Construction business
Construction business
Why East Tennessee is Ready for More Commercial Construction

Things continue to look up for the construction industry in general, and commercial construction more specifically. The American Institute of Architects believes spending on commercial construction will increase nearly six percent this year and eight percent next year.

A lot of that is spurred along by real estate recovery. There are fewer offices and retail shops going out of business, which means that new businesses often end up building so they can have a space. Commercial property values are also on the rise again, making developers and property owners feel more confident about building commercial spaces.

It’s good news nationwide, but at Leon Williams Contractors, we think it’s also a good indication of the state of commercial construction in East Tennessee.

We weren’t hit quite as hard in this area by the real estate or construction crisis as other parts of the country were, but it was still slow going for general contractors for quite a while. The good news is, things have picked back up over the last few months and show no sign of slowing down again. New restaurants and stores have started moving in to the Knoxville and Maryville areas, with more to come—we’re seeing popular restaurant chains and big grocery stores and sports outfitters open their first locations in this area.

Another big project set to get underway this year is the transformation of an old hospital into a mixed-use commercial and retail space—complete with condos, student housing, shops and restaurants, and retail space. That undertaking could spur revitalization in parts of town that haven’t seen much development in several years.

Of course, there are likely to be some challenges along the way. Construction costs are also on the increase, and there’s a shortage of skilled labor all over the country. Still, it’s nice to see things continuing to improve, and we’ll be watching closely to see how East Tennessee follows the trends everywhere else.

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