Times.)

Good and bad signs are forecast for the construction sector in 2011, but industry watchers agreed that it appears the ugly business conditions seen in recent years may be over.

At a conference for North American steel industry executives, customers and suppliers in Chicago last month, presenters gave outlooks for the construction sector that ranged from gloomy to slightly less gloomy. CRU, a London-based research and consulting firm, sponsored the three-day conference.
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An insider’s view into buying and selling a home

It’s no surprise that potential homebuyers have a few lingering concerns about the housing market today.

Even so, results of the recent National Association of Realtors® (NAR) 8th annual Housing Opportunity Pulse Survey reveal that 8 out of 10 respondents believe buying a home is a good financial decision, despite ongoing challenges with the economy and housing market.

With a dozen developing new home communities in the area, a good number of potential new homebuyers in northwest Indiana visit the information centers and models by Olthof Homes. In general, they all have very similar questions and concerns, according to Todd Olthof of Olthof Homes.
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Valparaiso University to add new building

An artist rendering of the new $19 million academic building scheduled to be constructed at Valparaiso University. Construction of the new building is expected to be complete in April 2012. (Rendering courtesy of Valparaiso University.)

An artist rendering of the new $19 million academic building scheduled to be constructed at Valparaiso University. Construction of the new building is expected to be complete in April 2012. (Rendering courtesy of Valparaiso University.)

Valparaiso University will began construction this month on a new, $19 million building at the recently demolished old union site.

The University’s Board of Directors approved construction of the three-story, 52,000-square-foot academic building that will add classroom space and consolidate faculty offices in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The new building follows the construction of three other buildings in supporting the university’s learning environment: the nearly completed Heritage Hall reconstruction project for the School of Law, the Donald V. Fites Engineering Innovation Center and the recently opened Harre Union.
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