Amid slow recovery, warehouse sector soars
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In a 2022 construction forecast characterized by cautious optimism, one sector in particular stands out: warehouses. The Dodge Construction Forecast indicates warehouse construction starts were set to increase 36 percent in 2021, with another 13 percent boost in 2022, according to an outlook reported by Alisa Zevin and Debra K. Rubin in Engineering News-Record.
“Warehouse starts continue to stagger the imagination,” Richard Branch, Dodge Construction Network chief economist, tells the reporters. E-commerce businesses are the main catalysts, with online shopping continuing to grow in popularity, he says. Many of these businesses are being constructed in outlying areas without access to natural gas, making propane an ideal energy source for buildings that can measure 2 million square feet or more.
Retail is another bright spot, the News-Record reports, with a 14 percent gain in 2022 predicted thanks to a rise in multifamily housing in smaller cities and suburban areas. The hotel sector, severely affected by COVID-19 restrictions, is projected to recover 24 percent in 2022 after dropping 51 percent in 2020 and 18 percent in 2021.