A 21-story Marriot Autograph Hotel in Streeterville. A 250-room Virgin hotel in the East Loop (Chicago Real Estate Daily). A 1,206-room Marriott Marquis at McCormick Place. A gorgeous 690-unit rental tower designed by architect megastar SCB. Oh, and don't forget the new River North condo tower about to start construction (Curbed Chicago).
A high-rise tower and hotel boom has hit Chicago bigger than a Midwest snowstorm. In the aftermath of five long years where the recession stifled both the real estate market and employment, hope springs eternal – if not for our baseball teams – then definitely for the construction market. Let’s take a look at the numbers. As reported by Crain’s Chicago Business in its Chicago Real Estate Daily online media, Dodge Data & Analytics revealed that contracts for commercial and residential construction projects in the Chicago area totaled $3.63 billion in the first five months of 2015, up 3 percent from a year earlier.
As we all know, construction is a key indicator of our economy. For hotels, that means occupancy, which has surpassed pre-recession levels just this year. In fact, it is estimated that more than 2,200 rooms will be added to downtown by the end of 2015. Apartment units are on the rise as well. According to Dodge, local residential construction contracts, which include apartments, totaled $1.64 billion through May, up 36 percent from a year earlier.
"LVS low voltage work has exploded for both high-rise and hotel developments. We've seen a much higher demand for these types of projects over the past year," comments Gary St. Cin, president of Low Voltage Solutions. "In fact, we've currently have a nice back log for this type of work."
High-rise towers and hotels require many different types of low voltage work: voice and data, security, video, access control, rescue assistance and fire alarms. LVS has a solid track record in each of these disciplines and has the expertise that ranges from providing one niche service to designing and installing all of the low voltage systems required for high-rise projects. "We are a one-stop shop for all voice/data and low voltage services," said St. Cin. He adds that many electrical contractors and construction managers rely on LVS because they know the job will be done right, on time and in a safe, efficient manner.
Examples of LVS’ tower and hotel work may be seen throughout Chicago: the 32-floor (plus luxury penthouse) Arcadia Apartment Tower, the super urban sleek Jeff Jack Apartment Tower (you guessed it, on the corner of Jefferson and Jackson), and the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel (an 1890s jewel that underwent a show-stopping renovation).
From a larger perspective, just last year, Chicago was named no. 6 in cities across the country for new construction (Dodge).
For a great article on Chicago’s building boom, complete with pictures, check out this piece entitled "Take a Tour of the Building Boom Currently Underway" written by Curbed Chicago staff.
"We're excited to see so much construction activity going on in Chicago. There's an optimism across the board that we haven't felt for awhile," said St. Cin. Looking forward to 2016, we are excited about pursuing new opportunities with our customers and business partners.
Gallun, Alby (June 22, 1015). "Good Times Roll On for Construction Companies." Chicago Real Estate Daily, a Crain's Chicao Business media.
Curbed Chicago (Sept. 3, 2015). "New 200 Room Hotel Ready to Rise Over Streeterville." Curbed Chicago (July 31, 2015). "Take a Tour of the Building Boom Currently Underway in Chicago." Dodge Data and Analytics (Sept. 2014). "The Top New Construction Markets in 2014." Graph.