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INDUSTRY NEWS

September 2017

NATIONAL | September 15, 2017
State Construction Employment Not Growing as Fast as Demand

Most parts of the country are experiencing a rising demand for construction, reports AGC of America, but only 34 states added construction jobs in August compared to a year ago, and only 30 added jobs since last month, indicating a shortage of craftworkers. In our region, Rhode Island came out on top with the highest percentage of new construction jobs in the nation this past year, up 17.6% with the addition of 3,200 jobs. Rhode Island was also up for the month, adding 1,100 jobs, a 5.4% hike. New Jersey was up 4.3% for the year with 6,300 new jobs, and up 0.8% for the month with 1,300 jobs. Pennsylvania also looked healthy, up 2% with 4,700 jobs for the year and 0.7% with 1,700 jobs for the month. The rest of the region did not fare as well. Delaware edged up 0.5% for the year on 100 jobs, but fell 0.9% for the month, losing 200 jobs. New York slid 0.4% for the year, losing 1,400 jobs, and was down 0.7% for the month, losing 2,600 jobs. Connecticut lost 1,200 jobs for the year, a 2% drop, and 900 jobs for the month, a 1.5% drop.


LOCAL | September 14, 2017
Hackensack Approves Redevelopment of Route 4 Office Complex

Plans aren’t yet proposed, but Continental Plaza, a three-tower, 650,000-square-foot office complex off Route 4 in Hackensack (Bergen County), has been approved for redevelopment. The City Council voted last month to convert the property to mixed-use, which could include residential units, retail space, a hotel and public open space. It’s owned by Capstone Realty Group and JD Companies.


LOCAL | September 14, 2017
State Grants $7.1 Million to Turn Perth Amboy Brownfield into Park

Because of $7.1 million in state grants, Perth Amboy will convert a brownfield into the 2nd Street Park, a 6.1-acre public park with an area for performances, a skate park, a bike course and spray ground, access to the Raritan River, a coastal landscape, floating wetlands, a stormwater forest and community gardens. Remediation of the brownfield site near Robert N. Wilentz Elementary School, the first phase of the project, will begin in early 2018 with $2.5 million from NJ DEP’s Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund. Phase two will be funded by $4.6 million from Natural Resource Damages settlements secured by the DEP.


NATIONAL | September 7, 2017
Construction’s Multiemployer Pension Plans Mostly in Green Zone

Several recent surveys of multiemployer pension plans reveal 65% of all plans are in the Green Zone, and plans in the construction industry are healthier than most. Of the 788 construction industry plans, 30 (about 4%) are in “critical and declining” status (failure anticipated within 15 years), affecting approximately 29,000 participants. The other 96% are expected to remain solvent. Segal Consulting reports construction plans have an average funding level of 89%, three percentage points higher than the average of all the plans surveyed.


NATIONAL | September 7, 2017
Hurricane Harvey Could Boost Steel Prices and Other Construction Materials

The Port of Houston, badly damaged by Hurricane Harvey, is the largest steel importer in the US, which could push up prices contractors pay for steel products. The prices for diesel fuel and gasoline have already spiked, although they’re expected to fall again soon because the country is less reliant on Gulf Coast natural gas than in the past. PVC feedstock, another petrochemical product, could see a longer-term price rise because 70% or more of the total US capacity is already affected or could be affected by Harvey-related damage.


NATIONAL | September 7, 2017
OSHA Posts Extension of Compliance Date for Crane Operator Certification

When we published the ACCNJ Industry Update this month, we noted OSHA had not yet issued a new compliance date for crane operator certification. However, a compliance date of November 10, 2018, is now on the calendar, with a deadline for comments of September 29, 2017.


LOCAL | September 7, 2017
AC’s Gardner’s Basin Redevelopment Agreement Approved

Last night, the City Council approved a lease/management deal with Scarborough Properties of Somers Point to redevelop Gardner’s Basin, located on the waterfront in Atlantic City where New Hampshire Avenue meets the Bay. The agreement includes intent to purchase Caspian Point, adjacent to Gardner’s Basin, owned by Kushner Cos., to be used for parking. Plans also include enhancement of the existing aquarium, building a new pier restaurant, and adding a children’s garden, minigolf course, water taxi, retail and restaurants. The National Park Service shut down Crafters Village and has asked the City to remove the shacks because of Green Acres violations.


LOCAL | September 6, 2017
$250 Million in Improvements to NJ Highway Rest Areas

In late August, Governor Christie announced a $250 million project to improve 16 service areas on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. The replacement and remodeling of buildings will be paid for by HMSHost and Sunoco, the private companies that operate the food and fuel concessions. In return, the companies will receive new 25-year contracts. Replacement of 60-year-old buildings, an HMSHost project, will cost $10 million to $15 million per building at these eight service areas: Vince Lombardi (Turnpike between Exits 18E & 18W in Ridgefield, Bergen County); Thomas Edison (southbound Turnpike between Exits 11 & 12 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County); Joyce Kilmer (northbound Turnpike between Exits 8A & 9 in East Brunswick, Middlesex County); Walt Whitman (southbound Turnpike between Exits 3 & 4 in Cherry Hill, Camden County); Clara Barton (last service area on the southbound Turnpike in Oldmans Township, Salem County); John Fenwick (first service area on the northbound Turnpike in Penns Grove, Salem County); Forked River (Parkway milepost 76, Ocean County); and Monmouth (Parkway milepost 100, Monmouth County). Construction on the Thomas Edison and Monmouth facilities will begin in 2018 and finish in 2019; the rest will be completed during the first seven years of the new contract. Buildings at another six service areas will be renovated, at a cost of $26.4 million, with new dining areas and restrooms, among other improvements: Woodrow Wilson (northbound Turnpike between Exits 7 & 7A in Hamilton Township, Mercer County); Richard Stockton (southbound Turnpike between Exits 7 & 7A in Trenton, Mercer County); Molly Pitcher (southbound Turnpike between Exits 8 & 8A in Cranbury, Middlesex County); James Fenimore Cooper (northbound Turnpike between Exits 4 & 5 in Mount Laurel, Burlington County); Cheesequake (Parkway milepost 123, South Amboy/Sayreville, Middlesex County); and Montvale (Parkway milepost 100, last stop heading north, Bergen County). Sunoco will spend $90 million to improve 21 fuel facilities and remodel the existing convenience stores, plus build new stores at Brookdale North (Parkway northbound at milepost 153.3 in Bloomfield, Essex County) and Alexander Hamilton (southbound Turnpike between Exits 15E & 16E in Secaucus, Hudson County). Another possible project for Sunoco could be a new fuel stop and convenience store on the Turnpike’s eastbound Newark Bay-Hudson County Extension. The agreements must be approved by the Turnpike Authority, which will meet later this month.


LOCAL | September 6, 2017
AC’s Bader Field Proposals Go from Two to Four

The last time Bader Field was up for sale, it received only two bids, both rejected by Atlantic City officials. In late August, the city got four redevelopment proposals: 1. Frank Boulton, former owner of the Atlantic City Surf baseball team who now owns the Long Island Ducks, wants to redevelop Surf Stadium, already on the 143-acre site, and bring professional baseball back to AC. 2. Glenn Straub, owner of the former Revel Casino, wants to turn Bader Field back into an airport, much the same offer he made in 2015. 3. Pipe Dream Development Group of Brick (Ocean County). 4. Bader Field Development LLC of Long Branch (Monmouth County), which had submitted one of the rejected bids in 2016.


LOCAL | September 6, 2017

The last time Bader Field was up for sale, it received only two bids, both rejected by Atlantic City officials. In late August, the city got four redevelopment proposals: 1. Frank Boulton, former owner of the Atlantic City Surf baseball team who now owns the Long Island Ducks, wants to redevelop Surf Stadium, already on the 143-acre site, and bring professional baseball back to AC. 2. Glenn Straub, owner of the former Revel Casino, wants to turn Bader Field back into an airport, much the same offer he made in 2015. 3. Pipe Dream Development Group of Brick (Ocean County). 4. Bader Field Development LLC of Long Branch (Monmouth County), which had submitted one of the rejected bids in 2016.

August 2017

LOCAL | August 23, 2017
Update on Virtua’s Now Approved Westampton Hospital

As we posted in Hot Topics more than a year-and-a-half ago, Virtua Health System purchased a 110-acre lot at Route 541 and Woodlane Road in Westampton (Burlington County), with plans to build an acute-care hospital. Construction plans were recently approved with an additional 190,000 square-feet above the two million originally proposed. The campus will include a hospital, long-term care facility, medical office buildings, surgery center, critical care unit, and a women and children’s pavilion.


LOCAL | August 22, 2017
More Plans for Mixed-Use Development in Jersey City

Construction plans continue to proliferate in Jersey City, from the Holland Tunnel to the West Side: • Two high-rise buildings are planned for 560 and 580 Luis Munoz Marin Boulevard, just west of the Holland Tunnel and bordered by I-78, and 130-150 12th Street, adjacent to the Holland Tunnel, rising 57 and 59 stories with 750 residential units, 240,000 square feet of other space (office and/or retail) and 1,098 parking spaces. Marin would be widened as part of the proposal. Fourteen Florence Street Corp. owns the site at 580 Marin and has applied for Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan approval. Michael Angelo Warehouse Corp. owns the sites at 560 Marin and 130-150 12th Street, adjacent to the Holland Tunnel. • A three-phase project is planned for 100 Water Street on the West Side, which runs parallel to Rt. 440 between Claremont and Clarke avenues. Phase I – a five-story, mixed-used building with 233 residential units, 7,763 square feet of retail, and a temporary 123-space parking lot. Yale Avenue, which runs between Claremont and Clarke but ends at Mallory Avenue, would be extended to Bennett Street with a connector from that extension to Claremont. Phases II and III would include two more buildings, seven stories each, with 310 residential units and 11,057 square feet of retail in one and 78 residential units and 9,638 square feet of retail in the other. A six-story parking deck with 373 spaces is planned as part of the project. The developer is listed as 100 Water Street Development LLC of Hoboken.


NATIONAL | August 22, 2017
Construction Jobs Grow State-by-State for Year, Slow for Month

Thirty-six states and DC added construction jobs between July 2016 and July 2017, but only half of the states added construction jobs between June and July, attributed to declining public-sector investments in infrastructure and other construction projects, says AGC of America. Over the last year, Rhode Island increased jobs by 12.7% with 2,300 jobs, in the top five across the country, yet remained unchanged over the last month. Pennsylvania lost 2,900 jobs over the last month, a 1.2% decrease, second worst in the nation, overwhelming its positive rise of 0.8% for the year with 2,000 jobs. New Jersey gained 900 jobs from June to July 2017, a 0.6% increase, opening 5,300 new jobs over the last year for a 3.5% rise. Connecticut, Delaware and New York each suffered losses for the month but remain up for the year. Connecticut lost 1,600 jobs with a 2.6% loss for the month but still up for the year with 100 new jobs and a 0.2% increase. Delaware lost 500 jobs for the month for a 2.3% decrease yet is up 500 jobs for the year with a 2.4% increase. New York saw 1,200 jobs disappear for the month, only a 0.3% decrease, and remains up for the year with 2,500 new jobs, a 0.7% growth.


NATIONAL | August 16, 2017
President Issues EO to Streamline Federal Construction Permitting

Today President Trump announced an executive order to speed up the federal environmental review and permitting process for transportation, water and infrastructure projects by making the process more efficient and uniform. Going forward, agencies must complete environmental reviews of such projects within two years. In the order, Trump revoked former President Obama’s executive order that stated projects built in flood plains take into account rising sea levels. Jimmy Christianson, Regulatory Counsel for AGC of America, noted the revoked EO did not standardize how to account for rising sea levels across government agencies, creating a burdensome responsibility for each agency to develop its own standards. However, like streamlining provisions enacted in 2012 and 2015, this latest executive order will require regulators to issue compliance guidance, typically a lengthy process in itself.


LOCAL | August 16, 2017
Wildwood Boardwalk Replacement Plans Underway

Wildwood officials have started planning to replace large sections of rotting boards on the Boardwalk and the supporting concrete below. The project will cost the city between $800,000 and $1 million as the concrete, power, gas and other utility lines that run below the Boardwalk are expensive to replace.


LOCAL | August 16, 2017
Skyway in Atlantic City Approved

The skyway between Tropicana Atlantic City and the former Chelsea Hotel has been approved by the AC City Counsel. Construction should begin later this year to connect recently acquired the recently acquired hotel at 111 S. Chelsea Ave., with completion expected in early 2018.


NATIONAL | August 10, 2017
College Construction Majors Leap 26.4%

The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reports students majoring in construction disciplines in four-year colleges jumped 26.4% from Spring 2016 to Spring 2017 – the largest percentage increase of any discipline. The most common major in the field is construction management. In Spring 2016, 7,659 students were enrolled in a construction major. That number grew to almost 10,000 by Spring 2017. Colleges and universities have also expanded their offerings: in 2006, 60 baccalaureate degree programs for construction management were accredited by the ACCE, but by the 2015-2016 school year, 73 programs were accredited.


LOCAL | August 10, 2017
Route 206 Bypass Through Hillsborough Soon to Go Out for Bid

NJDOT anticipates the long-delayed $44 million bypass project designed to channel traffic away from Hillsborough Township’s (Somerset County) business district will go out to bid this fall, once the contract is finalized. The agency expects a contractor to be selected before the winter, with work beginning next spring and finished by late 2020. Initial work to clear trees, move utility lines and poles, and grade the surface was completed in 2015, but work was halted last summer as part of the shutdown.


LOCAL | August 9, 2017
Three Pharmas May Receive NJ EDA Incentives

If Geri-Care Pharmaceuticals Corp., which manufactures generic drugs and supplements, decides to move from Brooklyn to Lakewood (Ocean County) instead of Gulfport, MS, it will get a $1.17 million incentive over 10 years. If Aptapharma Inc. of Pennsauken (Camden County), an oral drug delivery technology firm, chooses to expand and upgrade in New Jersey instead of moving to Bensalem, PA, it will receive just under a half-million dollars in a 10-year incentive. And Eywa Pharma Inc., subsidiary of a Singapore drugmaker, will get a 10-year, $221,000 incentive if it opens operations in Cranbury Township (Middlesex County) rather than Wayne, PA. All three incentives were approved yesterday by the NJ Economic Development Authority. Of interest to the construction industry, Aptapharma would invest $4.9 million in upgrading and expanding its Pennsauken location from 29,000 square feet to 43,000 square feet.


NATIONAL | August 9, 2017
Government Infrastructure Spending at Lowest Level Ever

The Census Bureau reports government spending on public works in the second quarter of this year equaled 1.4% of the country’s GDP, the lowest level ever recorded, and was 9.5% lower in June 2017 than it was in June 2016. The Bureau includes transportation systems, roads, highways and bridges in its analysis. The low spending level contrasts sharply with total construction spending, which has topped pre-recession highs because of private-sector activity, particularly in commercial construction. And it continues a downward curve from last year, when spending in 34 states was lower than in 2007. At the same time, infrastructure across the country continues to deteriorate with age. The average road surface in 2015 clocked in at 28 years old.


LOCAL | August 9, 2017
More Construction Could be Coming to the Meadowlands

With the opening date of the American Dream Meadowlands getting closer, officials are considering adding even more acreage to the redevelopment area surrounding the site. The area east of Washington Avenue in Carlstadt could see 109 more acres, which could be used for the addition of hotels and other commercial ventures.


LOCAL | August 9, 2017
Morristown to Expand Even More with New Proposal

Morristown (of Morris County) could see another new mixed-use development in the near future. The proposal is for 38 residential units along with retail space at 45 Morris Street on the corner of Wilmot Street. The proposed five-story building has been approved by the Morris County Land Development Review Committee, but more approvals are needed before the plans are put to action.


LOCAL | August 8, 2017
NJ EDA Headquarters Renamed to Honor Caren Franzini

The headquarters of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority will be renamed the Caren Franzini Memorial Building in honor of the woman who lead the Authority for 18 years. Caren Franzini, who passed away in January, joined EDA as deputy director in 1991 and became executive director in 1994, leaving in 2012 to start her own firm. In 2016, she helped found Great Trenton, a nonprofit dedicated to economic development in the capital city. As you know, Caren was a good friend of the Association and is much missed by the construction industry and many others in public and private domain in New Jersey.


LOCAL | August 8, 2017
Final Approvals Received to Demolish Centerton Road Bridge

Burlington County officials recently received approvals to shut down the Centerton Road Bridge, over Rancocas Creek, after it sat unused for two years and was declared structurally deficient. The demolition is expected to take five months and officials have already started discussion about what will replace the bridge.


LOCAL | August 8, 2017
Downtown Jersey City Will Gain Another New Development

A new development is in the works for 285 Newark Avenue. The proposed space will consist of 22 residential units and commercial space on the ground floor. The proposed six-story building, which needs a variance, will also feature balconies, a roof-deck and bike storage.


LOCAL | August 8, 2017
Montclair to Undergo Large Redevelopment Project

Montclair, (Essex County), is getting a new development project that will create a mixed-use complex. Developer BSREP II Wellmont, GSA acquired the building on Bloomfield Avenue and Seymour Street for $2.425 million and plans to use the 29,835 square feet to build a six-story building with 200 residential units, a lobby and lounge, four retail spaces, and 81 parking spaces.


LOCAL | August 7, 2017
Cascades Inc. Announces Plant Investment in Piscataway

Cascades Inc., which produces green packaging products and tissue paper, recently announced an $80 million project for a mew containerboard packaging plant in Piscataway. The 400,000 square-foot plant will create 120 jobs; operations will begin in the second quarter of 2018.


LOCAL | August 3, 2017
Portal Bridge Project Passes Environmental Impact Test

Yesterday, the FTA approved the environmental impact statement for the Portal Bridge replacement project – another step toward getting federal funds. The project over the Hackensack River is estimated at $1.6 billion and is part of the larger Gateway Tunnel project.


LOCAL | August 2, 2017
Bader Field Up for Sale—Again

Once again, Bader Field is up for sale. The last time the 143-acre property was up for sale, Atlantic City only received two bids, neither very high considering it is prime real estate. The city is now welcoming redevelopment proposals.


NATIONAL | August 2, 2017
Construction Employment Increases for the Year despite Hiring Difficulties

Construction employment increased in 264 out of 358 metro areas between June 2016 and June 2017 and the employment gains were the most pronounced in the western third of the country. New Jersey’s biggest construction employment increases were in Vineland-Bridgeton, where there was a 7% increase with 200 new jobs. Camden saw a 5% rise with 1,100 new employment opportunities, and Newark had a 3% increase with 1,500 new jobs. Although the majority of metro areas had increased employment nationally, 57 of the metro areas decreased, and parts of New Jersey showed discouraging losses. One of the largest losses for metro areas in the country was in Atlantic City-Hammonton, which showed a 9% decrease on 900 job losses. Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean showed a 7% decrease with 2,900 job losses. Trenton NJ had a 6% decline while 300 jobs disappeared.


LOCAL | August 2, 2017
New Chair and ED at Port Authority

Selected by Governor Christie, New Jersey Senator Kevin O’Toole will replace John Degnan as Chairman of the Port Authority. At the same time, Rick Cotton, special counsel for New York Governor Cuomo, will take over as Executive Director from Patrick Foye. Both appointments take effect September 28 following the next Port Authority Board meeting. The governors announced the two new leaders will resume the search for a new CEO.


LOCAL | August 2, 2017
Mixed-Use Projects Define Hackensack Redevelopment Plans

Several developers have proposed plans or are currently constructing approved plans for mixed-use projects in downtown Hackensack (Bergen County), thanks to new zoning pushed for by the city’s Main Street Alliance in 2012. •Heritage Capital is turning a former bank into 127 luxury residential units, a $38 million project at 210 and 214 Main Street that will also include valet parking, an outdoor lounge and fitness center, and nearly 5,000 square feet of retail in two buildings. Heritage Capital got a 25-year Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) grant, and is now eyeing up 210 Moore Street for more development. •Also under construction is Meridia Metro at 100 State Street, where 222 units have been completed by developer Capodagli Property Company of Linden. •Hornrock Properties and Russo Development recently received approval for a $90 million project of 377 residences, 3,000 square feet of retail, 200 public parking spaces and community amenities at “Lot C” between East Salem Street Extension, Midtown Bridge Approach and Midtown Place, a triangle that borders Foschini Park. •Fourth Edition is finalizing agreements to redevelop the former Bergen Record property at 150 River Street with 267 residential units and expects to break ground in the second half of 2018; Fourth Edition also hopes to build retail properties, perhaps including a hotel, along River and Bridge streets. Altogether, the city has 881 units under construction, approved site plans for 510 units and more than 1,500 units in planning stages. Street work will include a $5 million project to turn Main and State streets into two-way roadways, which involves new traffic lights and meters.


LOCAL | August 2, 2017
New Apartment Building with Parking Garage Coming to Bloomfield

A parking lot in Bloomfield is set to be replaced by a mixed-use building. The parking lot is alongside the New Jersey Transit tracks from Washington Street and will be used for a six-story building. The building will hold 176 apartments, 314 parking spaces and a 2,700 square foot common area.


LOCAL | August 1, 2017
Newark to Get Apartments at Site of Defunct Baseball Stadium

Lotus Equity Group recently unveiled plans to turn the site of the former Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium into as many as 2,000 rental apartments and 400,000 square feet of office space. In total the development will be 2.3 million square feet and will include retail stores and open space. The site is within walking distance of Rutgers, NJIT and trains to Manhattan. Lotus has named four architecture firms that will collaborate on the design.


LOCAL | August 1, 2017
PSE&G to Hire 3,000 Workers for Gas Pipeline Project

Public Service Electric & Gas says that if it receives approval from the Board of Public Utilities, it will create 3,000 new jobs over the next five years. PSE&G plans to replace 1,250 miles of aging gas pipes, a project that will cost $2.7 billion. The project is part of a long-term goal to replace 4,000 miles of cast-iron gas pipes with modern plastic ones.

July 2017

LOCAL | July 31, 2017
PSE&G to Build $275 Million Substation

Public Service Electric & Gas won approval to replace a large, outdated substation in Newark. The estimated cost of the project is $275 million and is one of many of PSE&G’s electric transmission reliability projects. The work on the project will begin immediately so that the station can be in service by June 2021.


NATIONAL | July 28, 2017
Construction Among States Up for Year; New Jersey Strong in June

For the year from June 2016 to June 2017, 42 states added construction jobs, a strong showing indicating increased private-sector demand. However, for the month from May to June, nearly half the states lost jobs, attributed to a shortage of workers in some parts of the country. Coming out ahead of the other 49 states and DC, New Jersey added the largest percentage of new construction jobs for the month, up 2.7% with 4,200 jobs. For the year, New Jersey gained 4,600 jobs, a 3% hike. Rhode Island added the highest percentage of jobs for the year-over-year, up 13.4% with 2,400 jobs, and saw a 1% increase for the month with 200 jobs. Delaware also gained during both periods, up 1,200 jobs (5.9%) for the year, 100 (0.5%) for the month. Connecticut, which gained 1,500 jobs for the year-over-year, a 2.5% bump, lost more jobs for the month than any other state in the region, shedding 800 jobs, a 1.3% drop. Pennsylvania added 5,600 jobs for the year period, a 2.4% increase, but lost 500 jobs for the month, a 0.2% loss. New York picked up 5,500 jobs for the year, a 1.5% increase, but lost 100 for the month, down 0.03%.


LOCAL | July 25, 2017
Jenkinson’s will build seawall

Jenkinson’s Pavilion in Point Pleasant Beach has settled a lawsuit with the borough, the State Department of Environmental Protection, and the US Army Corps of Engineers that requires them to install a steel seawall on its private beach. The agreement is for a steel sheet pile bulkhead, 18 feet above sea-level constructed at Jenkinson’s expense.


LOCAL | July 25, 2017
Corning to Expand Vineland Plant

Following its partnership with Merck and Pfizer, Corning Inc. in Vineland is expected to add 1,000 jobs to its plant, which will require the plant to be expanded by 26,500 square feet.


LOCAL | July 21, 2017
Port Authority Approves New Delta Terminal at LaGuardia

Delta will pay $3.4 billion of the $4 billion project, with Port Authority covering up to $600 million following the Authority’s approval yesterday of the lease agreement with Delta. Work on the 37-gate facility is scheduled to begin this summer.


LOCAL | July 19, 2017
US DOL Orders East Orange Contractors to Pay Back Wages

Yesterday, the US Department of Labor announced it has told three East Orange construction firms to pay $850,000 in back wages and damages to workers who were cheated out of overtime. The companies, DKNJ Masonry Corp., Roy Rock LLC and Silver Construction Inc., all run by Rui Pires, paid 153 workers straight time after 40 hours of work, rather than time-and-a-half. US DOL also reported the companies did not properly track employee hours and in fact hid overtime hours worked for one company in the payroll of another. All were violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.


NATIONAL | July 14, 2017
Payment for Small Business Bill Passed in House Committee

Recently, the House Small Business Committee passed H.R. 2594, a bill supported by AGC of America that would speed up payments to small-business federal contractors. The bill addresses change order payments, requiring 50% payment in a timely manner of the billed change order work amount. Currently there is no Senate companion bill; ACCNJ will track this bill’s movement.


LOCAL | July 13, 2017
Cushman & Wakefield Report Strong NJ Industrial Real Estate Markets

The second quarter of this year was New Jersey’s 18th consecutive quarter of positive net absorption in the North and Central Jersey industrial real estate markets, according to a recent Cushman & Wakefield report. Overall warehouse and distribution vacancy dropped to 4.2%, pulled down by all the New Jersey Turnpike corridor submarkets, which measure at or below 4%. On average, Central Jersey, which represented more than 70% of the year-to-date absorption, reports a 3.5% vacancy for warehouse facilities.


LOCAL | July 13, 2017
NJ Representative Proposes $900 Million for Gateway Project

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, Republican from District 11 and chair of the House Appropriations Committee, has allocated $900 million for the Gateway project in the House transportation spending plan released Tuesday. The bill, for FY2018, includes $500 million in grants for rail repair and $400 million for building a new tunnel under the Hudson plus replacing the Portal North Bridge over the Hackensack. In addition, a “significant portion” of Amtrak’s $328 million in Northeast Corridor funding would be used on the Gateway project. The bill was advanced by voice vote through an appropriations subcommittee Tuesday night.


LOCAL | July 12, 2017
Update: Burlington County, towns pull support of huge warehouse zone plan in Florence, Mansfield

Due to citizen concern about severe traffic problems in the Florence and Mansfield area, the plan to rezone hundreds of acres and build a 6.5 million-square-foot industrial space has recently been cancelled. Had the plan been approved, the development could have added $500 million to the ratable base in the area as well as more than 3,000 jobs.


LOCAL | July 10, 2017
Rockefeller Completes $57M Deal in Piscataway

Rockefeller Group recently bought a 228 acre sight in Piscataway (Middlesex County), for $57 million. The site will be used to build 2.4 million square feet of industrial distribution and light manufacturing space. The logistics center will consist of six buildings and construction will begin on two sites later this summer. The cost is estimated to be between $225 and $250 million.


LOCAL | July 10, 2017
Tropicana Acquires the Chelsea Hotel

Tropicana Entertainment in Atlantic City plans to connect the Chelsea Hotel to its casino by a skyway bridge, transforming it into the new Chelsea Tower, a 20-story oceanfront hotel.


LOCAL | July 10, 2017
Cost of Hudson Tunnel Project Could Hit Nearly $13 Billion

The Hudson Tunnel Gateway Project is currently considered one of the most important infrastructure projects in New Jersey. However, after a steep increase in the original cost estimate and the uncertainty of support from the Trump Administration, it is unclear whether the project will continue. Latest estimates state building a new rail tunnel and fixing the existing one could reach an estimated $13 billion, $5.3 billion higher than the original plan. If the project continues, the construction of a new tunnel could begin by fall 2019 and be completed by spring 2026. John D. Porcari, the interim executive director of the Gateway Program Development Corporation, attributes the steep increase to the location of the new tunnel, which was just recently decided to be along the curve, adjacent to the current tunnel.


NATIONAL | July 7, 2017
Monorail Hoists Removed from Crane Rule Compliance

On July 3, OSHA announced that monorail hoists used to lift natural gas canisters, septic tanks and other similar objects will not have to comply with the agency’s 2010 construction crane rule, 29 CFR 1926 Subpart CC, as long as the hoists comply with other OSHA regulations. In the original rule release, monorail hoists were classified as cranes, a designation that also required the truck drivers operating the hoists to comply with OSHA’s crane operator testing and certification regulations. Per the announcement, monorail hoists must comply with the standards covering overhead hoists (29.CFR 1926.554) along with the corresponding training standards. The announcement is considered a notice of temporary enforcement as OSHA reviews rulemaking options for a long-term solution covering monorail hoists. Visit www.osha.gov for details and updates.


LOCAL | July 7, 2017
Kearny Point’s Building 197 Breaks Ground

Building 197, part of the $250 million development of Kearny Point (Hudson County), is slated to be a 200,000-square-foot “light industrial” project that will provide homes for smaller manufacturers, perhaps in the food industry. The site formerly held the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, just off Hackensack Avenue behind the Hudson County jail. Building 197 will join Building 78, completed in 2015, which is rented to about 100 small businesses and 250 employees. Hugo Neu is the property owner and developer.

June 2017

LOCAL | June 29, 2017
Cumberland County Jail Approved

The Cumberland County Improvement Authority can go ahead with plans for a new jail following the County’s Board of Freeholders approval this week. The proposal calls for 300 to 500 beds for Cumberland County inmates plus Gloucester County inmates as part of the continuation of the shared-service agreement between the two. One of two sites will be selected and cost determined accordingly.


LOCAL | June 29, 2017
Matrix Proposes 530,000-Square-Foot Warehouse in Burlington Township

After being empty and without purpose for nearly 10 years, 135 acres that were once home to U.S. Pipe & Foundry Co. could be torn down and rebuilt into a business park with a 530,000-square-foot warehouse under the direction of Matrix Realty. The plant closed in 2008, and the site may need environmental remediation. Thursday, there will be a public hearing to determine whether the redevelopment should proceed.


LOCAL | June 29, 2017
UPDATE: American Dream Financing a Done Deal

Triple Five announced last week the financing for the American Dream project is a done deal: Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan completed a $1.1 billion tax-exempt bond sale to fully fund completion of the East Rutherford megamall.


NATIONAL | June 29, 2017
Metro Construction Employment Increases for the Year Despite Hiring Difficulties

Construction employment increased in 243 out of 358 metro areas between May 2016 and May 2017 despite many firms’ difficulties finding qualified workers, according to AGC of America. New Jersey’s biggest construction employment increases were in Bergen-Hudson-Passaic, NJ, where there was an 8% increase with 2,400 new jobs, and in Vineland–Bridgeton, NJ where there was a 7% increase with 200 new jobs. Camden saw a 2% rise with 400 new employment opportunities, and Newark had a 1% increase with 400 new jobs. Although the majority of metro areas had increased employment nationally, 59 of the metro areas decreased, and parts of New Jersey showed discouraging losses. One of the largest losses for metro areas in the country was in Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean, NJ, which showed a 9% decrease on 3,400 job losses. Trenton NJ had a 6% decline while 300 jobs disappeared. Atlantic City-Hammonton had a 3% drop, losing 200 jobs.


NATIONAL | June 28, 2017
Metro Construction Employment Increases for the Year Despite Hiring Difficulties

Construction employment increased in 243 out of 358 metro areas between May 2016 and May 2017 despite many firms’ difficulties finding qualified workers, according to AGC of America. New Jersey’s biggest construction employment increases were in Bergen-Hudson-Passaic, NJ, where there was an 8% increase with 2,400 new jobs, and in Vineland–Bridgeton, NJ where there was a 7% increase with 200 new jobs. Camden saw a 2% rise with 400 new employment opportunities, and Newark had a 1% increase with 400 new jobs. Although the majority of metro areas had increased employment nationally, 59 of the metro areas decreased, and parts of New Jersey showed discouraging losses. One of the largest losses for metro areas in the country was in Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean, NJ, which showed a 9% decrease on 3,400 job losses. Trenton NJ had a 6% decline while 300 jobs disappeared. Atlantic City-Hammonton had a 3% drop, losing 200 jobs.


LOCAL | June 20, 2017
Camden Hotel Gains $18.3 Million EDA Tax Break

The NJ EDA approved tax incentives totaling $18.3 million for an eight-story, 180-room Hilton Garden Hotel on the Camden waterfront at Cooper Street and Riverside Drive, plus a $3 million low-interest loan. Project cost is estimated at $52.8 million, of which 40% will be paid for by the hotel owner, CHP Land LLC.


LOCAL | June 20, 2017
Penn Station Expansion Includes Farley Building Mixed-Use

New York’s Farley Building, built in 1912 and on the National Register of Historic Places, will become an annex of Penn Station under a $1.6 billion partnership deal among various groups – New York State, Amtrak, the MTA, the Port Authority, the Related Cos., Vornado Realty Trust and Skanska. The building, on eight acres fronting 8th Avenue between 31st and 33rd streets, will house Amtrak and Long Island Railroad train halls and 700,000 square feet of office and retail space, in addition to the Post Office headquarters and operations. The Related Cos., Vornado and Skanska will construct the space and pay $630 million of the cost in return for operating it and collecting income from the commercial space. New York State will ante up $550 million, with $420 million coming from Amtrak, the MTA, the Port Authority and federal grants. The 255,000-square-foot train halls and transportation facility, to be called Moynihan Station, will connect underground to the new western concourse in Penn Station.


LOCAL | June 20, 2017
$26.7 Million Performing Arts High School Planned for Ocean County

On June 14, the Ocean County Board of Freeholders approved a 53,000-square-foot performing arts high school on the campus of Ocean County College, a $26.7 million project that is expected to open in 2019. The school will be adjacent to the college’s 450-seat theater. A partnership of the state, the county, the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation and the college will fund the work, with 40% financed by the state ($10.6 million) and 60% by the county and the foundation ($16 million). Another $2 million from the college will cover interest payments or other expenses during construction.


LOCAL | June 16, 2017
Construction Among States Up for Year But Weaker for Month

For the year from May 2016 to May 2017, 42 states added construction jobs, a strong showing indicating increased private-sector demand. However, for the month from April to May, half the states and DC lost jobs, attributed to a shortage of workers in some parts of the country. In the region, Rhode Island added the largest percentage of new construction jobs for the year, up 12.8% with 2,300 jobs. Rhode Island also gained 300 jobs for the month, edging up 1.5%. Pennsylvania, on the other hand, which gained 2,600 jobs for the year-over-year, a 1.1% bump, lost more jobs for the month than any other state, shedding a whopping 4,300 jobs, a 1.8% drop. New Jersey picked up 200 jobs for the year period, a 0.1% increase, and 100 jobs for the month, another 0.1% gain. Connecticut added 2,000 jobs for the year-over-year, up 3.4%, but lost 600 for the month, a 1% drop. Delaware gained 1,200 jobs for the year period, a 5.9% jump, but lost 200 for the month, down 0.9%. New York picked up 5,000 jobs for the year, a 1.3% increase, and gained 700 for the month, a 0.2% rise.


LOCAL | June 15, 2017
UPDATE: Stranded Asset Hoffman-LaRoche Campus to be Redeveloped

We discussed the 116-acre site, the former Hoffman-LaRoche campus that straddles both Nutley and Clifton in Essex County, in our feature article, “Repurposing Stranded Assets to Revitalize New Jersey,” in the Fall 2016 issue of New Jersey Construction magazine (page 21). Bought by Prism Capital in October of 2016, the land is being repurposed to offer a medical school – a joint venture of Hackensack University Medical Center and Seton Hall University, other life-science firms, and a possible mixed-use collection of residential, retail, entertainment and fashion. Now, as Roche finishes water remediation on the campus, the first phase of the redevelopment will focus on the five existing buildings. Buildings 123 and 123A, each seven stories with a total of 500,000 square feet, will house the medical school, along with Seton Hall’s Applied Health Program and Graduate School of Nursing. Half of the five-story Building 102 (7,500 square feet), which is connected to the first two buildings via a sky bridge, will be the new home for an as-yet-unidentified bio-fabrication firm. Building 76, the 15-story office tower, and Building 1, a seven-story office building, which together offer another half-million square feet, will be leased. Prism also plans road improvements, including working with Essex County on a reconfiguration of Kingsland and Bloomfield avenues, and possible bus line and shelter changes with New Jersey Transit.


LOCAL | June 15, 2017
$18.5 Million Riverfront Project Coming to Trenton

A pedestrian bridge will stretch from the roof of the Statehouse parking deck over Route 29 to a revitalized riverfront park in Trenton (Mercer County), a joint $18.5 million project of NJDOT and NJDEP announced by Governor Christie yesterday. The bridge will be funded by $15 million in enhancement funds, and the 4.5-acre park – with plantings, paths and lighting – will be funded by $3.5 million of DEP’s Natural Resource Damages monies. The park will connect to Stacy Park (across Route 29 from Trenton High School West) and run south along the Delaware River, touching Mill Hill Park and Assunpink Creek. At the same time, the governor announced the first phase of a $2.4 million restoration of Cadwalader Park, on 100 acres east of Stacy Park.


LOCAL | June 8, 2017
Joint Base First to Get New Tankers – and $154 Million in Construction

Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst gained another measure of protection against closure as it was selected to receive the first round of new refueling tankers, two years ahead of Travis Air Force Base in California. The 24 new KC-46A Pegasus planes, which measure 52 feet tall and 165 feet long with a wingspan of 157 feet, are scheduled to arrive in 2021. The $154 million in military construction will occur in advance of their arrival.


LOCAL | June 6, 2017
AC Electric to Proceed with $79 Million Capital Investment

Atlantic City Electric got approval from the NJ Board of Public Utilities to invest $79 million in a five-year capital improvement plan that will strengthen grid resiliency. Part of the company’s PowerAhead Program, the investment structure will allow AC Electric to recover revenue spent on resiliency. The program covers these projects: • Structural and Electrical Hardening - $24 million • Selective Undergrounding - $11 million • Barrier Island Feeder Ties - $13 million • Distribution Automation - $15 million • Electronic Fusing - $2 million • New Harbor Beach Substation - $14 million


LOCAL | June 6, 2017
MGM and Caesars to Partner in Atlantic City

With few details, MGM Resorts, owner of the Borgata, and Caesars Entertainment, owner of Harrah’s, announced last week they planned to partner on an unnamed Atlantic City project. Both properties are close together on the Boardwalk.


LOCAL | June 6, 2017

With few details, MGM Resorts, owner of the Borgata, and Caesars Entertainment, owner of Harrah’s, announced last week they planned to partner on an unnamed Atlantic City project. Both properties are close together on the Boardwalk.


LOCAL | June 1, 2017
UPDATE: American Dream Bonds Issued

Two bond offerings issued last week ($800 million) and this ($300 million) could mean financing is now in place to complete the American Dream Meadowlands shopping and entertainment complex in East Rutherford (Bergen County) after 14 years of start-and-stop building. The $300 million bond offering claims American Dream will open “no later than March 1, 2019,” less than two years from now. Construction crews have been on the site in recent weeks.

May 2017

NATIONAL | May 31, 2017
Metro Construction Grows for the Year on Private-Sector Projects

Construction firms added jobs in 217 of 358 metro areas (nearly 61%) in the year from April 2016 to April 2017, responding to the demand for workers on private-sector projects. Public-sector investments, AGC of America notes, declined 8.5% during that year-over-year period. New Jersey metros reflected dismal numbers for the period, with two metros in the bottom five in the nation. Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean lost 3,200 jobs, an 8% drop, and Trenton lost 500 jobs, a 10% decline. While not quite in the bottom five, Atlantic City-Hammonton also lost 500 jobs, a 9% drop. With more positive numbers, Camden added 500 jobs, a 2% gain; Vineland-Bridgeton picked up 200 jobs for a 7% increase; and Bergen-Hudson-Passaic fared the best with an additional 1,700 jobs, a 6% rise. Newark remained unchanged from last year.


LOCAL | May 31, 2017
Trenton to Demolish 500 Abandoned Buildings

At a cost of $11.5 million, Trenton will demolish perhaps as many as 500 abandoned buildings within the city limits, as announced by Governor Christie yesterday. That is about one-sixth of the estimated 3,000 abandoned commercial and residential buildings in Trenton. The funding will come from the state, with another $786,000 allocated for 150 new surveillance cameras and inspection of city street lights.


LOCAL | May 24, 2017
Midtown Elizabeth to Get $200 Million Redevelopment

A partnership between MAS Development Group and Faros Properties will redevelop Midtown Elizabeth, building approximately 525 luxury residential units and 30,000 square feet of retail space on five acres along Union Street, across from the Elizabeth NJ Transit Train Station on West Grand Street. The two-phase project, which should break ground in the first quarter of 2018, is estimated at $100 million per phase. The developers received final approvals for the project in March. The Elizabeth train station itself is slated for a $55 million renovation.


LOCAL | May 24, 2017
Roebling Wire Works Redevelopment to Include Loft Apartments

In the first phase of redeveloping the former Roebling Wire Works complex at 675 S. Clinton Avenue in Trenton, HHG Development Associates will create Roebling Lofts, 190 luxury apartments in 475,000 square feet of industrial space. The project will also include building a new structure and repurposing the old boiler house, plus adding 175,000 square feet of Class A office space and 30,000 square feet of retail, all at a cost of $31 million. The total cost of redeveloping the more-than-a-century-old complex comes in at approximately $150 million. The developer expects it to qualify for EDA’s Grow New Jersey tax incentives.


LOCAL | May 23, 2017
Aqua NJ Announces $23 Million in Water Infrastructure Upgrades

Aqua New Jersey, which provides water and wastewater services to 11 New Jersey counties, announced last week it plans to invest nearly $23 million this year in upgrades to its drinking water and wastewater systems. Some projects are currently underway. The 2017 capital improvement program includes these expenditures: • More than $7 million throughout the company’s central operating division, comprised of Chesterfield and North Hanover townships (Burlington County); Robbinsville, Lawrenceville, and Hamilton and Washington townships (Mercer County); Howell and Upper Freehold townships (Monmouth County); and Berkeley Township (Ocean County). • Nearly $6 million in the southern operating division of Gloucester Township (Camden County); Woolwich Township (Gloucester County); and Egg Harbor Township (Atlantic County). • Nearly $10 million in its northern operating division, which provides water service in Phillipsburg, Greenwich, Harmony, Lopatcong, Pohatcong and Holland townships (Warren County); Lebanon Township and Califon and Bloomsbury boroughs (Hunterdon County); and Fredon, Hardyston, Vernon, Green, Byram and Stockholm townships (Sussex County).


LOCAL | May 23, 2017
UPDATE: American Dream Financing Secured

American Dream Meadowlands developer Triple Five announced late last week it has secured $1.6 billion in construction financing, which will lead to a bond issuance, hopefully in the near future, to provide the rest of the funding to complete the project. Triple Five set a new opening date of March 2019.


LOCAL | May 22, 2017
Smithville to Add Mixed-Use Development

Historic Smithville, the tourist attraction in Galloway Township (Atlantic County) owned by The Towne of Smithville LLC, will get a new addition on a currently empty 19-acre lot at 2 N. New York Road, across Route 9 from the Smithville Inn. The mixed-use development, just approved by the town’s planning board, will include a 62-room hotel, shops, a gas station and convenience store, and two senior living communities with an assisted living facility, 40 one-bedroom units and 48 one-bedroom townhomes. No construction date has been established.


NATIONAL | May 22, 2017
State Construction Employment Still Uneven Month-by-Month

Although 39 states added construction jobs for the year-over-year period from April 2016 to April 2017, more than half lost jobs between March and April this year. In the region, Rhode Island came out in the top five for highest percentages, adding 1,800 jobs for the year-over-year, reflecting a 10% hike. But Rhode Island remained flat for the month, with no jobs added. Of the 21 states that did add jobs for the month, Connecticut had the highest percentage increase in the nation, climbing 4.7% on 2,800 new jobs. Connecticut was also strong for the month, adding 2,500 jobs, a 4.2% increase. Delaware added 1,100 jobs for the year-over-year period, a 5.3% rise, but lost 200 for the month, a 0.9% dip. New Jersey fared poorly in both timeframes, losing 500 jobs for the year-over-year, a 0.3% drop, and 1,000 jobs for the month, a 0.6% decrease. While New York added 3,400 jobs for the year period, edging up 0.9%, the state lost 2,000 for the month, down 0.5%. Pennsylvania was also up for the year period, adding 4,300 jobs, a 1.8% gain, but lost 900 jobs for the month, a 0.37% drop.


LOCAL | May 18, 2017
Monmouth Mall Redesign Proposal #2

The first proposal to redesign Eatontown’s Monmouth Mall failed after residents resisted the effort to include 700 residential units. Proposal #2, presented by owner Kushner Companies, doesn’t specify the number of residential units, but features a broad glass canopy covering a “culinary marketplace,” wine bars, upscale restaurants and “tea boutiques,” along with shopping and entertainment venues and some amount of residential. Kushner Cos. expects to partner with Rouse Properties to develop the concept, which will be named The Heights at Monmouth, and begin construction in 2018.


LOCAL | May 18, 2017
CRDA Approves AC Beer Garden

Bungalow Biergarten, an open-air restaurant and bar slated for a site just off the Atlantic City Boardwalk in the half-block between South California and South Belmont avenues, received approval from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority this week. Dectrinity LLC proposed the project; its principal, Nick Dounoulis, who also owns the Bungalow Restaurant and Beach Bar on the Boardwalk at South California Avenue, expects the operation to be open around the Fourth of July. It will include seating for 322 guests, an outdoor kitchen with walk-in refrigeration, two bars, three propane fire pits, a game area and restrooms. Four distressed-wood shipping containers will serve as dry storage. Parking will be available in an adjacent lot.


NATIONAL | May 18, 2017

At a hearing yesterday, USDOT Secretary Elaine Chao told the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, “Please be assured that Gateway is an absolute priority” for the Trump administration.


LOCAL | May 16, 2017
Transit Hub in Queens Proposed to Ease Penn Station Congestion

ReThink Studio has proposed a new transit hub in Sunnyside, Queens, to reduce the congestion in Penn Station by connecting commuter trains with subways and bus lines at four regional hubs in New York and New Jersey. Called ReThinkNYC, the proposal aims to be developed as part of the Gateway Tunnel project, without additional cost. Plans include moving rail yards from Sunnyside to the Bronx and building a “trunk line” to connect various transportation methods between Secaucus in New Jersey (Hudson County) and Port Morris in the Bronx. The plan’s design aspires to connect the 26 commuter rail lines – Metro North’s Harlem and Hudson Lines, Hudson Lines and NJ Transit’s Bergen County Lines – with Secaucus, Penn Station, Sunnyside and Port Morris becoming the four major transit hubs. As part of the Sunnyside plan, ReThink envisions an office district with millions of square feet of new office space that is connected to the regional rail network, seven subway lines and the new light rail/bus system for Brooklyn and Queens.


LOCAL | May 16, 2017
Glassboro Public Housing: Demolition and Rebuild

The Ellis Street Projects at Ellis Street and Higgins Drive in Glassboro were built on 76 acres in the early 1960s, but residents were relocated in 2013. Now the buildings will be demolished and the site remediated, at a cost of $1.6 million funded by state demolition funds, affordable housing trust funds and a community development block grant. Together, the Glassboro Housing Authority and developer Pennrose Properties LLC plan to build affordable, age-restricted housing on the original site, with 65 units for seniors, of which 16 will be for developmentally disabled adults. Demolition is expected to be completed by the end of the summer with construction beginning in Spring 2018.


LOCAL | May 11, 2017
New Shopping Complex Coming to Paramus

Paramus Crossroads will sit on a 14.5-acre site along Route 17 South that currently holds a PGA Tour Superstore and P.C. Richard & Son, plus an office building that will be demolished. In its place, a 40,000-square-foot retail space will house approximately 10 new dining options and specialty retailers, each occupying 1,500 to 20,000 square feet, along with office and medical operations that are currently in the office building. The complex is expected to be completed by Summer 2018. Developers are Advance Realty and Invesco Real Estate.


LOCAL | May 10, 2017
Newark Warehouse to be Transformed into Mixed-Use

Plans for Ironside Newark, a vacant warehouse that will become a 456,000-square-foot mixed-use project, include two stories of retail and restaurant space and six floors of office space. Located on the corner of McCarter Highway (Route 21) and Edison Place, Ironside Newark’s site borders Mulberry Commons Park, a project announced in January and posted in Hot Topics. Newark real estate developer Edison Properties, known for Edison ParkFast lots and garages, is making a $75 million equity investment in the Ironside Newark project.


LOCAL | May 2, 2017
Newark PATH Extension Estimated at $1.7 Billion

Last week, the Port Authority approved $57 million for planning and design of a two-mile extension of PATH from Newark Penn Station to Newark Liberty Airport, which could also include a new PATH transportation hub in the Dayton/Seth Boyden section of Newark’s South Ward, depending on environmental review results. The extension would create a direct link from the World Trade Center PATH to the Newark Liberty monorail. The total project is estimated at $1.7 billion, with completion in 2026.


NATIONAL | May 2, 2017
March Metro Construction Jobs Increase in Two-Thirds of Markets

Construction employment rose in 224 of 358 metro areas in the country in March 2017 compared to March 2016, approximately 63%. It declined in 92 metros and remained the same in 42. In New Jersey, Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean lost 2,100 jobs, a 6% drop that landed it in the top five worst metros for the period. Atlantic City-Hammonton lost 600 jobs for the period, an 11% drop, and Trenton lost 300 jobs, a 6% drop. On the plus side, Bergen-Hudson-Passaic gained 900 jobs, a 3% increase; Newark added 700 jobs, a 2% hike; Vineland-Bridgeton added 200 jobs, a 7% hike; and Camden added 100 jobs, a 1% bump. Overall, the state lost 1,200 jobs for the period, a 1% decrease.

April 2017

NATIONAL | April 28, 2017
US Senate Confirms Alexander Acosta as Labor Secretary

Last evening, in a 60-38 vote, the US Senate confirmed Alexander Acosta as Secretary of Labor. A Republican, Acosta was a member of the National Labor Relations Board, and had been the US attorney in Florida and head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division.


LOCAL | April 27, 2017
New York City to Count All Construction Fatalities in Total

After a Crain’s Business story and a new law from City Council, New York City’s Buildings Department will now count all construction fatalities in its total and post them on its website. In the past, the Buildings Department only reported those fatalities in which a city code violation occurred, regardless of OSHA findings of workplace safety violations. According to the Crain’s report, one-third of the city’s jobsite fatalities in 2015 was not reported.


NATIONAL | April 27, 2017
USCIS Issues New Green Cards and EADs

Beginning May 1, US Citizenship and Immigration Services will issue redesigned Green Cards (Permanent Resident Cards) and EADs (Employment Authorization Documents). With enhanced graphics and security features, the new cards are part of the federal government’s efforts to deter counterfeiting and fraud. Each has the individual’s photo on both sides; the Green Card, with an appropriately green color palette, has an image of the Statue of Liberty, and the EAD has a bald eagle on a predominantly red palette. Both have embedded holographs and will no longer display the individual’s signature. The old and new versions of the Green Card and EAD are both acceptable for Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification and E-Verify. For more details, access the USCIS news release at https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-will-issue-redesigned-green-cards-and-employment-authorization-documents?utm_source=homepagebanner&utm_campaign=gcredesign


NATIONAL | April 25, 2017
Trump Order Tariffs on Canadian Softwood Lumber

Last night, President Trump ordered tariffs on Canadian exports of softwood lumber, particularly used in the US residential building market. Five Canadian lumber companies will have to pay duties of between 3% and 24%. The rest of the Canadian lumber company tariffs will be nearly 20%.


NATIONAL | April 24, 2017
Construction Employment Strong for Year, Weak for Month

While 39 states added construction jobs for the year from March 2016 to March 2017, only 17 added jobs from February to March of this year. In the region, Rhode Island placed in the top five for the year-over-year period, adding 1,500 jobs for an 8.2% leap, but slid back for the month, shedding 100 jobs, a 0.5% decrease. Pennsylvania gained 6,700 jobs for the year, up 2.8%, but lost 1,700 for the month, a 0.68% drop. New York added 7,100 jobs for the year, a 1.9% gain, but lost 2,000 for the month, a 0.5% decrease. Delaware picked up 200 jobs for the year, a 0.9% rise, but lost 100 for the month, a 0.5% drop. And both Connecticut and New Jersey lost jobs for both periods. Connecticut shed 1,800 jobs for the year-over-year, down 3%, and 300 jobs for the month, down 0.5%. New Jersey dropped 1,000 jobs for the year-over-year, a 0.6% loss, and 2,800 for the month, down 1.8%.


LOCAL | April 20, 2017
Luxury Apartments Slated for Somerville

Somerville (Somerset County) has approved a four-story luxury apartment building at 11 South Bridge Street, to be developed by Sterling Properties of Livingston. Called SOMA, the building will hold 69 units ranging from 585 square feet to 1,290 square feet, a fitness center and tech lounge. Construction is expected to begin this spring.


LOCAL | April 20, 2017
South Jersey Tech Park Lands Animal Health Company Headquarters

HIPRA, a veterinary pharmaceutical with locations in 27 countries, has signed an agreement to build its North American headquarters on 25 acres at the South Jersey Tech Park on Route 322 in Mantua Township (Gloucester County). Rowan University, which owns the 180-acre site, finalized the sale April 5 and expects HIPRA to apply to the township for construction approvals in the near future.


LOCAL | April 18, 2017
FEMA to Fund 90% of Repair in Sandy-Damaged Holland Tunnel

FEMA will contribute $229.6 million to the Port Authority to repair 22 sites in the Holland Tunnel damaged by Superstorm Sandy. The funds represent 90% of the $255 million total required for repair and added resiliency. Both tubes of the tunnel, designated a National Historic Civil and Mechanical Engineering Landmark, were flooded as the water came through from the New Jersey side and the exhaust air duct system.


NATIONAL | April 17, 2017
March Construction Materials Prices Leap

While finished project prices remained flat, construction costs rose in March. Materials prices compared to March 2016 soared for diesel fuel (up 35%), steel mill products (up 19%), copper and brass mill shapes (up 17%), aluminum mill shapes (up 8.8%), gypsum products, including wallboard and plaster (up 7.6%), and lumber and plywood (up 7.3%). In contrast, the price index for new nonresidential buildings increased only 1.4%. AGC of America, which analyzed the federal producer price data, also warned that construction costs for commercial projects could continue to rise if “Buy America” provisions are expanded or tariffs on imported steel are increased. In addition, limiting Canadian lumber could affect the cost of residential projects.


LOCAL | April 11, 2017
$1.6 Billion Staten Island Revitalization Report Released Today

The New York City Economic Development Corp. is releasing a report today that details $1.6 billion in public and private funding to revitalize Staten Island’s North Shore waterfront, of which $600 million is public investment, $1 billion is private funding. The report calls for 4,000 new housing units, 2,000 new jobs, transportation upgrades, and 200,000 square feet of new commercial and retail development on a 10-acre strip of land. Some specific projects the EDC hopes to advance include rehabilitation of 55 Stuyvesant Place, the 630-foot observation wheel (largest in the Western hemisphere), business incubators and co-working spaces, a new mixed-used district along Bay Street, affordable housing units on the site of the Jersey Street Sanitation Garage at 100 Brook Street (due to close in 2020), and various arts, cultural and historic venues. For a copy of the report, visit https://www.nycedc.com/system/files/files/program/downtown_staten_island_brochure.pdf.


LOCAL | April 11, 2017
Rutgers Approves $115 Million Athletic Practice Facility

Last week, Rutgers Board of Governors approved building a $115 million multisport training and practice facility on the Livingston Campus, to be named the RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center after the joint Rutgers/RWJBarnabas Health sports medicine program announced last November. The building will be four stories and 125,000 square feet with practice rooms, locker rooms, strength-training and conditioning facilities, space for nutrition counseling, coaches’ offices, a Rutgers Athletics Hall of Fame, a spirit shop and an area for athletes to eat. A 555-space parking deck and bicycle storage will be integrated. Funding will come from a $26 million bond issuance for the parking deck; monies from the R Big Ten Build campaign; a multi-million naming gift from RWJBarnabas Health; and tax credits from NJEDA’s Economic Redevelopment and Growth Program. The project is one of three to be funded in part by the R Big Ten Build campaign, which has raised more than $71.1 million in donations to date.


LOCAL | April 10, 2017
Dumont Considers New or Renovated Municipal Complex

Last week, Dumont (Bergen County) officials had a “preliminary” look at costs for a new or rehabbed municipal complex. Either project – rehabilitation of the 26,000-square-foot former borough hall or demolition of the existing facility and new construction of a 27,600-square-foot building – would cost more than $11 million for construction. Additional costs, presented by RSC Architects of Hackensack, could include purchase of adjacent land for parking, professional fees and removal of the four conjoined trailers that currently house the borough’s police department, bringing the total cost closer to $14 million. The Feasibility Assessment dated 4/4/2017 can be found on the Dumont Borough website: http://www.dumontnj.gov/dumont-news/notices-announcements">www.dumontnj.gov/dumont-news/notices-announcements">http://www.dumontnj.gov/dumont-news/notices-announcements


LOCAL | April 6, 2017
American Dream Update: Under Construction Again

A Forbes Exclusive online post Tuesday afternoon reports construction is back on at American Dream Meadowlands, with a targeted opening in Fall 2018.


LOCAL | April 5, 2017
New Brunswick Finally Getting Performing Arts Center

New Brunswick Development Corp., DEVCO, announced that the long-awaited, state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center will finally break ground this summer. The $190 million project will hold two theaters – 485-seat and 300-seat, three rehearsal stages and 240 one- and two-bedroom apartments on land owned by the city across from the Heldrich Hotel. The George Street Playhouse and Crossroads Theatre, currently on the site, will be demolished and rebuilt as part of the PAC, along with the American Repertory Ballet and Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts. An 80-foot fly space and 50-seat orchestra pit are also part of the plan, along with third-floor amenities for the apartment-dwellers, including a fitness room, yoga studio, demonstration kitchen, a massive communal living room and a co-working space. A pool will be built on the roof. Identified as a public-private partnership, funding comes from EDA’s Economic Redevelopment & Growth ($40 million); Rutgers University ($17 million); redevelopment area bonds ($15 million); County of Middlesex Cultural Arts Fund ($6 million); New Market Tax Credits ($6 million); the New Brunswick Cultural Center ($4.5 million); and air rights payments ($2 million). The rest will come from developer equity, debt raised by the private-sector partner and bond proceeds from the New Brunswick Parking Authority. Demolition on the site will begin June 5.


LOCAL | April 5, 2017
Hard Rock Plans $375 Million Makeover of Taj Mahal

Hard Rock’s CEO Jim Allen released renderings and announced plans to spend $375 million redeveloping the former Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, which Hard Rock International bought from Carl Icahn March 1. The complete redesign that will become Hard Rock Hotel & Casino features two separate 7,000-seat arenas, more than 2,400 slot machines, and a new 400-seat venue for the Hard Rock Café. It’s expected to create more than 1,000 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent jobs, with a projected opening in Summer 2018.


NATIONAL | April 4, 2017
As Metros Add Construction Jobs, AGC Focuses on Worker Safety

In the period from February 2016 to February 2017, 239 of 358 metro areas, nearly 67%, added construction jobs. In New Jersey, four of seven metros were included in the “gain” column. Newark came out on top in the state, adding 2,300 over last year, a 6% gain. Bergen-Hudson-Passaic added 1,700 jobs, also a 6% hike. Camden added 1,100 for the period, up 5%, and Vineland-Bridgeton added 100 jobs, up 4%. Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean saw the biggest drop for the year-over-year, losing 1,300 jobs, down 4%. Atlantic City-Hammonton and Trenton each shed 200 jobs, a 4% drop for each. As employment in the industry climbs, AGC of America has released a new safety study to help construction firms prevent workplace injuries and fatalities. The study, for which AGC partnered with the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech, analyzed every construction fatality in the US from 2010 through 2012. The study revealed some facts we already knew – falls account for a third of the fatalities in the industry – and some we didn’t. For example, most fatalities occur between 10 am and 3 pm, with a peak at noon. AGC now recommends holding safety talks and stretching exercises as workers return from the 11-to-noon lunch break. For a copy of the complete 30-page report, downloadable as a PDF, visit https://www.agc.org/industry-priorities/safety-health/construction-fatalities-study-0


LOCAL | April 3, 2017
Rutherford Adding New Police Station to Borough Hall

Rutherford borough officials are in early planning stages for a new police station that will become a 15,000-square-foot or larger addition to Borough Hall at 176 Park Ave. T&M Engineering and architect Anthony Guzzo were hired to design a site plan and estimate building costs. The new facility will include updated technology and current law enforcement standards for jail cells and prisoner transport.

March 2017

NATIONAL | March 28, 2017
Repeal of Federal Blacklisting Rule Signed Into Law

Yesterday, the President signed into law a bill repealing the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” executive order imposed by President Obama. As we posted in Hot Topics on March 7, the so-called Blacklisting Regulation was struck down via the Congressional Review Act, which means future presidents can’t issue similar rules. AGC of America’s advocacy efforts contributed to the repeal.


NATIONAL | March 27, 2017
State Construction Jobs Up in 43 States in February Year-Over-Year

Compared to February 2016, 43 states added construction jobs in February 2017, and 39 states added jobs in the month from January to February 2017. In the Mid-Atlantic region, New York and Rhode Island showed the strongest gains. New York was one of five states to reach a record for construction employment in the year-over-year with the addition of 6,800 jobs (up 1.8%); New York also added 2,100 jobs for the month, a 0.6% bump. Rhode Island added 2,200 jobs for the year-over-year, a whopping 12.2% increase, giving it the #1 spot in the nation for percentage gain. And the 700 jobs added in Rhode Island for the month, a 3.6% gain, put it in the #6 spot for percentage gains. New Jersey was up for both periods, adding 2,400 jobs for the month, a 1.5% increase, and 3,100 jobs for the year-over-year, a 2% gain. Rounding out our region: Delaware added 800 jobs for the year-over-year, up 3.8%, and 1,000 jobs for the month, up 4.7%, a percentage increase that put it in the #2 spot for the month. Pennsylvania added 9,300 jobs for the year-over-year, up 3.9%, and 1,500 for the month, up 0.61%. Connecticut lost 400 jobs for the year-over-year, sliding 0.7%, but was up 1,200 jobs for the month, a 2.1% rise.


LOCAL | March 24, 2017
Jersey City Approves Land Transfer for Liberty Science Center Expansion

Liberty Science Center will now be able to build a $280 million technology center on 16 acres along Phillip Street within Liberty State Park. Last night the Jersey City Council approved a land transfer to the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, which will then sell the 16 acres to SciTech Scity, the Liberty Science Center’s planned futuristic mini-city, for $10. The development will offer a K-12 school dedicated to STEM; the world’s first business “optimizer” for 100 science, technology and engineering startups; a small conference center; and Scholars Village, a 50,000-square-foot residential complex with short-term dorm-room accommodations for visiting scientists and entrepreneurs and longer-term apartments for STEM college students and people working at SciTech Scity.


LOCAL | March 22, 2017
$13 Million Development Approved for Vineland

Helped by EDA tax credits for 30% of the project’s eligible costs up to $3,911,700 worth of state taxes, approved last week, Vineland will see a $13 million commercial development on the site of the former Kmart site on Delsea Drive across from Cumberland Mall. The project includes construction of an Olive Garden restaurant on a discrete pad on the site, plus a 30,000-square-foot Raymour & Flanigan Furniture store, a 50,000-square-foot Gabe’s discount clothing store and other businesses.


LOCAL | March 22, 2017
Gateway ROI Could be 4-to-1

The Gateway project, estimated at $25 billion, would generate $4 for every dollar spent, says Amtrak. The projected return-on-investment was based on a study to determine if finding funding for Gateway is feasible. If completed, the project could double service for NJ Transit and Amtrak commuters into Manhattan, foster job growth and strengthen a transit system that was severely damaged during Superstorm Sandy. According to the study, if a new Gateway tunnel is not built, the region could lose as much as $3 billion in economic activity from 2025 to 2029, particularly if the storm damage and aging force one of the two tubes of the century-old North River Tunnel to close. Such a closure would reduce capacity by 75%.


LOCAL | March 22, 2017
Last of “Building Our Future” Bond Act Monies Appropriated

The remaining $34.3 million from the 2012 voter-approved legislation to fund higher education capital projects has been appropriated. Projects include: • NJIT - new Life Sciences and Engineering Research facility • Stevens Institute of Technology – state-of-the-art technology-equipped instructional and research building • William Paterson University – reconstruction of Hunziker Building for laboratories and general-use classrooms • Monmouth University – renovations to the Edison Science Building • Caldwell University – new Art Therapy facility • Union County College – new Health Sciences building


LOCAL | March 17, 2017
$135 Million Investment Planned for Former Atlantic Club Casino

R&R Development, with managing partner Ronald Young, has purchased the former Atlantic Club Casino with plans to convert it, after a $135 million investment, into a family resort, not a gambling venue. To be called Dolphin Village, the resort’s centerpiece will be a water park, along with a 300-room hotel that could open this fall. Young has partnered in the venture with Robert Reilert, former general counsel for Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Caesars had owned the Atlantic Club, selling it to TJM Properties of Clearwater, FL, after closing it in 2014. TJM continues to hold an ownership stake in the property.


NATIONAL | March 17, 2017
Metro Areas Show “Mixed Pattern” of Construction Employment in January

On the heels of the state construction employment figures, AGC of America released the metro figures, which show what AGC calls a “mixed pattern” across the country in January compared to January 2016. While 219 of 358 metro areas increased construction jobs, 61%, “many pockets of decline” appeared, even within states that had an overall increase for the same year-over-year period. In New Jersey, the up-and-down pattern was evident. Bergen-Hudson-Passaic and Newark each saw 4% increases, picking up 1,200 and 1,600 jobs respectively. Trenton added 100 jobs for a 2% gain. But Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean lost 1,900 jobs, a tough 5% hit, and Camden, despite all the new development, dropped 200 jobs, a 1% decline. Construction employment remained unchanged in Atlantic City-Hammonton and Vineland-Bridgeton for the year-over-year period.


LOCAL | March 15, 2017
AC’s CRDA Amends Master Plan to Spur Economic Development

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has proposed an amendment to its Tourism Master Plan with the hope it will encourage more development in Atlantic City. Key changes: more permitted uses in zoning areas, and new zoning that would allow mixed-use development in the Southeast Inlet (plus restaurants and parks), along with art studios in other areas besides Ducktown and retail along the AC Expressway and waterfront. The 50-page amendment includes 25 objectives. The PDF and more details may be found at http://www.njcrda.com/ac-tourism-district/master-plan/">www.njcrda.com/ac-tourism-district/master-plan/">http://www.njcrda.com/ac-tourism-district/master-plan/


NATIONAL | March 15, 2017
State-by-State, Construction Employment is Up for the Month and Year

From January 2016 to January 2017, 39 states added construction jobs, and 38 states and DC added jobs between December 2016 and January 2017, reports AGC of America. New Jersey posted modest growth in both periods, adding 800 for the year-over-year, a 0.5% gain, and 3,800 jobs for the month, a 2.5% hike. New York and Rhode Island showed the strongest growth in the region. Rhode Island was in the top five percentage-wise for the year-over-year, jumping 8.9% with the addition of 1,600 jobs, and for the month, gaining 4.8% with an increase of 900 jobs. New York took the #2 spot for the month with the addition of 8,200 jobs, a 2.2% increase, and was up 5,100 jobs for the year-over-year, a 1.4% gain. Connecticut lost 900 jobs in the year-over-year, a 1.5% drop, but picked up 700 for the month, a 1.2% increase. Delaware was up 200 jobs for the year-over-year, a 1% gain, and 600 jobs for the month, a 2.9% increase. Pennsylvania added 6,500 jobs for the year-over-year, up 2.7%, and 5,900 for the month, a 2.45% gain.


NATIONAL | March 7, 2017
Congressional Review Act Repeals “Blacklisting” Rule

Yesterday, using the Congressional Review Act, the US Senate voted 49-48 to repeal former President Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order, known colloquially as the blacklisting rule, that required federal contractors to disclose workplace violations. The House passed the same bill last month. It now goes to President Trump for signing. AGC of America CEO Steve Sandherr issued a statement following the Senate vote: “Congress has wisely voted to preserve the integrity and fairness of the federal contracting process…To be clear, there should be no place in federal contracting for unsafe or unscrupulous firms. Yet the…measure did nothing to reform or improve the existing suspension and debarment process. Instead, it created a new layer of bureaucracy that would have given federal officials broad discretion to punish construction firms based on any number of unsubstantiated allegations without establishing a process for those firms to defend themselves. That is why the Associated General Contractors worked so aggressively…for passage of today’s repeal measure. We urge President Trump to sign this measure into law as quickly as possible.”


NATIONAL | March 7, 2017

Yesterday, using the Congressional Review Act, the US Senate voted 49-48 to repeal former President Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order, known colloquially as the blacklisting rule, that required federal contractors to disclose workplace violations. The House passed the same bill last month. It now goes to President Trump for signing. AGC of America CEO Steve Sandherr issued a statement following the Senate vote: “Congress has wisely voted to preserve the integrity and fairness of the federal contracting process…To be clear, there should be no place in federal contracting for unsafe or unscrupulous firms. Yet the…measure did nothing to reform or improve the existing suspension and debarment process. Instead, it created a new layer of bureaucracy that would have given federal officials broad discretion to punish construction firms based on any number of unsubstantiated allegations without establishing a process for those firms to defend themselves. That is why the Associated General Contractors worked so aggressively…for passage of today’s repeal measure. We urge President Trump to sign this measure into law as quickly as possible.”


LOCAL | March 6, 2017
Hard Rock Buys AC’s Taj Mahal

Last week, Hard Rock International announced its partnership with the Morris and Jingoli families to purchase the former Trump Taj Mahal casino from Carl Icahn. Hard Rock will be the majority owner of the now-to-be-called Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. The group will invest more than $300 million to purchase and renovate the casino. Joseph Jingoli and Son, Inc., of Lawrenceville is an Active Member of ACCNJ, and will serve as developer on the project, which is expected to open in 2018.

February 2017

NATIONAL | February 28, 2017
AGC of America Launches New Advocacy Site

In case you find it less-than-easy to communicate with state and federal officials, AGC of America has launched a new advocacy site to seamlessly send emails, take action on legislative/regulatory alerts and find out information on a variety of topics. For example, under “ACTION CENTER” on the nav bar, you can find your legislator, send an email to one or more legislators and research their voting records. Under “ADVOCACY” you can read about the issues and legislation that directly affect the construction industry, and even register to vote. Visit and browse: http://advocacy.agc.org/


LOCAL | February 27, 2017
Pinelands Commission Approves PennEast Pipeline

On Friday, the Pinelands Commission approved, 9-5 with one abstention, the underground PennEast pipeline, which will run from Millville to the B.L. England electric plant in Upper Township (Cape May County). Approximately 15 miles of the 22-mile pipeline will travel through the Pinelands. The rest will follow Routes 49 and 50.


LOCAL | February 21, 2017
Jamie Fox, Twice Transportation Commissioner, Dies at 62

Jamie Fox, who served as Commissioner of Transportation under Gov. Jim McGreevey and Gov. Chris Christie, died yesterday of kidney disease. Fox had a long history of public service in the state, serving as Chief of Staff and/or senior advisor to Governors McGreevey, Florio, Codey and Corzine, as well as Senator Bob Torricelli. Fox was also a former Executive Director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Born in Elizabeth and raised in Union Township, he was a lobbyist and founder of River Crossing Strategy Group in Trenton, and was well-liked and respected by Democrats and Republicans alike.


LOCAL | February 21, 2017
Route 206 Bypass Moves Closer to Completion

NJ DOT’s Route 206 Bypass, an idea that’s more than four decades old and a project that’s only half-completed, might be finished by 2020. It’s supposed to run from Old Somerville Road to Mountainview Road in Hillsborough, but part of the land needed for the congestion-relieving bypass is also the site of the Van der Veer Harris House, which dates to the late 18th century and is owned by the New Jersey Historic Trust. DOT proposes a land swap of almost 13 acres it owns on Township Line Road, to be dedicated as open space, for just under two acres for the bypass – running 1,100 feet along Route 206 and 50 feet back into the Van der Veer House property. If the NJ DEP Green Acres Program approves the land swap, bids for site prep and construction could go out in the fall. The project is estimated at $50 million or more.


LOCAL | February 17, 2017
Port Authority Capital Plan Includes Some Bus Terminal Funding

Yesterday the Port Authority approved a $32.2 billion, 10-year capital plan. The 2017-2026 Capital Plan includes $11.6 billion in major redevelopment projects at regional airports; $10 billion for trans-Hudson commuting, of which $2.7 billion will pay debt service on federal loans to build the Gateway Project’s rail tunnels; the remaining funds needed to complete the $1.5 billion Goethals Bridge replacement and $1.6 billion Bayonne Bridge rebuild; and almost $2 billion to complete the GW Bridge rehab. Notably, the Capital Plan also provides $3.5 billion for a new Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. Initially, $70 million of that is set aside for planning – hiring environmental and technical consultants, identifying a site, conducting environment studies and evaluating “interim solutions for the existing terminal.”


LOCAL | February 14, 2017
Virtua Health Announces $22 Million Expansion in Camden

Virtua’s Camden campus, more than 100 years old, could be transformed into a $22 million, two-story, 34,500-square-foot Family Health Center at Mount Ephraim Avenue and Everett Street, consolidating and upgrading the services it currently offers in the complex of buildings at Mount Ephraim and Atlantic avenues. Plans include flexible space for 16 to 18 exam rooms, including two larger rooms that can encompass medical teams; a video hookup for communications with offsite experts; urgent care services; physical therapy facilities; podiatry and dental services, and other specialties. The existing family health center would be demolished to create parking and the new center would be built adjacent to that site. The site plans were supposed to be considered at the Camden Planning Board meeting last Thursday, which was cancelled due to weather conditions.


NATIONAL | February 14, 2017
Materials and Labor Costs Rising Faster Than Project Prices

AGC of America reported today the cost of materials used in construction rose 3.8% in January compared to January 2016, while the price index for new nonresidential buildings increased only 1.4%. Most notable were price increases in diesel fuel, up 34.8%, copper and brass mill shapes, up 19.9%, steel mill products, up 11.4%, and lumber and plywood, up 3.7%. Across the country, the average hourly earnings for all construction workers rose 3.2% in the year-over-year timeframe. For AGC’s producer price index tables and explanation, login to www.agc.org.


LOCAL | February 10, 2017
Cherry Hill Advances Plans for Addiction Rehab Center

On Monday, the Cherry Hill Planning Board approved a recommendation to adopt a redevelopment plan for the nearly four-acre Baker Lanes bowling alley site on Cuthbert Blvd. between Routes 38 and 70. The proposed treatment center, under the direction of Advance Recovery Systems of Fort Lauderdale (Florida), would be three or four floors with a maximum of 90 beds, medical treatment areas, therapy offices, group meeting rooms, a cafeteria, administrative offices and other staff facilities, all within a footprint of up to 30,000 square feet accessible to off-street parking. Indoor and outdoor recreational areas could include a half-size basketball court, volleyball court, indoor running track, in-ground swimming pool, gardens and outdoor seating areas, and locker rooms. It would also be a secured facility with fencing, landscaping and both internal and external security measures.


LOCAL | February 7, 2017
Morristown Office Building to Get Major Renovation

The property at 340 Mount Kemble Ave. in Morristown, with 400,000 square feet, will get a glass façade, full-height atrium, conference rooms, a cafeteria and an auditorium. It will also have parking spaces for 1,600 vehicles, along with shuttle service to downtown Morristown and the train station. The renovation is directed by Onyx Equities LLC.


LOCAL | February 7, 2017
AC Land Auction Expands to Include Other Towns’ Land

An auction scheduled for March 9 will offer more than 150 properties in Atlantic City, Egg Harbor Township, Galloway Township and Pleasantville. The site is an old union hall at 470 N. Albany Avenue, itself one of the parcels to be auctioned off, currently being upgraded to become a restaurant. Other parcels evoke Monopoly: the Columbus Hotel at Pacific Avenue and St. James Place; land on Pacific Avenue next to Kelsey’s Restaurant; and several beachfront properties on New York Avenue and St. James Place. Some have been packaged together, such as a six-property group in Galloway Township and 10- and 18-property groups in Pleasantville. And there’s an 11.7-acre piece zoned for commercial use on White Horse Pike in Galloway. Most of the land is owned by Ned Sakhai, including the old union hall. Robert Salvato’s AcAuctions of Ventnor is running the auction.


LOCAL | February 2, 2017
New York’s Labor Unions Maintain Highest Membership in US

New York is the most unionized state in the country, and the only state to have more than 20% of its workers organized – and that’s been true every year for the past decade, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2016, 23.6% of New York’s workers belonged to a union, compared to 10.7% of US workers overall. New Jersey saw a rise recently in the percentage of union members among employed workers, measuring 15.4% in 2015 and 16.1% in 2016.


LOCAL | February 2, 2017
NYC Buildings Department Comes Out Against Union Apprenticeship Bill

New York City’s construction fatalities rose sharply in the last two years, and a 21-bill Construction Safety Act was debated this week in City Council. One hotly contested piece, the apprenticeship bill, would require apprenticeship training for construction workers. It was blasted on Tuesday by the city’s Department of Buildings Commissioner, Rick Chandler, who would prefer a provision requiring OSHA’s 10-Hour Construction Health & Safety course. While the debate was going on within, reportedly thousands of union construction workers protested on Broadway outside City Hall in support of the apprenticeship bill, while another group organized by the New York City Housing Authority rallied against the bill.


NATIONAL | February 1, 2017
Metro Construction Employment Sluggish in December Year-Over-Year

Compared to December 2015, construction employment dropped in 110 of 358 metro areas (31%) in December 2016. It remained unchanged in 65 metros and increased in 183, only 51% -- the lowest increase since September 2012, according to AGC of America’s Chief Economist Ken Simonson. The biggest loss in our region was the Orange-Rockland-Westchester metro area in New York, which shed 5,500 jobs, a 12% drop. In New Jersey, we had a see-saw among our metro areas. Camden gained 2,100 jobs in the year from December 2015 to December 2016, a 10% jump that put the city at #15 across all metros in the US. But Trenton lost 500 jobs, a 9% drop, ranking it near the bottom at #346. Atlantic City-Hammonton lost 300 jobs, a 6% drop, and Vineland-Bridgeton lost 100 jobs, a 3% drop. Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean picked up 1,300 jobs in the year-over-year comparison, a 3% gain; and Bergen-Hudson-Passaic and Newark each gained 400 jobs, a 1% increase for each. The see-saw resulted in a net gain for the state of 3,200 jobs, a 2% bump.

January 2017

LOCAL | January 31, 2017
AC Plans New Public Housing

The Atlantic City Housing Authority has proposed demolishing two existing public housing developments, Stanley Holmes and Buzby Village, and building new facilities, plus renovating the senior and disabled towers under the authority’s domain, including Jeffries Tower and Altman Terrace. Monies for these projects could come from the federal Rental Assistance Demonstration Program, and the property for the new developments could be found in vacant sites owned by the city. Rehab in the towers could include new kitchens, bathrooms, vanities, painting, roofing and other exterior work. Planning is still in the early stages, but if projects can go forward, the Housing Authority anticipates completion within four years.


NATIONAL | January 30, 2017
AGC of America Asks for Action on Congressional DOT Funding

AGC of America’s Highway Facts Bulletin last Friday reports the Transportation Construction Coalition sent a letter to the 115th Congress asking for action to fully fund an FY 2017 transportation appropriations measure. Because federal funding is approved only through the end of April, the letter notes, states are unable to put all their projects out to bid. Also, federal highway and transit programs are currently funded at FY 2016 levels, 2% below the level authorized in the FAST Act. AGC of America urges members to contact your Congressional delegation and invites you to use the message available through the Hardhats for Highways website: http://hardhatsforhighways.org/


NATIONAL | January 30, 2017
Cleveland Ironworkers First to Approve Pension Cuts Under 2014 Law

Last week, a majority of members of Iron Workers Local 17, based in Cleveland, approved pension cuts requested by trustees in order to save the pension fund from imminent insolvency (projected to be 2024). The Local was the first to take such action under the 2014 Multiemployer Pension Fund Reform Act. The Treasury Department certified the voting results; the cuts will be reflected in February 1 pension checks.


LOCAL | January 26, 2017
$10 Million in Funding for Rehab of Passaic Riverfront

Passaic city and county officials announced funding this week of $10 million to rehabilitate the city riverfront at Dundee Island Park. Half comes from a DEP grant, half from Passaic County. First phase of the project includes construction of a river walkway, upgrades to athletic fields in the park and sustainability designs to reduce flooding. The Trust for Public Land will coordinate the project.


NATIONAL | January 26, 2017
Senate Democrats: $1 Trillion, 10-Year Infrastructure Proposal

Senate Democrats this week jumped on President Trump’s infrastructure remarks to develop a $1 trillion plan for transportation and other infrastructure projects to be built over the next decade. Calling for $210 billion to repair or replace aging roads and bridges, plus $200 billion for a fund to pay for projects of “national significance,” they estimate the plan could create 15 million jobs. The Gateway Project – new rail tunnels and bridges between New York and New Jersey – is one of the projects that could be eligible for financing from the infrastructure fund. The plan isn’t getting much support from Senate Republicans, nor did the Democrats offer ideas for funding it.


NATIONAL | January 25, 2017
Two-Thirds of States Add Construction Jobs in 2016

For the year that just ended, 32 states added construction jobs, down from 44 states that added jobs in 2015. AGC of America attributes the drop to a “dearth of workers with experience.” On the plus side, New Jersey added 900 jobs from November to December 2016, a 0.6% increase, and was up 3,200 for the year, a 2.1% gain over 2015. In the region, Pennsylvania was the only other state that fared well, adding 2,200 jobs for the month, a 0.94% gain, and 3,900 for the year, up 1.7% from 2015. New York added 300 jobs for the month, a 0.1% increase, but shed 7,800 jobs for the year, the second highest loss in the nation and a 2.1% decrease. Connecticut’s monthly total remained unchanged from November to December, but the state lost 1,900 jobs, a 3.3% drop, from 2015. Delaware picked up 200 jobs for the month, a 1% gain, but was down 1,000 jobs, a 4.6% drop, from 2015. And while Rhode Island picked up 600 jobs, a 3.4% increase for the month, it lost 200 jobs for the year, a 1.1% drop.


NATIONAL | January 23, 2017
US DOT Issues New Report on Bridge and Highway Status

Last week, just as the I-276 bridge was shut down over the Delaware between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the US DOT was releasing its latest report, “2015 Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges and Transit: Conditions and Performance.” Produced every other year, this latest report IDs a backlog of $836 billion in unmet capital investment needs for surface transportation, up 3.4% from the last report. And that figure was for 2012 improvements. The report states $142.5 billion is required – across state, federal and local governments – to cover the backlog plus other needs that could arise in the next 20 years. To access the report, visit https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pressroom/dot1710.cfm


LOCAL | January 23, 2017
PA Turnpike Bridge Closes with Fracture in Steel Truss

In May, the I-276 bridge over the Delaware will be 61. On Friday, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Authority abruptly closed the bridge after a fracture was discovered in an I-beam (14-inch steel truss). Owned jointly by the PA Turnpike Authority and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the bridge will be closed indefinitely while repairs are made. Also closed: NJ Turnpike Exit 6 and local roads under the bridge. The PA Turnpike Authority has launched a web page to track the progress of the work and provide information about detours: https://www.paturnpike.com/DRBAlert.aspx


LOCAL | January 19, 2017
Newark’s Triangle Park to Become Mulberry Commons

Redevelopment of downtown Newark continues: Mayor Baraka announced yesterday a plan to transform Triangle Park into 22 acres of park, retail and commercial space, known as Mulberry Commons. The project site, which runs along Mulberry Street by the Prudential Center, will repurpose a warehouse on McCarter Highway and connect the Ironbound district to Newark Penn Station. Edison Properties is principal owner, partnering with J&L Properties, the Newark Community Economic Development Corp. and the Newark Downtown District. More than $100 million for the project comes from private investors, with another $10 million expected in public funding. Still in the design stage, the project’s anticipated completion date is late summer 2018.


LOCAL | January 17, 2017
Industrial Park Proposed for Logan Township

F. Greek Development, based in East Brunswick, last week purchased 415 acres on US Rte. 322 in Bridgeport, Logan Township (Gloucester County), on which it plans a three-million-square-foot industrial park to be developed in partnership with Advance Realty.


LOCAL | January 17, 2017
UPDATE: Tunnel Project’s Gateway Development Corp. Elects Chair

Last week, the Gateway Development Corp. announced it elected Richard Bagger as chairman at the corporation’s first meeting in Newark. Currently a Port Authority Commissioner, Bagger was a New Jersey State Senator (R) and then chief-of-staff to Gov. Christie. In its first funding action, the corporation approved an Emerging Projects Agreement with the US DOT, the first step in securing billions of dollars in low-cost loans to pay for the Gateway project. The cost estimate for Gateway starts at $23 billion to cover two new tunnels, replacement of the Portal Bridge, two new tracks between Secaucus and the new tunnels, repair of the existing tunnels, an annex to Penn Station, a loop in Secaucus to connect Bergen County light rail with New Jersey Transit’s Northeast Corridor lines, and a second Portal bridge. On January 5, the Port Authority committed $2.7 billion in its capital plan for Gateway.


LOCAL | January 13, 2017
Joint Base Chosen as Home for New Tankers

The second-largest employer in New Jersey and the only tri-service military base in the country, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst has been chosen to house a new fleet of 24 Air Force KC-46 air-refueling tankers, expected to arrive beginning in 2020. With the aircraft could come new jobs and millions in military construction spending. It also helps protects the Joint Base against closing or budget cuts.


LOCAL | January 12, 2017
New York’s Gov. Cuomo Issues EO for State Contractors on Pay Equity

On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 162 requiring state contractors and subcontractors to report comprehensive payroll information on all workers employed on state contract jobs beginning on or after June 1, 2017. The information must include job title and salary in addition to the EEO information already required (gender, race, ethnicity).


NATIONAL | January 12, 2017
AGC Releases Hiring and Business Outlook Survey Results

Yesterday AGC of America released the results of its 2017 Construction Industry Hiring and Business Outlook survey. Based on results from nearly 1,300 construction firms from 49 states and DC, 73% expected to expand payrolls in 2017, with demand growing in both private and public sectors in all market segments. Among the segments, respondents were most optimistic about demand in the hospital and retail/warehouse/lodging markets. Respondents remain worried about the availability of qualified workers and rising health and regulatory costs. For complete details and the report, visit: https://www.agc.org/news/2017/01/10/seventy-three-percent-construction-firms-plan-expand-headcount-2017-contractors-0 New Jersey did not have enough respondents to warrant an individual state report.


NATIONAL | January 11, 2017
USDOT Creates Committee on Automation

With an illustrious membership, the new advisory committee on automation, announced today by the USDOT, will immediately begin work on a number of issues facing transportation, included automated vehicles. The 25-person committee is co-chaired by Mary Barra of GM and Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, and includes engineering and transportation experts from well-known organizations and municipalities: Gloria Boyland of FedEx; Robin Chase of Zipcar; Douglas Chey of Hyperloop One; Henry Claypool of the Community Living Policy Center; Mick Cornett, Mayor of Oklahoma City; Missy Cummings of Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering; Dean Garfield of the Information Technology Industry Council; Mary Gustanski of Delphi Automotive; Debbie Hersman of the National Safety Council; Rachel Holt of Uber; Lisa Jackson of Apple; Tim Kentley of Klay-Zoox; John Krafcik of Waymo; Gerry Murphy of Amazon; Robert Reich of UC-Berkeley; Keller Rinaudo of Zipline; Chris Spear of the American Trucking Association; Sully Sullenberger of Safety Reliability Methods; Bryant Walker Smith of the University of South Carolina’s School of Law and School of Engineering; Jack Weekes of State Farm; Ed Wytkind of the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department; and John Zimmer of Lyft.


LOCAL | January 11, 2017
Produce & Prepared Foods Provider Gets $28.1 Million EDA Incentive

Yesterday, F&S Produce Co., Inc., of Deerfield Township (Cumberland County), was awarded a 10-year, $28.1 million Grow New Jersey incentive from EDA to build a new 100,000-square-foot facility in the Rosenhayn section of Deerfield. The plant would include a USDA-approved prepared meal assembly area with space to process fruits and vegetables and cook meats and grains.


LOCAL | January 5, 2017
Fishermen’s Energy Loses Fed Funding for Windmill Farm

New Jersey has already lost out to Rhode Island as a wind energy leader, and now South Jersey’s Fishermen’s Energy has lost its federal funding to build a windmill farm off Atlantic City because the company couldn’t make a deal with the state for a power offtake agreement by December 31, 2016, the feds’ deadline. The US DOE has revoked most of the $47 million it committed to the project – nearly $11 million has already been spent on preliminary work. New Jersey’s state Board of Public Utilities rejected the Fishermen’s Energy plan three times, blocking any kind of power purchase agreement.


LOCAL | January 5, 2017
$10 Billion Plan to Remake JFK Airport

Yesterday, New York’s Gov. Cuomo revealed a $10 billion plan to remake JFK International Airport. The plan includes upgrading terminals, streamlining the roads and creating an enormous parking lot. However, the Port Authority, which operates the airport, was scheduled to meet today to review the 10-year capital plan, which included perhaps a tenth of that for JFK improvements.

December 2016

NATIONAL | December 29, 2016
AGC Analysis of Population Data as Predictor of Construction Demand

AGC of America’s Chief Economist Ken Simonson analyzed US Census Bureau population data posted this month to determine change over time (July 2010-July 2016), which can indicate where demand for construction may be strongest. For example, population across the US as a whole increased more slowly from 2015 to 2016, and has been “considerably slower” than in the decade before, which could mean demand for construction nationwide may also be slowed. Demand could be stronger, on the other hand, in states where year-over-year population growth is sustained or accelerated. New Jersey’s population increased by small degrees from 2010 through July 1 of this year, for a modest six-year gain of 1.6%. However, growth in the state has decelerated in those six years, indicating demand may be less-than-robust. In the region, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New York all lost population for the year from 2015 to 2016. Connecticut suffered from declining population over the last three years, while Pennsylvania and New York had maintained slow growth until this year. Rhode Island experienced up-and-down shifts over the six years, ending up with a small increase in mid-2016. Delaware made gradual gains although decelerated recently, but still reflected a 5.81% increase after six years, the best growth rate in the region. Contact the Association office at 732.225.2265 for the table - Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for the United States, July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016 - and the Analysis of 2016 State Population Data.


LOCAL | December 28, 2016
New Milford Looks Ahead to Shopping Center Development

Following settlement of a legal dispute last week, New Milford (Bergen County) will now see a new shopping center on a currently vacant 14-acre lot. The dispute with the developer, S. Hekemian Group, led to the decision to allow a shopping center with a new ShopRite and bank, and to replace the existing New Milford ShopRite, just south of the lot, with 145 units of multifamily housing, 27 of which will be “affordable housing” (below market rate) as required by the state. As part of the settlement, the developer will donate part of the lot plus $800,000 for construction and maintenance of a borough athletic field.


LOCAL | December 27, 2016
NJ Transit to Fund Perth Amboy Train Station Renovation

Announced last week, New Jersey Transit will provide nearly $47 million to renovate the Perth Amboy Train Station, built in 1928 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. NJ Transit had gotten the renovation process started in 2013 with monies for design and engineering. Environmental assessment has already begun, and construction is expected to start in 2019.


NATIONAL | December 22, 2016
Metros Add Construction Jobs at Lowest Level in Four Years

We posted the November state construction employment data in Hot Topics earlier this week, and now bring you the metro area statistics for the year from November 2015 to November 2016. While the state numbers looked reasonably positive, drilling down finds construction employment increased in 211 metros for the year-over-year period, the lowest level in four years, according to AGC of America’s analysis. It declined in 86 metros and remained unchanged in 61. New Jersey’s numbers reflected the national pattern, with an uptick statewide for the year in the addition of 3,700 jobs, a 2% rise. But three metros lost jobs for the year: Atlantic City-Hammonton shed 200 jobs, a 4% loss; Bergen-Hudson-Passaic lost 100 jobs, a 0.3% slip; and Trenton lost 400 jobs, an 8% slide. Vineland-Bridgeton maintained status quo. On the other hand, Camden added 2,600 jobs, a 12% jump that offset the losses; Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean picked up 900 jobs, a 2% gain; and Newark added 600 jobs, a 1% increase.


LOCAL | December 20, 2016
Feds Want to Remake Northeast Corridor

Last Friday, the Federal Railroad Administration unveiled its vision and recommendations for a 30-year remake of the Northeast Corridor, increasing the flow to four tracks in most locations, adding access to Philadelphia Airport, adding direct and frequent access to Hartford and Springfield, MA, and increasing or even doubling the number of regional trains, with up to five times more intercity trains. The FRA says the proposals would cut travel time from Boston to New York by 45 minutes and from New York to DC by 35 minutes. Work would start with the improvement of rail conditions along the corridor. However, these are recommendations only from the FRA, suggesting solutions that require more review, environment impact studies and significant funding.


LOCAL | December 20, 2016
Camden Gets $13.2 Million HUD Grant

A $13.2 million grant from the US Housing and Urban Development agency will go toward revitalizing the Mount Ephraim South neighborhood in Camden, one of five cities to receive a HUD 2016 implementation grant intended to turn old federal-subsidized housing into new mixed-use properties close to transit, schools and workplaces. The grant will come with another $280 million in private and public resources. Including Branch Village in Mount Ephraim South, the neighborhood between I-676 and Haddon Avenue currently houses 5,000 residents. The grant will fund development of 176 new townhomes and a 50-unit senior mid-rise, and the city school district plans a new high school and K-8 school, together estimated at $50 million.


LOCAL | December 20, 2016
Update: More German Groceries in Jersey

In July, we posted a Hot Topic about Lidl, the German-owned grocery store chain coming to Millville. Last week, the Lacey Township (Ocean County) Planning Board gave “conditional” approval for a 36,000-square-foot Lidl store with nearly 200 parking spaces on 6.2 acres at the intersection of Route 9 and Haines Street. The conditions included adding taller evergreen trees, fencing and sidewalks along the property line and contributing a share of the cost of a new traffic light on Haines. In addition to Millville, Lidl plans to open groceries in Burlington County, Hazlet (Monmouth County) and Philadelphia.


NATIONAL | December 19, 2016
Uptick in Construction Jobs Across the Country for Month and Year

State-by-state, November saw an increase in construction jobs for both the month from October to November and for the year from November 2015 to November 2016. For the month, 29 states and DC added jobs, while 21 lost jobs. For the year-over-year period, 34 states added jobs, 14 lost jobs, and two states plus DC remained unchanged. While New Jersey lost jobs for the month – down 500, a 0.3% drop – it picked up 3,700 jobs for the year-over-year, a 2.5% increase. In the region, New York took a big hit for the month, shedding 2,400 jobs (a 0.7% drop), placing it second in the nation for jobs lost from October to November. New York also lost jobs for the year, dropping 6,400, a 1.7% decline. Connecticut lost the biggest percentage of jobs for the month, a 3.1% drop with 1,800 jobs lost, and recorded a decrease of 2,200 jobs for the year, a 3.8% drop. Delaware picked up 300 jobs for the month, a 1.5% rise, but was down 400 jobs for the year, a 1.9% decline. Pennsylvania lost 100 jobs for the month, a 0.04% slip, but added 800 for the year-over-year, a 0.3% uptick. Rhode Island gained during both periods, adding 200 jobs for the month, a 1.1% rise, and 300 for the year, a 1.7% gain.


LOCAL | December 13, 2016
EDA Approves Incentives for Three Manufacturing Projects

In action today, EDA approved a 10-year, $29.4 million Grow New Jersey award for Vitaquest International LLC, manufacturer of custom-contract nutritional supplements, which will invest more than $4.1 million in a 79,650-square-foot facility in Paterson, create 100 new jobs and retain 110 jobs that might have been lost had the company moved to Rochester, NY. EDA also approved a 10-year, $18.2 million Grow New Jersey award for Cascades Containerboard Packaging, manufacturer of containerboard and corrugated paper products, should the company construct a new 481,908-square-foot facility on Kapkowski Road in Elizabeth, create 182 new jobs and invest more than $116 million in the project. The company is considering Elizabeth and Newtown, CT, locations. Cyalume Specialty Products Inc. could receive a 10-year, $1.5 million Grow New Jersey award if it expands in Franklin Township (Somerset County) and invests $4.5 million to renovate a 44,392-square-foot facility. The company, which makes specialty chemical products for the pharmaceutical, medical products and cosmetics market, would create 10 new jobs and retain 27 if it decides not to relocate to West Springfield, MA.


LOCAL | December 13, 2016
UPDATE: Amtrak Adds Six Months to Each Gateway Tunnel Fix

The first part of the Gateway Project includes building two new tunnels under the Hudson. But Amtrak announced yesterday that rehabilitating the existing tunnels, originally projected to take a year apiece, will now take 18 months each. After the new tunnels are built, the old tunnels will be shut down during off-peak hours for repairs, one tunnel at a time, allowing 55 hours of work time each weekend.


LOCAL | December 7, 2016
Dream Sequence: Triple Five Presents American Dream Design Video

Construction has apparently resumed on the American Dream project in the Meadowlands, and Monday the developer, Triple Five Worldwide, released a video of renderings depicting a chrome-and-glass exterior to replace the multi-colored existing face. Triple Five says it anticipates a Fall 2018 completion date. View the YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVwxucZzl_M


LOCAL | December 7, 2016
NJ Post-Sandy Dredging Gets Extension and Budget

NJ DEP reports the state has a seven-year extension on its deadline to finish dredging 131 state channels clogged with sand and silt because of Superstorm Sandy – and will receive approximately $60 million more in federal FEMA funds for “vital waterway recovery projects.” The deadline was extended from October 30, 2017, to December 31, 2024. To date, NJDOT has restored 12 channels to authorized depth and is dredging 15 more. The 131 channels represent most of the 200 that were affected by the storm and are eligible for FEMA reimbursement.


LOCAL | December 7, 2016
Palmieri to Leave CRDA

John Palmieri, who has served as Executive Director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority for more than five years, will leave the position at year-end, to be replaced by Deputy Director Christopher Howard. Palmieri was appointed by Gov. Christie in 2011, after CRDA took on planning and development authority in Atlantic City’s Tourism District.


LOCAL | December 7, 2016
Gibbstown DuPont Factory Moves to Phase Two in Redevelopment

Monday night the Greenwich Township (Gloucester County) Planning Board approved second-phase plans for redevelopment of the old DuPont Repauno Plant in Gibbstown. Phase one, approved in July, allowed construction of the first building, a cold-storage warehouse; phase two will see more warehouses and an eight-million-gallon underground storage tank for butane, repurposed from the anhydrous ammonia cavern of the original plant, which closed in 1999.

November 2016

NATIONAL | November 29, 2016
October’s Construction Employment Up in Two-Thirds of Metro Areas

Construction employment rose in 223 of 358 metro areas (62%) between October 2015 and October 2016, fell in 73 (20%) and remained unchanged in 62 (17%). In New Jersey, two of seven metros lost jobs for the year-over-year: Atlantic City-Hammonton dropped 200 jobs, a 4% decrease, and Trenton lost 400 jobs, a 7% drop. On the upside, Bergen-Hudson-Passaic added 900 jobs for the year, a 3% gain; Camden added 700, also up 3%; Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean added 2,000, a 5% hike; Newark added 2,700, up 6%; and Vineland-Bridgeton added 100 jobs, a 4% rise.


NATIONAL | November 28, 2016
Report Studies Effect of Undocumented Construction Workers on GDP

In the US from 2011 to 2013, the construction industry employed approximately 1.1 million undocumented workers, a 13% share of the industry’s workforce, according to a working paper released this month by the nonpartisan National Bureau of Economic Research. The report calculates if those workers were excluded from the industry, construction GDP would drop about 5%, $30.9 billion, in the short-term, and about 8%, $47.6 billion, in the long-term. On the other hand, if undocumented workers gained legal status, the industry’s GDP could increase 1.2%, $7.7 billion, in the short-term, and 1.9%, $12.1 billion, in the long-term. Two other research groups, the Migration Policy Institute and the Federation for American Immigration Reform, responded with skepticism to the report, whose authors explained their findings are based on projected short-term reduction of building activities and long-term increase in labor costs. Released November 14, “The Economic Contribution of Unauthorized Workers: An Industry Analysis” by Ryan Edwards and Francesc Ortega of Queens College (New York), can be found online at http://nber.org/papers/w22834.


LOCAL | November 28, 2016
Camden to See More University Development on Broadway

The partnership between Rowan University and Rutgers-Camden advanced plans last week for a $65 million Center for Sciences complex on Broadway in Camden, across from its $70 million health sciences center. The 100,000-square-foot center on the east side of the 200 block of Broadway, for which the partnership is soliciting “pre-design” services, represents the third phase of a joint health sciences campus. It will include a “unified health sciences library,” classrooms, labs, a research incubator, healthcare-related retail, office and research space. Construction is expected to begin in 2017 on the first two phases and demolition of existing properties on the third-phase site could start in the summer of 2017. At the same time, the Camden County Board of Freeholders is considering a mixed-use complex at the Walter Rand Transportation Center, a block north of the health sciences campus.


NATIONAL | November 28, 2016
Federal Court Blocks Overtime Rule

As companies prepared to comply December 1 with the federal overtime rule requiring overtime pay for salaried workers making approximately $47,500 per year or less, a federal court in Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against the rule last Tuesday, November 22. The US District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, in a case filed by 21 states, declared the US DOL did not have the authority to determine overtime eligibility based on a “minimum” salary. The DOL has not indicated whether it will appeal the decision.


LOCAL | November 22, 2016
Kennedy Health to Build $225 Million Tower and Parking Deck on Washington Township Campus

Kennedy Health announced it will build a seven-story tower and 700-space parking garage on its Washington Township Campus (Gloucester County), which already includes Kennedy University Hospital, surgical, cancer, dialysis and rehab centers, and a long-term care facility. Preliminary plans show a 200,000-square-foot tower with four floors of approximately 30 private patient rooms per floor, same-day surgery services, a cafeteria, hospital support services and a large lobby. Estimated at $225 million, construction on the project could begin in late 2017.


NATIONAL | November 22, 2016
Better Roads Releases 2016 Bridge Inventory

Equipment World’s Better Roads released its latest bridge inventory last Friday, noting that 10% fewer state DOT chiefs are worried about finding the funding to fix the functionally obsolete (FO) or structurally deficient (SD) bridges in their states. The publication attributes that to the enactment of more state programs to fund bridge repairs, with less reliance on federal funds. According to the 2016 Bridge Inventory, New Jersey is one of 17 states with 25%-50% of its bridges classified as FO or SD. The state has 6,680 bridges, of which 1,581 are FO and 568 are SD, for a total of 2,149, or 32.2%. For details and a mouse-over map of the states, visit http://www.equipmentworld.com/2016-better-roads-bridge-inventory-2-year-decline-in-deficient-u-s-bridges-snapped/">www.equipmentworld.com/2016-better-roads-bridge-inventory-2-year-decline-in-deficient-u-s-bridges-snapped/">http://www.equipmentworld.com/2016-better-roads-bridge-inventory-2-year-decline-in-deficient-u-s-bridges-snapped/


LOCAL | November 21, 2016
NJDOT Launches NJPass for Trucks to Bypass Weigh Stations

On Friday, NJDOT launched NJPass, a technology installed in fleet trucks that allows them to bypass the state’s weigh stations at I-78, I-80 and I-295. Any trucking company can apply for enrollment and, once approved, pay an annual fee. For details, visit www.njpass.net.


LOCAL | November 21, 2016
Port Authority Approves Gateway Oversight Entity

Last Thursday, the Port Authority approved creation of the Gateway Program Development Corporation to oversee the Gateway rail transportation project. The municipal corporation, headed by John Porcari of Parsons Brinckerhoff, will be able to apply for and accept up to $6 billion in low-cost loans and staff the corporation, which could include “borrowing” staff from the Port Authority, Amtrak and NJ Transit.


LOCAL | November 18, 2016
Less Than Half the States Add Construction Jobs in October

For the month from September to October, only 23 states and DC added construction jobs. For the year from October 2015 to October 2016, 35 states added jobs. AGC of America reports a decline in public-sector projects has led to the slowing demand for workers. New Jersey lost 200 jobs for the month, a 0.1% decrease, but gained 6,100 jobs for the year-over-year period, a 4.1% increase. In the region, Delaware lost the highest percentage of construction jobs for the month, down 2.8% with a drop of 600 jobs, and also lost 1,300 jobs year-over-year, a 6% drop. Pennsylvania was another loser, shedding 800 jobs for the month, a 0.3% drop, and 3,000 jobs for the year-over-year, a 1.3% drop. Connecticut gained 800 jobs for the month, a 1.4% increase, and 200 for the year-over-year, a 0.4% rise. New York picked up 1,100 jobs for the month, a 0.3% increase, and 2,700 jobs for the year-over-year, a 0.7% rise. And Rhode Island added 100 jobs for the month, up 0.6%, and 100 for the year-over-year, also a 0.6% increase.


LOCAL | November 10, 2016
Camden County to Build New Social Services Center

The Camden County Board of Social Services is planning a new $60 million, 195,000-square-foot facility that will eventually mean the demolition of its current home, the Aletha R. Wright Administration Building on Market Street, which will become a park next to City Hall. The new building on the 2600 block of Mount Ephraim in Camden’s Fairview section, expected to be completed in late 2018 or later, will consolidate Social Services and the job-training and resource center, with 700 employees serving 2,500 clients a day. It is accessible by NJ Transit buses.


LOCAL | November 10, 2016
State Approves Five-Year Takeover of AC

Yesterday the Local Finance Board unanimously voted to allow the state to take control of Atlantic City’s government and finances. The move gives the state power to renegotiate union contracts, hire and fire employees, sell city assets such as Bader Field and the Municipal Utilities Authority, and overrule or reverse city council actions. The Local Finance Board’s decision followed last week’s rejection by the Department of Community Affairs of AC’s proposed five-year plan to rescue the city.


NATIONAL | November 2, 2016
September Year-Over-Year, Construction Employment Rises in Two-Thirds of Metro Areas

In 226 of 358 US metro areas, 63%, construction employment rose. It declined in 74 metros and remained steady in 58. Like the rest of the nation, metro areas in New Jersey were a mixed bag, with two metro areas losing construction jobs, one making a modest gain and the rest showing healthy increases. Atlantic City-Hammonton lost 100 jobs, a 2% decrease, and Trenton lost 400 jobs, an 8% drop. Bergen-Hudson-Passaic added 200 jobs, a 1% bump; Vineland-Bridgeton also added 200 jobs, a 7% jump; Camden added 1,400 jobs, a 6% increase; Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean added 2,200 jobs, a 6% rise; and Newark added 2,900 jobs, a 7% rise.


LOCAL | November 2, 2016
CarePoint Health Plans Nine Satellite ER Centers in Three Counties

CarePoint Health announced it will build nine new satellite emergency room facilities in Hudson, Bergen and Passaic counties. In partnership with Adeptus Health, and following approval by the Department of Health, CarePoint will locate the centers in Greenville and downtown Jersey City, Union City, Edgewater and North Bergen (all Hudson County); Palisades Park, Carlstadt and Lodi (all in Bergen); and Clifton in Passaic County. Plans are to build them in three phases, at a cost of approximately $8 million per center.


LOCAL | November 1, 2016
Florence & Mansfield Share e-Commerce Development Goal

Changes are in place that would help Florence and Mansfield in Burlington County add approximately 6.5 million square feet of industrial space between the NJ Turnpike and Route 130, with the goal of building more e-commerce fulfillment facilities. County freeholders voted to endorse changing state planning areas in Florence to allow for the industrial node, a move that must now be ruled upon by the State Planning Commission. If the state approves, next steps would include changing the zoning to industrial and getting DEP approval on a wastewater management plan to permit sewer and water service. In the end, if all the government regulations are aligned, private developers could bid to purchase the zoned land, which includes farms and residential properties. One possible developer is NFI of Cherry Hill, known for the Subaru and Quality Packages warehouses in Florence.


LOCAL | November 1, 2016
Wind Farm Auction Off New Jersey Coast in December

As we continue to follow New Jersey wind farm developments in Hot Topics, the latest news is the next federal government lease auction, scheduled for December 15, of 80,000 acres of the Atlantic Ocean seafloor approximately 18 miles southeast of Sandy Hook. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management oversees commercial offshore wind leases and identified 14 companies qualified to participate in the auction, including a Deepwater Wind subsidiary, which just finished building the first US wind farm off Rhode Island, and New Jersey’s Fishermen’s Energy. Last November, two other companies were awarded leases to build wind farms on 344,000 acres across a 60-mile stretch from Cape May Court House to Barnegat.

October 2016

LOCAL | October 27, 2016
Mack-Cali Buys 47 Undeveloped Acres in Wall Township

Mack-Cali Realty Corp. has purchased 47 acres of undeveloped land in Wall Township (Monmouth County) from Sheldon Gross Realty. The land has been approved for office and industrial use with a maximum facility size of 275,000 square feet.


LOCAL | October 27, 2016
Construction Management Groups Sue NYC Over Crane Laws

After the February crane collapse in lower Manhattan that killed a resident, the city updated its crane rules to require a shutdown of operations when wind speeds reach 30 mph. On Tuesday, two construction management associations filed a lawsuit to nullify the new regulations, stating no existing laws or standards in the US or internationally mandate or “even suggest that 30 mph winds necessitate special safety placement or maneuvers for crawler cranes.” The Building Trades Employers’ Association of New York and the General Contractors Association of New York claim the 30 mph clause comes from the 1968 building code and the Buildings Department used it in the new rules before the cause of the fatal accident was determined. The associations also take exception to the new lift director position, designated in the rules as a person who must be onsite along with a previously mandated crane safety director. Overall, the associations claim the rules ignore input from industry experts and want to prevent the city from enforcing similar rules in the future.


NATIONAL | October 24, 2016
OSHA Delays Enforcement of Anti-Retaliation Provisions - Again

Previously delayed until November 10, OSHA again has delayed enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions of its injury and illness tracking rule until December 1, at the request of a federal court. As we reported in the July Monthly Update (available online at www.accnj.org), AGC of America has serious concerns about OSHA’s interpretation of the provisions, which could result in prohibiting mandatory post-incident drug-testing and restricting certain safety incentive programs. To explain its position, AGC is hosting a free webinar for members, "Making Sense of OSHA’s Controversial Drug Testing Position in the Context of Injury and Illness Reporting," next Monday, October 31, 2-3 pm Eastern time. To register, visit https://www.agc.org/learn/education-training/events/webedmaking-sense-osha%E2%80%99s-controversial-drug-testing-position-context.


NATIONAL | October 24, 2016
OSHA Proposes Revisions to Standards, Including Construction

As part of OSHA’s initiative to update standards, the agency has proposed 18 changes to various standards, including 10 that are pertinent to construction: Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs), Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals, Personal Protective Equipment, Lanyard/lifeline Break Strength, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, Excavation Hazards, Underground Construction, Rollover Protective Structures, Regulation of Coke Oven Emissions in Construction and Collection of Social Security Numbers. For the Hazardous Chemicals Standard for construction, OSHA proposes “to replace the entire 31 pages of regulatory text” with a cross-reference to the general industry standard, which is identical. For all the details, access the summary at https://www.osha.gov/sip-iv/summary.html and the news release at https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=33234.


LOCAL | October 21, 2016
State Construction Employment Gains for Year, Slows for Month

While 35 states added jobs in September compared to a year ago, only 21 added jobs in the month from August to September. Construction employment in the region was uneven, with New York adding the most jobs for the month (5,100, a 1.4% increase) and Pennsylvania losing the most (down 3,400 jobs, a 1.4% drop). New York also gained 5,200 jobs in the year-over-year, another 1.4% gain, while Pennsylvania lost 2,600 for the year, a 1.1% drop. New Jersey lost 600 jobs for the month, down 0.4%, but over the year picked up 5,700 jobs, a 3.9% increase. Connecticut added 500 jobs for the month, a 0.9% increase, but lost 700 compared to last year, a 1.2% drop. Delaware’s construction employment did not change month-to-month, but the state lost 200 jobs over the year, a 0.9% drop. Rhode Island also maintained the status quo from August to September, but picked up 100 jobs in the year-over-year, a 0.6% gain.


LOCAL | October 21, 2016
Port Authority Commits $300 Million for Replacing Portal Bridge

Yesterday the Port Authority Board of Commissioners authorized more than $300 million to replace the Portal North Bridge, part of the Gateway project that includes a new trans-Hudson rail network. The Authority will fund debt service on a $284 million low-cost, long-term federal loan and $18 million in loan expenses. With permits already in place for the bridge, which crosses the Hackensack River near Secaucus Junction, construction could start as early as 2018.


LOCAL | October 17, 2016
ResinTech Gets $138 Million in EDA Incentives to Relocate to Camden

ResinTech, currently based in West Berlin, was approved for a 10-year, $138 million EDA Grow New Jersey incentive package to relocate to Camden, rather than move to Roanoke, VA. If ResinTech, which manufactures ion exchange resin, decides to stay in New Jersey, it might build a 385,000-square-foot facility on Federal Street in Camden that would house both its manufacturing plant and corporate headquarters. The Camden move would retain 92 full-time positions and create 173 new full-time jobs.


NATIONAL | October 13, 2016
AGC of America Joins Alliance to Prevent Construction Worker Suicides

When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report in July that revealed construction workers commit suicide at an alarming rate – 53.3 per 100,000 workers in 2012, second only to farming, fishing and forestry industry workers – the Construction Financial Management Association formed an industry alliance to work on the problem. AGC of America has joined the efforts of the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention to promote mental health awareness and help prevent worker suicides. Visit www.cfma.org for the CFMA’s web page on the Alliance or look for #SuicidePreventionCFMA on social media.


LOCAL | October 6, 2016

In September, AGC issued the latest analysis of construction’s impact on New Jersey’s economy, based on statistics from 2014-2016. Last year, construction contributed $22 billion, or 3.8%, of the state’s GDP of $568 billion, slightly less than the industry as a whole contributed to the country’s GDP (4%). Private nonresidential construction spending in the state totaled $4.1 billion, based on 2014 figures. Construction employment in New Jersey hit 152,400 in July 2016 for both residential and nonresidential segments, an increase of 2.6% over July 2015 and a 14% decrease from April 2006, the state’s peak employment in the industry. In 2014, 94% of New Jersey’s 20,900 construction firms were considered “small,” with less than 20 employees. In 2015, construction worker pay in the state averaged $67,700, 9% more than all private-sector employees in the state.


NATIONAL | October 6, 2016
AGC of America and Other Groups Ask for Long-Term Funding in Presidential Candidates’ Infrastructure Plans

In a letter to the Trump and Clinton campaigns, AGC of America and many other business and labor groups told the Presidential candidates to include “sustainable revenue” sources to fund their infrastructure plans. Pointing out the surface transportation law enacted in late 2015 contained no measures for long-term solvency of the federal Highway Trust Fund, the letter stated the revenue “must be long-term, reliable, dedicated and focused on the users and beneficiaries of our transportation network.” The groups assured the candidates they “stand ready to assist the next presidential administration in formulating and implementing” an infrastructure agenda. In addition to AGC of America, the letter was signed by 33 groups, including the International Union of Operating Engineers, Laborers’ International Union of North America, the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Asphalt Pavement Association and the National Electrical Contractors Association. To read the letters and view the signatures, visit https://www.agc.org/sites/default/files/Files/Communications/Clinton_Letter.pdf https://www.agc.org/sites/default/files/Files/Communications/Trump_Letter_0.pdf


LOCAL | October 5, 2016
Vineland to Build New Police Department Facility

With construction expected to begin next June, Vineland is building a new 59,000-square-foot police department facility, with a 6,150-square-foot out-building for car, bike and kennel storage. It will be located across Plum Street from the old one, which will be demolished for a new parking lot. Construction will be financed with a $25 million bond.

September 2016

LOCAL | September 29, 2016
Bill Could Allow Municipalities To Restart and Receive Compensation for TTF Projects

Legislation passed this week by the New Jersey Assembly’s Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee, A-4114, would permit counties and municipalities to fund TTF projects shut down by Governor Christie and “require (New Jersey) DOT to compensate government entities for contractual delay damages resulting from shutdown” of TTF projects.


NATIONAL | September 28, 2016
August Construction Employment Up in 61% of Metros Over Last Year

Of the 358 metro areas in the US, 220 (61%) added construction jobs in August compared to August 2015. Another 76 metros lost jobs, and construction employment remained unchanged in 62. AGC of America notes the number of metros reporting gains is the smallest since April 2013, while the number of job openings is “at a 10-year high,” indicating shortages of qualified workers in parts of the country. In New Jersey, five of the seven metro areas gained jobs for the year-over-year: Bergen-Hudson-Passaic picked up 300 jobs, a 1% increase; Camden added 1,100 jobs, a 5% lift; Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean added 1,600 jobs, a 4% rise; Newark added 1,900 jobs, a 4% increase; and Vineland-Bridgeton added 100 jobs, a 3% increase. Atlantic City-Hammonton and Trenton both lost jobs for the period, down 300 (a 5% drop) and 400 (a 7% drop) respectively.


NATIONAL | September 21, 2016
States Add Construction Jobs for the Year, But Monthly Growth Slows

Compared to August 2015, construction employment rose in 36 states in August 2016. But the growth from July to August of this year was sluggish, with less than half the states – 24 – adding jobs. AGC notes public-sector demand slowed for the month, contributing to the mediocre growth. New Jersey’s construction employment figures indicated a bump of 5,100 jobs in August compared to last year, a 3.4% increase. But the state added only 200 jobs for the month, continuing to reflect the shutdown of TTF projects. In the region, New York was the biggest loser for the month, dropping 4,600 jobs, more than any other state, and measuring a 1.3% drop. Over the year, New York showed a modest gain of 0.3% with 1,200 new jobs. Connecticut lost 1,600 jobs for the month, a 2.8% drop, and another 1,600 jobs compared to a year ago, again a 2.8% drop. Pennsylvania lost 2,000 jobs for the month, down 0.8%, but picked up 600 jobs year-over-year, a 0.3% rise. Delaware had modest gains, up 200 jobs for the month, a 1% increase, and 100 jobs year-over-year, a 0.5% increase. Rhode Island also showed small gains, up 100 jobs for the month, a 0.6% rise, and 300 jobs for the year-over-year, a 1.8% increase.


LOCAL | September 20, 2016
NJPAC Development Funding in Place After a Decade

One Theater Square, a $116 million mixed-use development planned for the area around the Performing Arts Center in Newark, was initially proposed in 2005, but last week finally got all its funding lined up and could open in Summer 2018. Current plans include a 22-story building on 1.2 acres with 12,000 square feet of ground-floor retail topped by 390,000 square feet divided into 245 apartments. Those will range from 585-square-foot studios to 1,700-square-foot three-bedroom units, including 24 affordable housing units, along with a swimming pool and health club. The building, which also includes 285 parking spaces, features a curved glass front and will be located across from NJPAC and Military Park. Dranoff Properties of Philadelphia was originally named developer; Dranoff has now signed a letter of intent with NJPAC’s Theater Square Development Co.


LOCAL | September 19, 2016
PennDOT Rolls Out Mobile App for Construction

Construction-related documents are now accessible on a mobile app developed by Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation for its construction inspectors, both in-house and contracted. The documents – plans, permits, correspondence, change orders, etc. – are automatically saved and updated, allowing inspectors to access them on a mobile device instead of carrying the paper loads. PennDOT claims $11 million in productivity savings the first year, another $17 million in the fiscal year, and looks forward to saving $81 million in the next five years.


LOCAL | September 14, 2016
UPDATE: American Dream to Offer SpongeBob and Ninja Turtles

Now that financing for American Dream Meadowlands appears more secure, developers Triple Five have announced some fun: an agreement with Nickelodeon Universe to use its characters, including SpongeBob SquarePants and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as entertainment at the megamall’s indoor amusement park. American Dream Meadowlands now has a tentative completion date of mid-2018.


LOCAL | September 14, 2016
Rocky Hill Bridge Project to be Funded by Somerset County

Work on replacing the Rocky Hill Bridge on Route 518 began in July, just before Gov. Christie shut down all TTF projects. Yesterday, Somerset County announced it has agreed to pay the $2.75 million to complete the project because the closure has been a hardship for residents and first responders. The Board of Chosen Freeholders will fund the project as a capital expenditure with no added tax burden on county residents.


NATIONAL | September 6, 2016
July Private Construction Spending Up from Last Year, Public Spending Sluggish

July construction spending, at $1.153 trillion, was up 1.5% compared to July 2015, but remained roughly the same as June, down $345 million, less than 0.1%. Public-sector construction spending dropped 3.1% for the month and was down 6.5% year-over-year. On the plus side, private construction spending increased 1% for the month, up 4.4% year-over-year. Total non-residential spending slid down 0.3% for the month, due in large part to the Census Bureau’s upward revision to June’s numbers, but increased 1.4% year-over-year. Looked at by sector, office construction spending was up 4% for the month with a whopping 25.2% jump for the year-over-year, making it the strongest non-residential sector; power dropped 1.9% for the month but inched up 0.7% for the year-over year; and highways and streets were up 0.2% for the month, down 1.7% year-over-year. AGC of America points out that in the first seven months of 2016 construction spending was up 5.6% over the same period in 2015, with private nonresidential spending up 8.6% for the year-to-date. By sector for January through July 2016, power construction spending grew 8.3% over the same period in 2015; commercial retail/warehouse spending was up 10.1% year-to-date; and private office construction spending was up 27% year-to-date. But public construction spending was up only 0.2% for the first seven months of 2016, with highway and street spending up 2.6% year-to-date and education construction spending up 4% year-to-date.

August 2016

NATIONAL | August 26, 2016
AGC of America Responds to Federal “Fair Play” Rule

On Wednesday, AGC of America’s Steve Sandherr released public comment condemning the new federal “Fair Play” rule following release of the final regulation that allows federal officials to blacklist firms. AGC’s position is the federal government already has in place a “robust, clear-cut and fairly administered suspension and debarment program to deal with the extremely small number of federal contractors that do not operate in good faith.” In addition, AGC objects to the provision that “unelected federal bureaucrats” can “make arbitrary decisions about which firms will be singled out for punishment…with broad latitude to impose separate and inconsistent consequences on those firms.” Sandherr concludes that AGC of America will “explore all possible legislative and legal measures for undoing this deeply troubling…mandate.”


LOCAL | August 26, 2016
UPDATE: American Dream Creeps Closer

Yesterday the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority authorized a $1.1 billion bond sale to Public Finance Authority of Wisconsin, which will then resell them to investors. Along with $1.5 billion in other private financing, the sale will hopefully jumpstart resumption of work on American Dream Meadowlands, perhaps as soon as September.


LOCAL | August 26, 2016

Yesterday the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority authorized a $1.1 billion bond sale to Public Finance Authority of Wisconsin, which will then resell them to investors. Along with $1.5 billion in other private financing, the sale will hopefully jumpstart resumption of work on American Dream Meadowlands, perhaps as soon as September.


NATIONAL | August 22, 2016
US DOT Launches Mobile App for Pocket Guide to Transportation

US DOT is celebrating its 50th anniversary by launching a mobile app for its popular “Pocket Guide to Transportation.” Straight from the DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, which publishes the hard-copy Pocket Guide every year, the app will instantly produce any transportation factoid you might want. You can search Infrastructure, Moving People, Moving Goods, Performance, Economy, Safety and Environment, and a new Major Trends section. Available for iPhones, iPads and Androids.


LOCAL | August 22, 2016
NJ Construction Employment Plummets With Work Shutdown in July; National Picture Not Strong Either

New Jersey ranked second from the bottom in the nation in July’s construction employment figures, losing 3,200 jobs, a 2.1% drop compared to June. The loss, of course, was primarily due to the shutdown of road and infrastructure projects ordered by Governor Christie on June 30. But across the country, only 23 states and DC gained jobs for the month. In the region, New York was third from the bottom for the month, losing 2,800 jobs, a 0.8% drop. Delaware lost the highest percentage of construction jobs from June to July, down 2.3% with the loss of 500 jobs. Connecticut lost 600 jobs for the month, a 1% drop. Pennsylvania and Rhode Island were the only regional states to gain jobs for the month, picking up 3,900 (up 1.7%) and 100 (up 0.6%) respectively. For the year from July 2015 to July 2016, the picture was better. Along with 38 other states, New Jersey added 3,800 jobs compared to a year ago, a 2.6% increase. Also in the gain column: New York added 6,400 jobs for the year, a 1.8% rise; Pennsylvania added 3,900 jobs, a 1.7% rise; and Connecticut added 400 jobs for the year, a 0.7% rise. Delaware lost 100 jobs compared to a year ago, a 0.5% drop; and Rhode Island also lost 100 jobs for the year, a 0.6% drop.


LOCAL | August 17, 2016
AC Gets Two Bids in Bader Field Auction

Just 16 months ago, Atlantic City was moving fast to select development for Bader Field. But in the city’s sealed auction that ended August 4, only two bids came in for the former municipal airport on N. Albany Avenue, with the top bid at $50 million. Legend Properties Inc. of Cherry Hill and Bader Field Development LLC of Long Branch were the two bidders.


LOCAL | August 17, 2016
Appeals Court Says Belmar Voters Will Decide Pay-to-Play

Last week, an appeals court affirmed a Superior Court order from July that will allow Belmar voters to decide changes in the town’s campaign finance law. The Borough Council had increased the amount of money candidates can receive from political action committees, vendors and developers without recusing themselves from voting on town development and liquor licenses. A group of residents then sued the Borough Council on ethical grounds, leading to the court cases. The special referendum is scheduled for September 27, 2016.


LOCAL | August 11, 2016
Food Commercialization Center Coming to Cumberland County

Bridgeton will house the 27,000-square-foot Food Commercialization Center, a resource to help aspiring food industry leaders and entrepreneurs launch their ventures. The Cumberland County Improvement Authority, in partnership with the Cumberland Empowerment Zone Corporation and Bridgeton, will develop, own and manage the facility, expected to be completed by the end of 2017. The space will include units of 2,000 to 5,000 square feet to provide short-term accommodations for fledgling businesses.


LOCAL | August 11, 2016
This Week’s UPDATE #2 on American Dream Financing

Yesterday the Local Finance Board, a division of the Department of Community Affairs, approved the $800 million bond issuance proposed by the NJ Sports & Exposition Authority the day before. The monies will help work begin again on the American Dream Meadowlands project.


LOCAL | August 10, 2016
UPDATE: NJSEA Approves New Financing for American Dream Project

Hot Topics has been following the progress of the American Dream Meadowlands project, which lately had been stalled as developer Triple Five sought additional financing. Earlier this week, the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority unanimously approved a new bond issue to push the project along, for perhaps as much as $800 million.


LOCAL | August 10, 2016
Freehold Voter Decisions Struck Down in Favor of $32 Million School Expansion

As we reported via bulletin, in two special school construction referenda in September and December 2014, Freehold Borough residents rejected proposals to renovate and expand Park Avenue Elementary/Middle School (K-8) and the Freehold Learning Center, at a cost of $32,902,400, of which the state would have covered approximately 38% ($12.5 million). But last week the State Commissioner of Education, David Hespe, in concurrence with an administrative law judge, overruled the voter decisions and authorized a bond issuance for the work, noting it was “an extraordinary remedy” that was needed to ease overcrowding and provide a “thorough and efficient” education in Borough schools. The project will include 17 new full-size classrooms and five small-group classrooms at Park Avenue Elementary, along with a gym and library at the school. The Freehold Learning Center will get a cafeteria. All new construction will be covered by the Schools Development Authority; renovations will be covered by taxpayers via the bond issuance. Freehold Borough Superintendent Rocco Tomazic noted the district will work with the SDA to plan and build the project.


NATIONAL | August 3, 2016
June Construction Jobs Rise in Nearly Two-Thirds of US Metro Areas

Compared to June of last year, construction employment rose in 228 of 358 (64%) metro areas in June, dropped in 82 and remained the same in 48. In New Jersey, five of seven metro areas saw a jobs gain. Newark added the most jobs in construction year-over-year, up 2,900 for a 7% gain. Bergen-Hudson-Passaic added 2,200 jobs, also a 7% increase; Camden added 1,800 jobs for an 8% rise; Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean added 600 jobs, up 2%; and Vineland-Bridgeton added 100 jobs, up 4%. Losing jobs year-over-year were Trenton, down 500 jobs for a 9% slump, and Atlantic City-Hammonton, down 300 jobs, a 5% drop.

July 2016

LOCAL | July 27, 2016
Woodbine Applies for $4 Million in Fed Funding for Sewer Project

In an application filed last week, the Borough of Woodbine and its Municipal Utilities Authority seek $4 million in funding from the USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program to begin the two-phase $12.5 million Woodbine Sewer System Construction Project. The first phase, which this funding would cover in part, is all about connection – connecting the borough, the sanitation landfill of Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority, the Woodbine Municipal Airport and Business Park, and the Woodbine Developmental Center with a force main proposed by Cape May County’s MUA that would then connect to the MUA’s Seven Mile Beach/Middle Township Wastewater Facility. The second phase would capture and carry waste from Woodbine’s downtown through the phase-one connections. Woodbine will submit another USDA Rural Development application for that phase. Cape May County will cover an additional $8 million needed to construct the force main, bringing the total estimated cost of the project to $20.5 million.


NATIONAL | July 22, 2016
More than Three-Quarters of States Add Construction Jobs for Year

June construction employment rose in 39 states compared to June 2015, but half the states lost construction jobs for the month from May to June. New Jersey, however, looked strong for both periods, adding 6,800 jobs compared to last June, a 4.6% increase that put it in the #20 spot in the nation. For the month, New Jersey added 1,300 jobs, up 0.8% and in the #16 spot among all states. In the region, Connecticut added 400 for the year-over-year period, a 0.7% increase, but lost 900 for the month, a 1.5% drop; Delaware added 700 jobs for the year and 700 for the month, a 3.4% rise for each period; New York added 8,600 jobs for the year, a 2.4% increase, but lost 1,600 for the month, down 0.4%; Pennsylvania lost 100 jobs for the year-over-year, down 0.04%, but gained 3,400 for the month, a 1.5% rise; and Rhode Island lost in both periods, down 100 jobs for the year, a 0.6% decrease, and 600 for the month, a 3.4% loss.


LOCAL | July 20, 2016
NYC Mayor’s EO Requires Union Labor and Labor Agreements on City-Financed Projects

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio issued Executive Order No. 19 last week requiring that “city development projects” of a certain size have in place a “Labor Peace Agreement” between the labor union and the developer to prevent work stoppages or other interference, as well as allow a labor union to represent all the craftworkers on the job. Commercial or retail projects larger than 100,000 square feet and housing projects with more than 100 units, both receiving financial assistance from the city, are covered under the terms of the EO. Each Labor Peace Agreement would remain in effect for 10 years or for the duration of the city’s financial assistance to the project. The EO went into effect immediately on July 14, when it was issued.


LOCAL | July 19, 2016
NJ DOL Commissioner Hal Wirths to Leave Office in August

Governor Christie announced yesterday that Hal Wirths, who has led the Department of Labor and Workforce Development for more than six years, will leave the position next month. He took office in February 2010. The Governor noted he plans to nominate Commissioner Wirths to serve on the State Patrol Board.


LOCAL | July 15, 2016
Gateway Projects Get Federal “New Starts” Funding

The two new Hudson River rail tunnels and the Portal North Bridge, part of the Port Authority’s Gateway projects, are now officially in the Federal Transit Administration’s “New Starts” funding program, per an announcement yesterday from US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. The announcement allows the Port Authority, and Gateway project partners Amtrak and NJ Transit, to start funding the work, knowing federal funds will be available in the future. Once the feds approve a Project Development plan, work can begin on the Portal Bridge because the design is complete and ready to build, and because completion of a new bridge going north is considered a public safety benefit. The tunnel plans are ready to go into environmental review.


NATIONAL | July 11, 2016
Labor Board to Report Contractors’ Labor Law Violations

The National Labor Relations Board sent a memorandum to field offices announcing it will report federal contractors charged with labor law violations, in compliance with the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order signed by President Obama in July 2014. Thus, if a contractor is named in an unfair labor practice complaint, the Labor Board will 1) ask the contractor to provide information that could identify that employer as a federal contractor and 2) report the information to a federal database. That information, which could include Commercial and Government Entity and Data Universal Numbers System identifiers, and employer or taxpayer ID numbers, could be used to assess eligibility for contracting with the federal government. However, if a contractor settles or resolves an unfair labor practice case before a formal complaint is issued by a Regional Director, the NLRB will not report the information to the database.


NATIONAL | July 6, 2016
Construction Spending Down for May, Up for First Five Months Combined

May spending dropped 0.8% to $1.143 trillion from April, but because March and April spending were each revised upward, it’s possible the May numbers will also rise in the final analysis. The year-to-date overall increase in construction spending of 8.2% in the first five months of 2016 presents a “truer picture,” according to Ken Simonson, AGC of America’s Chief Economist. Looking at the private sectors, spending on multifamily residential construction rose 1.8% in May and 24% year-to-date; private nonresidential spending slipped 0.7% for the month but was up 9.2% year-to-date, fueled by power construction, which dropped 0.2% for the month but climbed 9.4% year-to-date; and commercial construction spending, which includes retail and warehouse, decreased 1.6% in May but was up 8.6% year-to-date. Public construction spending slid down 2.3% in May but still marked a 3.8% increase for the first five months of the year combined. Highway and street construction spending dropped 0.2% for the month but was up 6.9% year-to date, and educational spending dropped 5.4% in May but was up 8.6% January through May.

June 2016

NATIONAL | June 29, 2016
May Construction Employment Slows in 37% of Metro Areas

Of 358 metro areas across the country, 131 (nearly 37%) either lost construction jobs or did not add any in May of this year compared to May 2015, a lag primarily attributed to “inadequate investment in infrastructure,” according to AGC of America’s Chief Economist Ken Simonson. Five of New Jersey’s seven metros, however, were among the 227 that did add jobs for the year-over-year. Newark added 1,900 jobs, a 4% increase; Camden added 1,700 jobs, an 8% raise; Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean added 1,500 jobs, up 4%; Bergen-Hudson-Passaic added 1,300 jobs, also up 4%; and Vineland-Bridgeton added 100 jobs, another 4% increase. Losing jobs for the year-over-year were Trenton, down 500 jobs for a 9% drop, and Atlantic City-Hammonton, down 400 jobs for a 7% loss.


LOCAL | June 29, 2016
Governor Announces Latest – and Last – Release of Higher Ed Bond Funds

Yesterday Governor Christie proposed the release of $180 million for higher education projects, using up the last $34 million of the funds from the $750 million bond voters approved in 2012 and taking $146 million from the Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund. The Legislature has 60 days to consider the use of both fund sources; if it takes no action, the projects are approved. For a list of the 35 projects, visit http://www.nj.gov/njefa/pdf/Comprehensive%20List%20By%20Sector%282%29.pdf">www.nj.gov/njefa/pdf/Comprehensive%20List%20By%20Sector%282%29.pdf">http://www.nj.gov/njefa/pdf/Comprehensive%20List%20By%20Sector%282%29.pdf


LOCAL | June 23, 2016
Millville to Get Lidl, a German Supermarket

Lidl, a German supermarket chain, chose Millville as a location for one of its new stores as it expands its presence on the East Coast. Undeveloped land off North 2nd Street will be the site for the 36,170-square-feet store with 148 parking spaces.


LOCAL | June 23, 2016
ACCNJ Members Chosen to Compete for Javits Center Project

Gilbane Building Company, a Skanska-led joint venture and a Lend Lease-Turner Construction Co. joint venture were chosen to respond to a request for proposals to renovate and expand the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan. All are members of ACCNJ. The project to add more than a million square feet is estimated at $1 billion.


NATIONAL | June 23, 2016
Silica Rule Goes Into Effect Today – and in One Year for Construction

For the construction industry, the one-year countdown to compliance begins today. OSHA’s silica rule goes into effect today, lowering the exposure limit for crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter over an eight-hour period. Construction firms must be in compliance by June 23, 2017. ACCNJ will host a Coffee Talk with OSHA on the new silica rule. Mark your calendar for September 23, 2016, and look for registration information via email, to be sent soon.


NATIONAL | June 22, 2016
OSHA to Release New Penalty Schedule by July 1

OSHA has announced that by July 1, 2016, the US DOL will publish in the Federal Register the Interim Final Rule that spells out the new penalty structure due to take effect August 1. Those new penalties could affect any current OSHA inspection that will extend beyond August 1. ACCNJ will send a bulletin with details on the new penalties once the rule is published.


NATIONAL | June 20, 2016
State-by-State Construction Employment Up for Year, Down for Month

Compared to May 2015, state construction employment was strong, with 39 states adding jobs in May 2016. But from April to May of this year, only 19 states added jobs, which AGC of America attributes to a shortage of workers in the industry. New Jersey, however, added more construction jobs for the month than any other state in the nation, with an additional 2,900 positions, a 1.9% increase. For the year, New Jersey added 5,700 jobs, a 3.8% increase over May 2015. Construction was uneven in the region: strong in New York (up 500 for the month, a 0.5% blip, and 11,000 for the year, a 3% raise); weak in Pennsylvania (down 2,900 for the year, a 1.2% drop, with the same negative figures for the month). Connecticut added 900 jobs for the month, up 1.5%, and 1,400 for the year, a 2.4% increase. Delaware lost jobs – down 400 for the month, a 1.9% loss, and 100 for year, a 0.5% drop. And Rhode Island lost 300 jobs for the month, a 1.7% drop, but picked up 800 jobs for the year, a 4.8% rise.


LOCAL | June 17, 2016
New York’s Palace Theatre Looks Forward to $2 Billion Lift

Maefield Development and owner Nederlander Organization plan to raise New York’s Palace Theatre, built in 1913, 29 feet above Times Square and build 70,000 square feet of retail and entertainment beneath it, both at street level and below-grade. The project, which will also include a new exterior, grand entrance and marquee on 47th Street, plus interior upgrades and restoration of the historic interior finishes, is expected to cost $2 billion and take 32 to 36 months complete, but it won’t start until “An American in Paris” finishes its run, which could be as long as three years from now. Construction of the Palace project will use 100% union craftworkers; a construction manager has already been selected but was not named publicly.


LOCAL | June 17, 2016
Pulaski Skyway Road Work Needs Another Year

The Pulaski Skyway will not fully re-open with all lanes operational until next summer, according to the DOT. Work on the fourth and final contract continues, redecking the last half-mile of the northbound lanes and the length of the southbound lanes.


NATIONAL | June 17, 2016
Report Names New Jersey Driving Experience 10th Worst

CarInsurance.com ranked New Jersey as the 10th worst state for driving, based on bridge and road conditions (6th and 7th worst, respectively), which result in damage (repair costs are highest in the country) and commuter delays (second-longest). In two categories, New Jersey fared better, ranking fourth best in road fatalities (6.2 deaths per 10,000 people) and sixth lowest in gas prices (averaging $1.87 per gallon). Insurance costs, another category, found New Jersey 15th highest based on percentage of median household income spent on car insurance (3.91%), although the site ranks New Jersey third-highest in premium rates. In the final category, New Jersey came out slightly better than the middle of the pack with 10.3% of its drivers uninsured.


LOCAL | June 17, 2016
EDA Tax Breaks for Camden Mixed-Use Apartments and Parking Garage

Last month we posted a Hot Topic announcing developer Carl Dranoff’s plans for a waterfront mixed-use complex with apartments, retail and parking at Delaware and Cooper in Camden. This week, EDA approved a $20.5 million tax break for the $55.2 million project. Also approved, $12.5 million in tax incentives for a Camden Parking Authority parking garage and office space estimated at $42.6 million.


NATIONAL | June 8, 2016
TIGER Grant Requests Far Outnumber Dollars Available

On Monday, US DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx said the dollars requested for TIGER grants added up to more than 18 times the total available for award. DOT received 585 applications requesting $9.3 billion from communities across the country. Only $500 million will be awarded through the competitive Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program, covering capital investment in surface transportation infrastructure. In fact, this year’s requests add up to double the total amount awarded in the previous seven years of the TIGER program.


NATIONAL | June 8, 2016
Construction Employment Down, Average Pay Up in May

Construction employment dropped in May for the second month in row, but “average pay in construction is rising faster than in the rest of the private sector,” according to AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson. He also reported unemployment among construction workers hit the lowest May rate in 16 years. There were 6,645,000 construction workers employed in May, down 15,000 from April; the industry lost 5,000 from March to April. But compared to May 2015, employment this year in May was up 3.4% with an increase of 219,000 jobs. Average pay rose 2.6%.


LOCAL | June 3, 2016
Borgata Becomes MGM Casino as Boyd Sells Stake

Boyd Entertainment announced this week it is selling its 50% share in Atlantic City’s Borgata to MGM Resorts for $900 million, a deal that includes assumption of Borgata’s outstanding debt of $600 million. In its Northeast properties, MGM also owns MGM National Harbor casino and resort in DC and is building a new casino in Massachusetts.


NATIONAL | June 1, 2016
April’s Metro Construction Employment Rose Over Last Year

From April 2015 to April 2016, construction employment increased in 235 of 358 metro areas, just under two-thirds of the metros. AGC’s Chief Economist Ken Simonson notes that the growth is project-specific and some metros that saw an increase in employment are in states that overall experienced job losses or are home to other metros that experienced losses. New Jersey is an example of that: three metros lost jobs for the year while four gained. In the loss column were Atlantic City-Hammonton, down 500 jobs for a 9% drop; Newark, down 300 jobs, a 1% decrease; and Trenton, which also lost 300 jobs, a 6% hit. On the up side, Bergen-Hudson-Passaic picked up 1,500 jobs for the year, a 5% increase; Camden gained 1,000 jobs, also a 5% hike; Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean added 2,700 jobs for a 7% gain; and Vineland-Bridgeton added 100 jobs, a 4% increase. In the region, New York City landed in the #3 spot, adding 7,800 jobs, a 6% gain.

May 2016

NATIONAL | May 26, 2016
Feds Announce Final Overtime Rule Effective December 1

Last week the US Department of Labor published the final rule that doubles the salary minimum for an employee to qualify for overtime. Previous to the new rule, an employee had to earn $455 or less per week, or up to $23,600 annually, to qualify for overtime after 40 hours of work. Beginning December 1, an employee who makes $913 per week or less, or up to $47,476 annually, will qualify for overtime (defined as “time-and-a-half”) after 40 hours, unless the employee’s position is classified as executive, administrative or professional. Employees are also exempt from the overtime rule if they have a predetermined or fixed salary that isn’t docked because of quality or quantity of work performed. But many employees who make the minimum or less and work long hours could qualify. AGC of America has lobbied against the rule, citing unfortunate and unintended consequences for construction company employees.


LOCAL | May 24, 2016
AC Casino Profits Sharply Higher in First Quarter

The weather in the first quarter of 2016 was much better than first quarter 2015 – which might have helped push Atlantic City casino profits up 31.1%. Borgata came in on top with first-quarter gross profits of nearly $47.7 million, almost half the total gross profits of $106,580,000 brought in by the seven casinos that made money. Harrah’s was second, generating $26.8 million, although that was 3.1% less than the quarter period a year ago. Caesar’s netted $15.3 million, up 2.5% from a year ago; Tropicana brought in $7.3 million in profit, more than 200% higher than its gross profit a year ago; Golden Nugget reported $6.7 million, up a healthy 64.7% over last year; Bally’s claimed $5.6 million, up 23.5%; and Resorts reported a modest half-million gain, which was about what it lost a year ago. Trump Taj Mahal, the only casino to lose money this quarter, reported a loss of almost $4.6 million, about half what it lost last year for the quarter. In addition to the happy revenue reports, AC officials noted an increase in occupancy rates, average room rates and third-party sales.


NATIONAL | May 20, 2016
Construction Employment Across States Slows from March to April

While 42 states and DC added construction jobs in April compared to a year ago, only 23 added jobs from March to April. New Jersey was not one of them, losing 1,800 jobs for the month, a 1.2% decline. However, for the year from April 2015 to April 2016, New Jersey added 3,100 jobs, a 2.1% increase. In the region, Connecticut added 2,400 jobs for the month (up 4.2%) and 2,300 for the year (up 4%); Delaware lost 200 jobs for the month (down 0.9%) but gained 600 for the year (up 2.9%); New York added 700 jobs for the month (up 0.2%) and 13,100 for the year (up 3.7%); Pennsylvania added 500 jobs for the month (up 0.2%) and 1,800 for the year (up 0.8%); and Rhode Island lost 700 jobs for the month (down 3.8%) but added 1,200 for the year (up 7.2%).


LOCAL | May 20, 2016
Dranoff Plans More Apartments on Camden Waterfront

Last week, the Camden Planning Board approved Philadelphia developer Carl Dranoff’s plans for a mixed-use complex on the city’s waterfront, with 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, 156 apartments (30 of which would be set aside for affordable housing) and 200 parking spaces. The complex would be situated at the end of Cooper Street at Delaware Avenue. Dranoff plans a Summer 2018 completion date, with construction beginning in January 2017.


LOCAL | May 19, 2016
Showboat Owner Blatstein to Develop Adjacent Site

Yesterday, AC’s City Council approved Bart Blatstein and his company, Tower Investments, to develop three acres between the Showboat and Revel casinos. The city owns the land; Blatstein has proposed a $40 million “multi-use event center” that will be part of his Showboat investment. The city may or may not sell the land, for which Blatstein had offered $1.9 million.


LOCAL | May 13, 2016
NYC Operating Engineers Lose Battle Over Licensing

On Tuesday, appellate judges in New York City ruled that crane operators do not have to be licensed under a test administered by Operating Engineers Local 14, but rather may be licensed via a national test administered by OSHA. Local 14 plans to appeal the decision.


LOCAL | May 12, 2016
NYC Operating Engineers Lose Battle Over Licensing

On Tuesday, appellate judges in New York City ruled that crane operators do not have to be licensed under a test administered by Operating Engineers Local 14, but rather may be licensed via a national test administered by OSHA. Local 14 plans to appeal the decision.


LOCAL | May 11, 2016
Cape May County Approves $6.2 Million for Central Dispatch at Airport

Yesterday, Cape May County Freeholders approved a $6.2 million bond issue to build a central dispatch facility for police, fire and rescue at Cape May County Airport in Lower Township ($4.2 million) and renovate the police station in Erma, Lower Township ($2 million), where the center will be located. The 94,000-square-foot building will be shared equally by the police and county emergency management.


LOCAL | May 9, 2016
ACCNJ Member Calls for Mandatory Safety Harnesses Above Six Feet on New York Jobsites

During OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction last week, ACCNJ member Gilbane Building Co. proposed making it mandatory for all construction workers on jobsites in New York to wear safety harnesses with two attachments when they work above six feet. Gilbane already imposes the six-foot tie-off rule on all its jobsites, which is more stringent than OSHA requirements. ACCNJ member Lend Lease also has a similar rule.


NATIONAL | May 5, 2016
Metro Construction Employment Continues Growth from February to March

Construction employment in the nation’s metro areas looked strong in February and now even stronger in March, with more than two-thirds adding construction jobs. Construction employment compared to March 2015 rose in 244 of 358 metro areas (68%), dropped in 70 and remained the same in 44. New Jersey’s strong growth reflected the national trend, with jobs added in all but two metro areas. The biggest gain was in Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean, which added 4,800 jobs for the year-over-year, a 14% jump. Camden added 1,100 jobs, a 6% increase; Newark added 1,500 jobs, a 4% rise; Vineland-Bridgeton added 100 jobs, also a 4% increase; and Bergen-Hudson-Passaic added 900 jobs, a 3% increase. Trenton lost 100 jobs, a 2% drop, as did Atlantic City-Hammonton, which lost 400 jobs, an 8% drop. Statewide from March 2015 to March 2016, New Jersey added 7,500 jobs, a 6% gain.


NATIONAL | May 5, 2016
Congress Saves Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst

By approving the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 last week, the House Armed Services Committee prevented the Pentagon from closing more military bases around the country, including New Jersey’s Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. The Committee voted 60-2 for the $610 billion defense policy bill, which then moved on to the full House for consideration. The Pentagon had requested that Congress authorize more base closures in 2019; the bill didn’t allow it.

April 2016

NATIONAL | April 25, 2016
2014 Workplace Fatalities Jump From 2013

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 4,821 fatal workplace injuries in 2014, up from its preliminary count of 4,679 in September. Fatalities in private construction were up 9% over 2013. The preliminary construction fatalities for 2014 were reported as 885, but have now been revised upward to 902.


LOCAL | April 25, 2016
Costco Will Anchor Harrison Twp.’s Richwood Town Center

The Southside Commercial Redevelopment Area, which will be transformed into the Richwood Town Center in Harrison Twp. (Gloucester County), will feature Costco as its anchor. Officials are hoping to begin construction on the first phase, 350,000 to 400,000 square feet of retail space, by the end of the year. The initial phase is bordered by Route 322, Aura Road and Route 55; ultimately the entire project, 380+ acres, will span Route 322 between Barnsboro Road and Route 55, and will include 1,600 housing units. The developer, Madison Marquette, still has to finalize sewer and road work plans before seeking final site approval. The project’s sewer system will connect to Gloucester County’s utilities authority’s sewer system.


LOCAL | April 22, 2016
NJ Transit Director Backs Out

William Crosbie, unanimously approved as Executive Director by the NJ Transit Board on April 6, has decided not to take the position. He had served as Chief Operating Officer at Amtrak, and currently lives in Virginia. According to the Wall Street Journal, Crosbie cited family reasons for not making the move to New Jersey.


NATIONAL | April 21, 2016
State-by-State, March Construction Employment Even Better Than February

Year-over-year, 44 states added construction jobs in March, one up from February’s numbers as posted on Hot Topics last week. And from February to March, 28 states added construction jobs, again one up on the January-to-February count. In the region, New York and Rhode Island continued to stand strong in the year-over-year count, with increases of 17,300 jobs (up 4.9%) and 2,200 jobs (up 13.3%) respectively. New Jersey added 7,700 jobs compared to March 2015, a 5.3% gain, Delaware added 1,200 for the year, up 5.9%, and Connecticut reflected no change for the year. Pennsylvania, which fared badly last month, showed a remarkable turn-around, adding the most construction jobs for the month of any state in the country – 6,000 jobs, a 2.6% increase. Its year-over-year stats were identical, an increase of 6,000 jobs, up 2.6%. Also for the month, New York added 1,600 jobs, a 0.4% increase, New Jersey added 3,000 jobs, a 2% bump, and Delaware added 100 jobs, a 0.5% rise. Connecticut and Rhode Island, however, both lost jobs from February to March, down 1,100 (-1.9%) and 100 (-0.5%) respectively.


LOCAL | April 20, 2016
American Dream Update: More Delays

Triple Five, developer of American Dream Meadowlands, announced last week it is running into problems getting the rest of the financing for the shopping and entertainment complex. Triple Five hopes to sell $1 billion in public bonds by early summer – its latest deadline in a series of deadlines that haven’t been met. November’s uneasy financial downturn is to blame, according to Triple Five. In the meantime, construction activity has mostly ceased on the 91-acre site.


LOCAL | April 20, 2016
Inspira Health Plans Continued Expansion in South Jersey

Inspira Health Network, which purchased 30 acres in Deptford in February, is planning to build an outpatient services facility on that property on Clements Bridge Road. But action on the project is on hold while Inspira works out a potential partnership deal with Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, on a 100-acre parcel in Harrison Township, also purchased in February, Inspira has plans for to build a 172-bed hospital where Route 55 and Route 322 meet.


LOCAL | April 14, 2016
Governor Announces Unemployment Tax Break

For the third consecutive year, New Jersey employers will get a break on unemployment insurance taxes. With the unemployment trust fund in sound financial shape (a positive balance of $1 billion) and fewer people claiming unemployment benefits, the state can afford the $200 million tax break that begins in July.


LOCAL | April 14, 2016
Javits Project Issues Request for Qualifications

The $1 billion Javits Center renovation project in Manhattan progressed this week when New York State issued a request for qualifications to begin the vetting process for building contractors. The state also announced the project would be bid as design-build; RFQ responses are due May 10, with as many as three finalists selected in late May. The RFP will be issued in June to the finalists and a contractor will be selected by the end of this year. To view the RFQ, visit http://www.esd.ny.gov/CorporateInformation/Data/RFPs/JavitsExpansionProject/2016_Final_JavitsCenter_RFQ.PDF">www.esd.ny.gov/CorporateInformation/Data/RFPs/JavitsExpansionProject/2016_Final_JavitsCenter_RFQ.PDF">http://www.esd.ny.gov/CorporateInformation/Data/RFPs/JavitsExpansionProject/2016_Final_JavitsCenter_RFQ.PDF


LOCAL | April 14, 2016
$22.8 Million EDA Tax Incentive To Expand Business in Florence

A $22.8 million, 10-year Grow New Jersey tax incentive package, approved by the EDA this week, is designed to help Quality Packaging Specialists International expand operations with a new 377,440-square-foot facility in Florence Township. Under the terms of the tax package, the company, a product and retail packaging services provider, would keep 170 current full-time positions and add 220 new full-time positions.


NATIONAL | April 12, 2016
February Construction Employment Up in Most States Compared to a Year Ago

For the year from February 2015 to February 2016, construction employment increased in 43 states and DC. In our region, New York and Rhode Island ranked in the top five for the year-over-year gains, New York with a large number of jobs – 19,100, a 5.5% increase – and Rhode Island with a percentage jump, up 14.6% with the addition of 2,400 jobs. New Jersey recorded a modest gain for the year, adding 3,900 jobs for a 2.7% increase. Connecticut also gained jobs for the year, up 1,300, a 2.3% rise. Pennsylvania lost jobs for the year, down 3,200, a 1.4% drop. For the month from January to February of this year, only 27 states added construction jobs. Pennsylvania again shed jobs, down 1,100, a 0.5% decrease. New Jersey also lost jobs, down 600, a 0.4% decrease, as did Connecticut, down 100, a 0.2% slide. New York was the only state in the region to add jobs, gaining 4,500, a 1.2% rise. Rhode Island construction employment remained unchanged for the month.


LOCAL | April 7, 2016
Rowan College at Burlington Plans New Student Center

Called the “Student Success Center,” the proposed two-story building on Route 38 in Mount Laurel will serve as the gateway to the new Mount Laurel campus and house all student services, including enrollment, academic planning, library, bookstore and dining area. State-of-the-art technology will be a key feature in the contemporary design. Forming a quad with existing buildings, the student center is expected to open in Fall 2017. Renderings of the 75,000-square-foot, $22 million project from USA Architects and Moody Nolan can be found on the college website at http://www.rcbc.edu/campus-transformation/student-success-center.">www.rcbc.edu/campus-transformation/student-success-center.">http://www.rcbc.edu/campus-transformation/student-success-center.


NATIONAL | April 5, 2016
Nearly Two-Thirds of Metro Areas Add Construction Jobs in February

Of 358 metro areas in the nation, 234 – more than 65% – added construction jobs in February 2016 compared to February 2015, while 72 shed jobs and 52 remained unchanged. New York City came in at #2, adding 11,900 jobs, a 9% gain, and Orange-Rockland-Westchester in New York was #3, adding 7,800 jobs, a whopping 23% increase. In New Jersey, Camden and Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean each enjoyed a 9% increase, adding 1,800 and 3,000 jobs respectively. Vineland’s year-over-year construction employment was up 4% with the addition of 100 jobs; Newark’s was up 1% with 500 new jobs; and Bergen-Hudson-Passaic construction employment remained unchanged from a year ago. Atlantic City-Hammonton lost 200 jobs compared to a year ago, a 4% drop, and Trenton lost 100 jobs, a 2% drop. The state was up 4,800 jobs for the year, a 4% overall gain.


NATIONAL | April 4, 2016
Construction Spending Up in February, Employment Up in March

Across the nation, construction added 37,000 jobs in March following an uptick in spending in February. From March 2015 to March 2016, the industry added 301,000 jobs, a 4.7% rise, bringing construction employment to 6,672,000, the highest total since December 2008. Nonresidential construction firms – building, specialty trades, heavy and civil engineering – added 23,900 for the month, 134,800 for the year, a 3.4% increase. Construction spending in February totaled $1.144 trillion, a half-percentage point below January but 10.3% higher than a year ago. Multifamily residential spending was up 0.9% for the month, 24.1% for the year. Private nonresidential construction spending dipped 1.3% for the month but climbed 10.6% compared to February 2015. Other year-over-year leaps included spending on private office and lodging construction, both up more than 30%, and amusement/recreation and private education construction, each up more than 20%. Public construction spending overall was down 1.7% for the month but 9.2% higher than last year. Highway and street construction, the biggest public segment, slid 2.1% for the month after a very strong January, but was up 24.5% for the year.


LOCAL | April 1, 2016
DRBA May Build New Business Space at Cape May Airport

The Cape May Airport business park off Breakwater Road in Lower Township is running out of room, so the Delaware River and Bay Authority said last week it’s exploring the possibility of building new office and warehouse space. Tenants and prospective new tenants range from tourist attractions to start-ups to mechanical and aviation businesses. Research and testing on drones has piqued interest for business – the airport was selected as one of six national test sites in 2014. Cape May County also plans to move its emergency management office to the business park.

March 2016

LOCAL | March 28, 2016
DRBA May Build New Business Space at Cape May Airport

The Cape May Airport business park off Breakwater Road in Lower Township is running out of room, so the Delaware River and Bay Authority said last week it’s exploring the possibility of building new office and warehouse space. Tenants and prospective new tenants range from tourist attractions to start-ups to mechanical and aviation businesses. Research and testing on drones has piqued interest for business – the airport was selected as one of six national test sites in 2014. Cape May County also plans to move its emergency management office to the business park.


LOCAL | March 28, 2016
Port Authority and Amtrak to Put $70 Million Toward Gateway Project

The Port Authority announced last week it will put $35 million toward the Hudson Tunnel Project, matched by $35 million from Amtrak, to fund “critical preliminary engineering work.” The funds are designed to “expedite and accelerate” the environmental review and permitting of the project. In addition, a Memorandum of Understanding entered into by the Port Authority, NJ Transit and USDOT will coordinate efforts among the three groups to “advance” the project on all fronts. The Port Authority and NJ Transit will also apply for federal competitive grants for the project.


NATIONAL | March 17, 2016
Metros Add Construction Jobs in January Growth Spurt

Strong state construction employment figures, posted yesterday in Hot Topics, are supported by growth in metro area construction jobs. Of 358 metro areas across the country, 243 (nearly 68%) added jobs in January compared to January 2015. And like the states, the metro areas that saw job losses – 72 of them – were primarily in formerly booming energy regions. Construction employment remained unchanged year-over-year in another 43 metro areas. In New Jersey year-over-year, Bergen-Hudson-Passaic and Trenton each lost 200 construction jobs, a 1% drop for the former and a 4% drop for the latter. Atlantic City-Hammonton remained unchanged. Camden picked up 900 jobs for the year, a 5% rise; Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean added 2,500 jobs, a 7% increase; Newark added 1,900 jobs, a 5% rise; and Vineland-Bridgeton added 300 jobs, a satisfying 13% bump.


LOCAL | March 16, 2016
EPA Announces Final Clean-Up Plan for Lower Passaic River

The 17 miles of the Lower Passaic River – from the Dundee Dam to Newark Bay – were designated a Superfund site in 1984, and the lower 8.3 miles were deemed the most contaminated. The EPA had announced a dredging clean-up plan more than a year ago and has now announced a final plan for those last eight miles that feed into Newark Bay. Estimated to cost $1.38 billion, down from the $1.7 billion originally announced, the project will involve dredging and removing approximately 3.5 million cubic yards of contaminated sediment, down from 4.3 million in the original plan, followed by placement of a two-foot-deep sand cap over the dredged area. Along the shoreline, the cap will be one foot of sand and one foot of “materials to support habitat for fish and plants,” according to the EPA’s news release on the plan, which also stated “the EPA expects less depth in parts of the navigation channel than was contemplated in the 2014 proposed plan.” The EPA news release did not specify when the work would commence nor how long the project is expected to take.


NATIONAL | March 16, 2016
January Construction Employment Up Year-Over-Year

January construction employment was up in 44 states and DC from a year ago, and up in 30 states and DC from a month ago. The six states that lost jobs compared to January 2015 were all hit by the drop in demand for energy, including Pennsylvania, which shed 3,600 jobs, a 1.5% drop. Pennsylvania also lost jobs from December 2015 to January 2016, down 2,200 jobs, a 0.9% loss. Along with Pennsylvania and 16 other states, New Jersey didn’t fare too well for the month, losing 200 jobs, a 0.1% drop. But year-over-year, New Jersey picked up 4,800 jobs, a 3.3% gain. New York also lost jobs for the month, down 5,900, a 1.6% drop, but gained 15,700 jobs year-over-year, a 4.5% rise. Connecticut had modest gains in both periods, up 400 jobs (a 0.7% gain) for the month and 900 (a 1.6% gain) year-over-year. Delaware’s construction employment remained unchanged for the month but enjoyed an increase in 1,400 jobs year-over-year, a 6.9% hike. Rhode Island gained 300 jobs for the month, a 1.6% increase, but showed strong growth year-over-year with an uptick of 2,100 jobs, a 12.7% bump that put it at #2 in the country.


LOCAL | March 16, 2016
PSE&G Boosts Capital Plan to $16 Billion

PSE&G announced last Friday it is increasing its capital investments to $16 billion over five years, of which nearly $12 billion is being spent on already-slated improvements and upgrades to the company’s transmission and distribution systems. In that package is $900 million to upgrade aging pipelines and replace more than 500 miles of the old cast-iron mains. PSE&G expects to expand that infrastructure program by another $2 million. PSE&G Power, a subsidiary, is also spending $2 billion on three new natural-gas power plants, including one in Sewaren (the other two are in Maryland and Connecticut).


LOCAL | March 16, 2016
AC Casino Revenues Up 15% in February

Atlantic City casinos reported the largest year-over-year percentage hike in revenues in more than 10 years, up 15% over February 2015, with top-grossing Borgata bringing in $62.8 million, up $14.2 million compared to last year, a 29.3% gain. Tropicana increased revenues by $3.1 million for the year, a 14% rise; Golden Nugget increased take by nearly $2.8 million for the year, a 17.5% boost; Bally’s added $2.7 million compared to last February, a 19.3% rise; Harrah’s saw a $1.9 million increase over last February, a 7% gain; and Resorts reported $1.7 million over last February, a 16% rise. Caesars and Trump Taj Mahal both lost revenue compared to February 2015, down $2 million (an 8% loss) and $19,000 (a 0.16% drop) respectively. Internet gambling also saw a big gain in February, with revenues at $14.7 million, a 42% gain over last year.


LOCAL | March 15, 2016
Burlington Masonic Home To Expand and Rebrand

The Masonic Home on Jacksonville Road in Burlington Township is changing its name and expanding its services to seniors. Soon to be called the Masonic Village at Burlington, the organization will build as many as 72 duplex cottages for the 60+ group, ranging from 1,509 to 2,350 square feet with two-bedroom options and two-bedrooms-plus-den options, on a field behind Burlington Township High School that is part of the 450-acre campus. The cottages are expected to be ready for occupancy in late Spring 2017.


LOCAL | March 11, 2016
Blatstein Considers Hotel on AC’s Garden Pier

While much of the news coming out of Atlantic City isn’t good, Bart Blatstein keeps transmitting his optimism about the city’s comeback. His firm, Tower Investments, was chosen to redevelop the Garden Pier that now holds the Atlantic City Art Museum and Historical Museum. In addition to entertainment, commercial and dining venues proposed for the redevelopment, the company mentioned in its qualifications document that plans could also include a waterfront hotel on the ocean end of the pier. Blatstein and Tower Investments also purchased the Showboat Casino from Stockton University and owns the mall on the Caesar’s pier and a boardwalk hotel.


NATIONAL | March 9, 2016
FHWA Report Blasts NJ Bridges - Again

The Federal Highway Administration’s latest bridge report, which judges the state of disrepair through December 31 of last year, put New Jersey bridges once again in the bottom 10, with 34.5%, or 2,310, of the state’s 6,686 bridges in bad shape – structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Nationally, the rate was 23.2%. However, after repairing 33 of the bridges listed as deficient on the FHWA’s 2014 report, New Jersey’s standing improved slightly, moving from sixth worst to eighth worst. Like New Jersey, most of the bottom 10 states are in the Northeast, including Rhode Island, which came in dead last with 56% of its bridges listed as deficient, Massachusetts (52%), Pennsylvania (39.9%), New York (38.3%) and Connecticut (34.1%). For the complete report, visit http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/nbi/no10/defbr15.cfm.">www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/nbi/no10/defbr15.cfm.">http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/nbi/no10/defbr15.cfm.


LOCAL | March 8, 2016
$230 Million Expansion for Westchester Medical Center

Last week, the Westchester Medical Center announced a $230 million expansion for its Valhalla campus with plans for a 280,000-square-foot, eight-story ambulatory care pavilion cloaked in glass and steel. Specs include 185,000 square feet of ambulatory care space that would hold a surgery center, advanced imaging, and a heart and vascular institute, plus a 20,000-square-foot private-room expansion and 75,000 square feet for doctors’ offices. The medical center anticipates construction will start this spring, creating 225 construction jobs, with completion in 2018. The Westchester County Local Development Corporation approved nearly $300 million for the project.


NATIONAL | March 2, 2016
Big Leaps in January Construction Spending

Multifamily, private nonresidential and highway construction spending all saw big gains in January compared to December 2015 and January 2015, boosting total construction spending to its highest level since October 2008. Reaching $1.141 trillion, the total was 1.5% higher than December, already revised up, and 10.4% above January 2015. Spending in multifamily construction rose 2.6% for the month and 30% year-over-year, private nonresidential spending increased 1% for the month, up 11.5% from a year ago, and public construction spending rose 4.5% for the month, 13% for the year. Manufacturing posted the biggest gains in the private sector, up 4.2% for the month, 11% year-over-year. In the public sector, highway and street construction took the strongest spot, rising 15% for the month and 34% year-over-year.


NATIONAL | March 2, 2016
Lending May Get Tighter for Multifamily Construction

A December letter from the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – all agencies that regulate banks – asked lenders to be careful in loaning money for multifamily construction. The concern comes from the sharp rise in demand for such building, especially in a climate of new regulations that limit the risk commercial banks can carry on their balance sheets, requiring them to hold capital in reserve to cover potential losses on commercial real estate loans. Defaults on multifamily construction loans are not being recorded in large numbers, and banks are still offering loans that cover up to 80% of construction at relatively low rates, but bankers are scrutinizing the number of apartment projects and the cost of labor.

February 2016

LOCAL | February 29, 2016
$1.6 Million Daniels Bridge Replacement Necessary

Daniels Bridge over Oyster Creek in Waretown (Ocean County) must be replaced, and will cost $1.6 million, according to Ocean County Engineer John Ernst. The timber substructure of the bridge was built in 1947; a superstructure was built in 1972. The roadway over the bridge will be widened from 30 to 40 feet, adding shoulders.


LOCAL | February 12, 2016
Egg Harbor’s Cardiff Substation Due for Major Upgrade

Atlantic City Electric plans to install two new high-voltage lines at its Cardiff Substation in Egg Harbor Township, replacing two low-capacity lines. The project is part of a larger system-wide upgrade, expected to be completed by year-end 2018, that is focused on replacing aging infrastructure and building in reliability. More than $150 million in 10-year bonds, issued in late 2015, will fund the upgrade.


LOCAL | February 11, 2016
Cherry Hill Redevelopment Slated Along Cooper River

Cherry Hill’s Park Boulevard Gateway Redevelopment Plan will begin along a stretch of the Cooper River, where an empty Faith Life Christian Center and a rundown America’s Best Value Inn, slated for demolition, occupy 7.3 acres. Residents of the motel will have to move, as will an Asian restaurant, to make room for an apartment complex consisting of one three-story and one four-story building, along with a swimming pool, outdoor recreation areas and a rooftop sitting area. Of the 176 units, 29 will be affordable housing. Adjacent to the apartment buildings will be 16 townhouses. First Montgomery Group of Haddonfield is buying the property and will most likely be named the redeveloper. In addition to the Park Boulevard Plan, Cherry Hill has targeted four other sites for redevelopment: Hampton Road Gateway, 19 acres between Hampton Road and Cuthbert Blvd., for which 300 apartments are planned; Victory Gateway, 35 acres on Woodcrest Road near Woodcrest Station that is owned by Vineland Construction Co., where the town would like to see mixed-use apartments, hotel, nursing home and/or retail; Route 38 Gateway, 14 acres near the Cuthbert Blvd. PSE&G substation, where three motels could be redeveloped; and Cuthbert Blvd. Gateway, 13 acres that hold a vacant Verizon facility and bowling alley, an operating motel and an operating home-supply store. The last two sites have not officially been named redevelopment areas.


LOCAL | February 11, 2016
Port Announces Record Cargo Volumes

The Port of New York and New Jersey recorded annual cargo volumes in 2015 10.4% higher than in 2014, a year that had already seen record volumes. The Port handled 6.4 million 20-foot equivalent units, also translated as 3.7 million cargo containers in 2015. The port’s ship-to-rail system, ExpressRail, also set a record with 522,244 containers handled, a 12.2% increase over 2014. With 30% of market share, the port remains the busiest on the East Coast.


LOCAL | February 11, 2016
Feds to Help Fund Delaware River Dredging Project

Monies to finish the multi-year dredging project in the Delaware River could be found in President Obama’s proposed budget -- $33.135 million -- and the Army Corps of Engineers Work Plan for FY2016 -- $21.875 million. That $55 million would go toward the last two segments due to be dredged, an 11-mile section between Chester, PA, and Wilmington, DE, and approximately 24 miles in the Delaware Bay. The dredging, which will allow larger vessels to travel up the Delaware, is expected to position the Port of Philadelphia more competitively.


LOCAL | February 9, 2016
Fatal Crane Collapse Prompts New Safety Regs for NYC

Following the crawler crane collapse in Tribeca last Friday that killed a man, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio issued new safety regulations on large cranes. The new policies includes these four steps: 1. All crawler cranes must cease operation when wind speeds are forecast to exceed 20 mph or wind gusts to exceed 30 mph. Fines for failure to comply will increase from $4,800 to $10,000. 2. City departments will increase enforcement of sidewalk and street closures when cranes are active in the area, including requiring a DOT pedestrian traffic manager in areas with “significant pedestrian traffic.” The NYC Department of Buildings will be responsible for conducting inspections and issuing violations. 3. Crane operators are now required to notify area residents and business owners prior to moving a crane, in addition to the current regulation requiring notification upon initial installation. 4. With a 90-day timeline, a task force will evaluate the Friday incident and propose additional best practices and regulations.


LOCAL | February 3, 2016
Gateway Project Timetable: 15 Years

Late last week, the Bergen Record published a report from federal officials stating a 15-year timeline for the $23.9 billion Gateway project that includes two new rail tunnels, a new tunnel entrance under Manhattan, renovation of existing tunnels, replacement of three New Jersey bridges and a Penn Station expansion, among other things. According to the timeline in the Record, first up (and already underway) is the trans-Hudson tunnel entrance below Hudson Yards, expected to be completed in 2019 ($326 million), followed by the new rail tunnels and renovation of existing tunnels, which will take a decade once financing and a start-date are established ($7.7 billion). Bridge replacements are planned for the Portal swing bridge over the Hackensack River (2017-2022, $1.2 billion), the Sawtooth Bridge over the Passaic (2022-2026, $1.1 billion) and the Portal Bridge South in Kearny (2024-2030, $1.9 billion). Other Jersey projects include renovation of Secaucus Junction station, construction of a Secaucus Loop for one-seat rides from North Jersey to Manhattan, and track renewal and replacement between Newark and Secaucus.


LOCAL | February 3, 2016
Great Falls in Paterson Getting “Great Lawn”

The area surrounding the Paterson Great Falls, which has already seen one renovation project completed and is in the midst of a second one, is slated for a third – a “Great Lawn” to be billed as a venue for concerts and festivals. Approximately a third of the old Allied Textile site will be covered by the 2.5-acre, $4.3 million project, which will feature an open lawn area, flower beds, shade trees and paved paths. A National Historical Park, Great Falls was awarded a $1.8 million Centennial Challenge grant from the National Park Service for the project. Another $2.1 million in funding will come from New Jersey Green Acres and Passaic County Open Space monies, and the rest from a National Park Service conservation grant. The land for the Great Lawn is city-owned, and city officials will manage the design and construction contracts. New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell, who announced the Centennial Challenge grant, has posted on his website notice of two “Paterson Great Falls General Management Plans” informational events, open to the public, on February 4 and 15, 2016: http://pascrell.house.gov/about/events/paterson-great-falls-national-historic-park-general-management-plan-open-house


NATIONAL | February 2, 2016
Metro Construction Employment Strong Year-Over-Year

Nearly twice as many of the nation’s metro areas added jobs in December 2015 compared to December 2014 – 190 out of 358, approximately 53%. In New Jersey, only one metro dropped construction jobs. Bergen-Hudson-Passaic lost 1,000 jobs, a 3% decrease. Newark construction employment, on the other hand, jumped 13% with the addition of 5,700 jobs; Camden was up 10% with 2,100 additional jobs; Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean and Vineland-Bridgeton each increased 7% with 2,700 and 200 jobs respectively; and Atlantic City was up 4% with 200 new jobs. Trenton’s construction employment remained flat. Statewide, New Jersey added 10,900 jobs, a 7% boost.


NATIONAL | February 2, 2016
December Construction Spending Anemic After Growth Year

Despite good growth compared to December 2014 – an 8.2% increase – December 2015’s construction spending across the nation was less than 0.1% higher than November’s, which had already been revised downward. The total was $1.117 trillion, seasonally adjusted. Construction spending for the year as a whole increased 10.5% over all of 2014, and represented the highest annual total since 2007, but the second half of the year remained flat. Spending on multifamily residential remained strong, up 2.7% for the month and 12% higher than a year ago, but private nonresidential construction spending, while up 11.8% from December 2014, dropped 2.1% for the month and showed the lowest rate since April 2015. Public construction spending increased 1.9% for the month, up 3.9% for the year, pushed by highway and street construction, which jumped 9.4% for the month and 12% year-over-year. Educational spending decreased half a percentage point from November but was up 9.4% compared to December 2014.

January 2016

NATIONAL | January 28, 2016
BLS Report: Union Membership Rate Remains Unchanged

The percentage of wage and salary workers who were union members in 2015 in the US remained the same as 2014, 11.1%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics annual report. The number of union members, 14.8 million, also remained about the same. Public-sector workers had a union membership rate of 35.2%, more than five times higher than the 6.7% of private-sector workers. Within the private sector, 13.9% of workers in construction were union members. Median weekly earnings of union members were $980 in 2015, compared to $776 for non-union workers. At 24.7%, New York had the highest union membership rate in the country in 2015. New Jersey had a union membership rate of 15.4% in 2015, down from 16.5% in 2014. Approximately half of the 14.8 million union members nationwide lived in seven states in 2015, including California (2.5 million), New York (2.0 million), Illinois (0.8 million), Pennsylvania (0.7 million), and Michigan, Ohio and New Jersey (0.6 million each). These seven states account for about one-third of wage-and-salary employment in the country. The complete report can be found online as a 12-page PDF: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/union2.pdf">www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/union2.pdf">http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/union2.pdf


NATIONAL | January 26, 2016
Construction Employment Strong in December State-by-State

For the month and for the year, December jobs in construction increased state-by-state. In the month from November to December, 39 states and DC added jobs, while in the year from December 2014 to December 2015, 44 states and DC added jobs. New Jersey numbers looked strong on both counts. Construction employment inched up in the last three months of 2015, and in December was up 700 jobs, a 0.5% increase over November. For the year, New Jersey added 10,800 jobs compared to December 2014, a 7.5% gain. In the region, New York added 2,200 jobs for the month, a 0.6% increase, and 26,500 for the year, a 7.6% gain; Delaware added 900 jobs for the month, up 4.2%, and 2,000 for the year, up 10%; Connecticut lost 300 jobs for the month, a 0.5% slide, but picked up 2,200 jobs for the year, a 4% bump; and Rhode Island added 1,000 jobs for the month, a 6.5% increase, but lost 100 compared to last year, a 0.6% drop. Pennsylvania was the only state in the surrounding region to lose jobs in both periods, down 2,500 for the month, a 1.1% decrease, and 500 for the year, a 0.2% drop.


LOCAL | January 25, 2016
Gateway Projects Could Cost Nearly $24 Billion

Amtrak told the New York Times last week the Gateway projects – a new rail tunnel under the Hudson, repair of the existing tunnel, expanding Penn Station and replacing New Jersey railway bridges – could cost as much as $23.9 billion. Although Amtrak warns the figures are preliminary estimates, officials say the largest portion, approximately $7.7 billion, would go toward the tunnels. The Penn Station project could cost $3 billion.


LOCAL | January 19, 2016
Feds Award $176 Million for NYC Storm Protection

Through HUD, New York City will get $176 million to fortify the Manhattan shoreline from the Lower East Side south of the Manhattan Bridge to the northern end of Battery Park City. Plans that have not yet been detailed could include sea walls, temporary flood walls that would be deployed before a storm, and grass berms that could be used for recreation. The project won the federal funds through the National Disaster Resilience Competition; the monies will supplement $100 million in capital funds the city already committed to the project.


LOCAL | January 13, 2016
Port Authority Drops Truck Retrofit Requirements at Seaports

The Port Authority has announced it is abandoning plans to require retrofitting or replacement of older diesel trucks hauling cargo at Newark and Elizabeth seaports. Five years ago, in an effort to improve air quality, the Port Authority and US EPA jointly proclaimed all trucks that didn’t meet 2007 federal emissions standards would be banned from entering the seaports. Now the Port Authority says the cost of helping drivers replace approximately 6,300 vehicles would be more than $150 million in grants – too high a price tag. Instead, per an announcement last week, the Port Authority will commit $1.2 million to help drivers replace approximately 400 trucks, supplemented by $9 million in federal funds. Therefore, trucks manufactured before 2007 and already registered with the ports may continue to haul cargo, and only older trucks not registered will be banned. The truck replacement program information remains live on the Port Authority website.


LOCAL | January 13, 2016
Amazon’s Audible to Turn Old Newark Church into R&D Hub

Audible Inc., Amazon’s audiobook giant, will turn the vacant Second Presbyterian Church on the corner of Washington and James streets in Newark, plus two adjacent, connected sites on James Street, into an engineering and development facility. Last May, NJ EDA approved a 10-year, $39.3 million Grow New Jersey grant for the project, which is expected to create 350 new jobs and maintain 50 existing jobs in the city. The façade of the church, whose congregation disbanded 20 years ago, will be preserved; plans approved by the Central Planning Board in December call for new floors and mezzanines in the church, along with renovations to the James Street properties. Audible’s headquarters are close by at 1 Washington Park.


LOCAL | January 12, 2016
Vineland’s Allied Specialty Foods Plots $14 Million Addition

With plans to expand its facility in the Vineland Industrial Park on West Forest Grove Road, Allied Specialty Foods will invest $14 million and create 70 jobs. The 75,000-square-foot addition will include office space, cold storage and manufacturing, and is expected to be complete by year-end.


LOCAL | January 12, 2016
$1 Billion Expansion Planned for New York’s Javits Center

Thirty years after it opened, and 10 since its last renovation, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen area may get a billion-dollar expansion, if New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement comes to pass. The governor said construction would start this year to add 1.2 million square feet to the Center, located on 11th Avenue between 34th and 40th streets, including a half-million square feet of meeting and exhibition space, a new ballroom, a terrace overlooking the Hudson and a new garage for delivery trucks.


LOCAL | January 11, 2016
CRDA Approves Funding for Stockton’s AC Campus and Boraie Development Project

Last week, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority approved $17 million in funding for Stockton’s Island Campus in Atlantic City plus $15 million for a new residency project in the South Inlet. The Island Campus, estimated at $210 million, will serve approximately 1,500 students with academic facilities, residence halls and a parking garage, and will also headquarter South Jersey Gas. With construction expected to begin this spring off Albany Avenue, Stockton hopes to open the campus in Fall 2018. The new residency project, spearheaded by Boraie Development, will include approximately 250 market-value apartments.


LOCAL | January 11, 2016
Update: New Jersey Wind Farm off Atlantic City

Fishermen’s Energy has continued its efforts to build a wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City, despite three rejections from the state BPU. In the latest move, the New Jersey State Senate approved a bill supporting such a wind farm. The bill would allow the BPU to approve the Fishermen’s Energy project, although it doesn’t require the BPU to grant approval. The bill now goes to the Governor’s desk.

December 2015

NATIONAL | December 29, 2015
More Than Half of Metro Areas See November Construction Jobs Increase Over Last Year

In the year-over-year period from November 2014 to November 2015, 190 of 358 (53%) of the country’s metro areas saw an increase in construction employment. New York City measured the largest gain, adding 9,200 jobs, up 7%. Bergen-Hudson-Passaic in New Jersey came in third from the bottom, losing 1,500 jobs, a 5% drop. As in October, most of New Jersey’s metro areas fared better. Trenton was the only other metro to lose jobs, shedding all of its October gain with a decrease of 100 jobs, a 2% drop. Camden added 2,100 jobs, a 10% gain; Newark added 4,600 jobs, another 10% jump; Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean added 3,400 jobs, a 9% bump; Vineland-Bridgeton added 200 jobs, a 7% hike; and Atlantic City-Hammonton picked up 200 jobs for a 4% increase.


NATIONAL | December 23, 2015
State-by-State, November Construction Employment Grew, But Regional Growth Was Uneven

The construction industry added jobs in 44 states and DC compared to November 2014, a 4.2% increase, and in 38 states in November compared to the previous month. In the region year-over-year, New York came in at #2 in the nation, adding 30,500 jobs over last November, an 8.9% gain. Connecticut gained 1,800 jobs for the year, up 3.2%, and Delaware added 1,000 jobs for the year, a 4.9% gain. Rhode Island, on the other hand, was one of six states to lose construction jobs for the year, down 6.7% with the loss of 4,600 jobs. Pennsylvania also lost jobs for the year-over-year period, down 0.6% with a drop of 1,500 jobs. New York hit the #2 spot for the month as well, adding 9,100 jobs, a 2.5% gain. Connecticut had a modest increase of 400 jobs for the month, up 0.7%, as did Rhode Island, which added 100 jobs for a 0.7% increase. Pennsylvania lost more jobs for the month than any other state, down 4,600, a 1.9% drop. Delaware also lost jobs for the month, down 800 for a 3.6% drop. New Jersey construction employment looked good for both periods, adding 2,100 jobs for the month, a 1.4% gain over October, and 9,800 for the year, a 6.8% increase.


LOCAL | December 23, 2015
NJ Transit Appoints Interim Head

New Jersey Transit announced today it has appointed Dennis J. Martin as Interim Executive Director, effective Monday, December 28. He replaces Ronnie Hakim, who leaves the ED position this week. With 30 years of transit experience, Martin most recently served as head of NJ Transit’s Bus Operations. He is credited with overhauling NJ Transit bus service staging at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Martin has a degree in Economics from Rutgers.


LOCAL | December 17, 2015
BPU Gives Final Approval on South Jersey Gas Pipeline Project

Yesterday the state Board of Public Utilities voted to allow the South Jersey Gas pipeline project to proceed without oversight by the local zoning boards in the municipalities through which the pipeline will pass – Upper Township, Maurice River Township and Estell Manor. Next step: permission from the Pinelands Commission for the project to move forward. Assuming that approval and barring any appeals, construction on the pipeline could begin in Fall 2016.


LOCAL | December 14, 2015
DRPA Approves Higher Bridge and Transit Budgets

Last week, the Delaware River Port Authority approved bigger budgets for bridges and rapid transit in 2016 for a combined total of $290.7 million, up 1.9% over the 2015 budgets. The DRPA operates four bridges, the PATCO Hi-Speedline and RiverLink Ferry, and announced that bridge tolls would not increase for at least five years because of increased traffic and higher revenue. Bridge toll revenue and investment interest is expected to bring in $333 million in 2016. A separate capital budget of $166 million was approved last month to continue rehab of PATCO train cars, repaint the Commodore Barry Bridge, build a bike ramp onto the Ben Franklin Bridge and initiate a feasibility study on reopening the Franklin Square speedline station in Philadelphia.


LOCAL | December 14, 2015
Retail Vacancies Rise in Central and North Jersey

The combined retail vacancy rate in Central and North Jersey rose nearly a percentage point from this time last year, hitting 8.3%, primarily because of the closings of A&P, Pathmark and Superfresh stores. The closings hit hard in Middlesex, Monmouth, Mercer and parts of Ocean County, where the retail vacancy rate separated out from North Jersey measured 8.8%, up from 7.5% last year. In North Jersey, the rate is 7.8%, up from 7.3% last year. On the plus side, store openings – Nordstrom Rack in Eatontown and Ulta Beauty, Carters and OshKosh B’gosh in West Long Branch – helped offset the loss of the grocery chain.


LOCAL | December 14, 2015
Retail Vacancies Rise in Central and North Jersey

The combined retail vacancy rate in Central and North Jersey rose nearly a percentage point from this time last year, hitting 8.3%, primarily because of the closings of A&P, Pathmark and Superfresh stores. The closings hit hard in Middlesex, Monmouth, Mercer and parts of Ocean County, where the retail vacancy rate separated out from North Jersey measured 8.8%, up from 7.5% last year. In North Jersey, the rate is 7.8%, up from 7.3% last year. On the plus side, store openings – Nordstrom Rack in Eatontown and Ulta Beauty, Carters and OshKosh B’gosh in West Long Branch – helped offset the loss of the grocery chain.


NATIONAL | December 14, 2015
OSHA’s Construction Head Announces Retirement

On December 2, Jim Maddux, director of OSHA’s construction unit, announced his retirement, effective at year-end. Maddux joined OSHA in 1990 and was appointed head of the Directorate of Construction in 2010. No replacement for Maddux was announced.


LOCAL | December 14, 2015
Sen. President Sweeney Seeks Voter Approval on North Jersey Casinos

Last Friday, New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney announced he had introduced legislation to put a public referendum question on the ballot to determine voter sentiment for two casinos in North Jersey. If the public voted to approve North Jersey casinos, the state’s constitution, which currently limits gaming to Atlantic City, would be amended. The bill to put the question on the ballot, SCR-185, has to be approved by three-fifths of the votes in both houses of the Legislature or majority votes twice during two legislative years before going to the voters as a ballot question.


NATIONAL | December 8, 2015
GAO Report: 25% of Highway Bridges Still Deficient

At the request of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Government Accountability Office conducted a recent study of highway bridges across the country, finding nearly 1 in 4 deficient, 10% structurally deficient and 14% functionally obsolete. The GAO’s report, released to the public on November 30, recognized that many states performed bridge work over the last decade (2005-2014), decreasing by 21% the number of structurally deficient bridges and by 6% the number of obsolete bridges. The amount of structurally deficient deck area shrank by 20%. However, functionally obsolete deck area grew by 9% over the decade. The number of structurally deficient bridges dropped in 43 states and DC over the decade, but rose in seven states and Puerto Rico. The report can be viewed and downloaded as a PDF at http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-16-72R.">www.gao.gov/products/GAO-16-72R.">http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-16-72R.


NATIONAL | December 4, 2015
Half the Country’s Metros Increased Construction Employment in October

Across the nation in October, 180 metro areas saw an increase in construction employment compared to October 2014, while 132 saw a decrease and 46 remained unchanged. In New Jersey, the picture was uneven. Bergen-Hudson-Passaic was second from the bottom in number of jobs lost for the year-over-year period, down 2,200 jobs, a 7% drop. But it was the only metro area in the state to realize a loss; two metro areas, in fact, saw significant increases over last year. Camden gained 2,300 jobs for the period, an 11% uptick, and Newark added 4,400 jobs, a 10% rise. Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean added 2,200 jobs for a 6% gain; Atlantic City-Hammonton added 300 jobs, also a 6% gain; Vineland-Bridgeton added 100 jobs, a 4% rise; and Trenton added 100 jobs, a 2% rise. Overall, the state gained 9,600 jobs for the year-over-year period, up 6% over October 2014.


NATIONAL | December 3, 2015
VDOT Wants Zig-Zag Striping As Part of Uniform Traffic Code

For a year, Virginia DOT studied traffic control using patterns of zig-zag striping on roadways, finding the unusual markings slowed traffic, raised awareness of pedestrians and cyclists, and increased the likelihood a vehicle would yield. They also report motorists continued to respond to the zig-zag striping a year after it was applied to 11 points in northern Virginia, chosen because the roadway intersects at those points with the Washington and Old Dominion Trail, a popular hiking and biking route. Because of its finding, VDOT wants the striping to become part of the federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Originating in Europe, the striping concept is also used in Hawaii and Ottawa.


NATIONAL | December 2, 2015
Construction Spending Grows Month-by-Month, Year-Over-Year

At a total of $1.107 trillion, construction spending rose in October, up 1% from September and 13% higher than October 2014 – reaching the highest level in almost eight years. Multifamily residential construction grew 1.4% for the month, up 27.9% over last year. Private nonresidential construction spending was up a modest 0.6% for the month, but 15.3% higher than last year. Manufacturing construction spending rose 3% for the month and a whopping 40.5% over last year. In the sector, only retail and warehouse spending decreased. Public construction spending rose 1.4% for the month, 6.1% over the year. Within the public sector, highway and street construction rose 1.1% for the month and 6% over the year, while school construction, which remained flat for the month, was up 8.4% over last year.


LOCAL | December 2, 2015
$180 Million in State Funding for Colleges Prompts Wish Lists

As reported on philly.com, here are some of the South Jersey college projects on the “wish list” for the next round of higher-education funding from the bond act approved by voters in 2012: • Rutgers-Camden would like a $5 million expansion of its recently completed Writers House, plus a $15 million renovation of empty buildings and vacant lots on Cooper Street. And perhaps a new business school. • Rowan College at Burlington County seeks the full $57 million it needs to expand and renovate its Mount Laurel campus. • Camden County College, which didn’t get funding it sought in the first round of bond-act monies, would like to replace the HVAC systems in three buildings on its Blackwood Campus, and perhaps renovate classrooms. • Stockton University wants a slew of work done on its Galloway campus – roof replacement, renovations to its Coastal Research Center and water plant, spillway dam repairs and accessibility improvements. And then there’s the new campus in Atlantic City…

November 2015

NATIONAL | November 24, 2015
Construction Employment Rises in October Across 35 States, Up for Year in 43

A significant number of states – 43 plus the District of Columbia – measured an increase in construction jobs in October compared to October 2014, and a promising 35 states added industry jobs compared to September. Supporting the year-over-year growth was a 14% rise in construction spending, the biggest jump since 2006, according to AGC of America. New Jersey came in on the positive side in both periods, adding 9,700 jobs compared to a year ago, up 6.8%, and 200 jobs for the month, a 0.1% increase. In the region, New York was a big gainer for the year, adding 21,900 jobs, a 6.4% increase, and for the month, with 7,800 jobs, a 2.2% rise. Pennsylvania added 4,800 jobs for the year, a 2.1% increase, but lost almost that many for the month, down 4,200 jobs for a 1.7% loss. Connecticut gained 900 jobs for the year, up 1.6%, but lost 200 for the month, a 0.3% drop. Rhode Island lost 900 jobs for the year, down 5.6%, but made a healthier recovery for the month, adding 500 jobs for a 3.4% rise.


LOCAL | November 23, 2015
Rutgers Introduces the BEAST to Determine Bridge Longevity

The Bridge Evaluation and Accelerated Structural Testing, or BEAST, introduced by Rutgers’ Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation in October, virtually imposes real-life traffic and environmental loading on bridges over time and quantitatively measures stresses and deterioration of bridge materials to project future performance and lifespan. The BEAST can study spans up to 50 by 28 feet, with traffic loads up to 60,000 pounds at a continuous 20 miles-per-hour and more than 17,500 passes in a 24-hour period. Environmental stresses include rapid temperature fluctuations from 0 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit and salt brine saturation. Effects are measured on rebar, concrete, steel, ground wire and yellow paint, with all the variables of those materials as found in actual bridge construction. A review panel can advise interested parties about customized experiments. For more information, visit http://cait.Rutgers.edu/beast.


LOCAL | November 23, 2015
PSE&G to Replace 500 Miles of Gas Lines

Last week the NJ BPU approved PSE&G’s request to accelerate replacement of more than 500 miles of old cast-iron and steel gas lines with plastic lines. The new lines are less likely to leak, will allow increased gas pressure and thus permit excess flow meters, which can signal when too much gas runs through the line and automatically shut it down. Covering less than 20% of PSE&G’s 3,000 miles of old cast-iron and steel gas lines, the replacement project will occur beneath the streets in urban areas where the original lines were installed more than 100 years ago, and will also include 38,000 service lines that feed directly into homes and businesses. Slated to begin next spring, the project is expected to take three years and cost $905 million.


LOCAL | November 19, 2015
AC Development Company to Build $200 Million Stockton Campus

News that AC Devco, the non-profit development group created in June to boost investment in Atlantic City, would build a $200 million Stockton campus in Atlantic City was announced at the League of Municipalities’ annual meeting today in AC. The campus is planned for the Chelsea neighborhood at the southern tip of Albany Avenue. South Jersey Gas had previously announced it will build a 75,000-square-foot corporate headquarters at the same Gateway Development site on Albany, a 14-acre parcel that was home to the former Atlantic City High School, demolished in 1999. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority is providing $2.5 million in seed money to develop the site.


LOCAL | November 19, 2015
NJ Transit Chief to Depart at Year-End

NJ Transit Executive Director Veronique Hakim announced via a staff email Tuesday that she will leave the agency in December. On the same day, the New York MTA posted her appointment as the new president of New York City Transit beginning December 28. She had previously worked at the MTA for 23 years, most recently as an executive vice president and general counsel for capital construction. NJ Transit has not posted announcements on its website about her departure or replacement.


LOCAL | November 17, 2015
Christie Announces Funding for Round 2 of Higher Ed Projects

Yesterday Gov. Christie announced a Fall 2015 grant cycle for the second round of funding from the 2012 Building Our Future Bond Act, which authorized up to $750 million in state grants for new-construction academic facilities. These monies, combined with other state-supported grant programs for higher-ed construction, meant nearly $1.3 billion in grants was authorized for 176 projects at 46 institutions. For this cycle, colleges and universities will again compete for funding by submitting construction proposals to the Secretary of Higher Education, Rochelle Hendricks.


LOCAL | November 17, 2015
EDA Grants $93 Million in Tax Breaks to Jersey City Tower and Tenant

One Journal Square, a 56-story tower proposed for a 1.5-acre lot next to the PATH hub in Jersey City, will receive $34 million in tax breaks over 20 years from the NJ Economic Development Authority, while WeWork, a proposed tenant in the tower, will receive $59 million over 10 years. The tower, which could also be eligible for city tax breaks, will house 744 residential units, 101,000 square feet of office space on seven floors and 78,000 square feet of retail space on two floors. Kushner Companies and KABR Group, developers, purchased the property early this year. Construction is expected to be completed in 2018.


LOCAL | November 17, 2015
October Casino Take Down But Internet Gambling Rises

Atlantic City casino revenues, measured at $191.6 million in October, dropped 3.1% compared to October 2014, but Internet revenues, at $12.9 million, leaped up more than 35% in the same period. October was the first full comparable month since four of the casinos closed in 2014. Resorts saw the biggest percentage increase at 21%; Borgata had a 10.7% increase and the biggest take at $57.9 million; and Tropicana had a 0.6% rise. Caesars’ revenue plummeted 25.2% from a year ago; Harrah’s saw a 9.8% drop; Bally’s had a 2.6% decrease; and Golden Nugget’s revenues were down 0.1%.


LOCAL | November 17, 2015
Vineland’s Four Corners Development Picks Up Again in 2016

Following an award of $13.9 million in tax credits by the NJ Housing Mortgage Finance Agency last week, construction is expected to begin next year on the Landis Square Senior Project on East Landis Avenue between East and Myrtle in Vineland. The $18 million mixed-use project will offer 78 residential units for senior citizens, people with special needs and veterans in a three-story building with 8,000 square feet of retail space. Vineland will purchase and demolish the Travel Inn currently on the site, at a cost just under $2 million, while the developer, Eastern Pacific Development Co., will negotiate to buy the former Adamo Feed Store, also on the site, and Crown Fried Chicken on the corner of East Landis and East. The Landis Square project, which still needs site plan approval by the Vineland Planning Board, was originally part of a $40 million Four Corners development proposal by Eastern Pacific to create a gateway to Vineland’s downtown business district, but plans foundered over the past several years and the businesses that were renovated on one corner – a restaurant and theater – have since either closed or operate only occasionally.


LOCAL | November 17, 2015
Two Firms – But Not Fishermen’s Energy – Win Wind Power Development Bids

An auction held last week by the US Department of Interior’s Ocean Energy Management Bureau saw two out-of-state firms win bids to develop wind power projects off the Jersey coast in lease sales totaling nearly $2 million. The leased area, approximately seven miles offshore at the closest point, covers almost 340,000 acres and runs from Long Beach Island to Cape May. RES America Developments, Inc., of Broomfield CO and US Wind Inc. of Baltimore were the winning bidders. New Jersey’s Fishermen’s Energy participated in the auction but did not win. The leases run for a year, during which the developers have to submit preliminary plans. If the federal government approves those plans, each firm has four-and-a-half years to submit construction and operations plans, after which the government would conduct environmental impact assessments and open a public comment period. If final plans and assessments are approved, the leases would then run for 25 years.


LOCAL | November 17, 2015
Showboat Casino Sale Postponed Until January

Originally scheduled for yesterday, Stockton University announced last Friday that the settlement date for the sale of the Showboat Casino in Atlantic City has been postponed until January 15, 2016, an apparent tax benefit for buyer Bart Blatstein’s Tower Investments. As part of the new deal, the price will increase from $22 million to $23 million, with $2.2 million in escrow released immediately to Stockton for operating costs before the settlement date.


LOCAL | November 12, 2015
Newark’s $2 Million Should Jump-Start Residential High-Rise

The former Ballantine Brewery malt factory/Science High School site on Rector Street in Newark has been waiting for Boraie Development’s proposed $68 million, 23-story apartment tower, One Riverview, for more than two years. But Newark City Council’s decision Tuesday to provide $2 million toward construction costs should get work started before the end of the year. Other financing, already in place, comes as $35 million in loans from Goldman Sachs and nearly $24 million in Urban Transit Hub tax grants from the state, plus monies from the developer and other private sources. Newark had also granted the project a 30-year tax abatement back in 2013. The project, adjacent to NJ PAC, will preserve the red-brick façade and entry of the malt factory, which was built on the site in the mid-1890s, and the glass-and-steel tower will be built above and behind it. About 8,500 square feet of retail shops are planned for street level, topped by 169 market-rate rental units. Construction is expected to last just under 18 months, with initial rehab scheduled to take about two months.


LOCAL | November 9, 2015
Millville Plans Compressed Natural Gas Project

The Cumberland County Improvement Authority has partnered with Constellation Energy, a subsidiary of Exelon, to build a compressed natural gas quick-filling station at the county’s solid waste complex on Jesse Bridge Road (County Road 636) in Millville. The initial phase will include four CNG dispensers, each with two nozzles, plus onsite CNG storage in three vessels, each holding just under 12,000 cu. ft., with the ability to add more dispensers as needed. The station will service the county’s 144 heavy-duty vehicles that were converted from diesel to CNG as well as other fleet vehicles that pass the facility. Constellation will bear the full cost of construction.


LOCAL | November 9, 2015
Aviation Park Approaches “Mega Project” Status

The NJ EDA may consider granting tax incentives to a collection of entities expressing interest in moving into Stockton’s Aviation Research and Technology Park in Egg Harbor Township. If the authority decides to view the various businesses as a single entity, collectively meeting the authority’s threshold of 250 employees and a $20 million capital investment, the Aviation Park will gain “mega project” status, and can offer the same tax incentives as Garden State Growth Zones. The effect will make Aviation Park a much-more-competitive location.


NATIONAL | November 9, 2015
Construction Spending Strong for Year, Slows for Month

Year-over-year construction spending across the nation continued strong in September, reaching a new seven-year high and climbing at the fastest rate since January 2006, before the recession officially set in. Total construction spending in September hit $1.094 trillion, 14.1% above September 2014 spending and 0.6% higher than August. Multifamily residential construction spending jumped 26.7% for the year, up 4.9% for the month. Even public construction spending increased, up 9.4% for the year and 0.7% for the month. In that sector, construction spending on education facilities rose 10.5% for the year, 2.4% for the month. Although private non-residential construction spending rose 14.9% over last year, it fell 0.7% from August’s numbers. Within the sector, spending on lodging, manufacturing and office construction increased significantly year-over-year, but spending within most other categories declined. AGC of America blames the decrease on worker shortage; September’s BLS data noted less than half-a-million unemployed construction workers, the lowest September total in 15 years.


NATIONAL | November 2, 2015
OSHA May Increase Civil Penalties Under New Budget Act

The new Bipartisan Budget Act approved last week now makes it legal for OSHA to increase civil penalties based on inflation. Previously, civil penalties under the OSH Act were expressly exempted from annual inflation increases. OSHA may even increase penalties up to 150% in the first year to meet current inflation levels. However, any proposed increase would still have to go through OSHA’s formal notice and comment process.


NATIONAL | November 2, 2015
ACA Auto-Enrollment Mandate Repealed

In the Bipartisan Budget Act signed into law late last week, a mandatory auto-enrollment of employees into employer-provided healthcare plan was repealed. The mandate would have affected employers with more than 200 employees, requiring they enroll a new full-time employee within 90 days if the employee declined coverage or failed to choose coverage. The mandate also required employers to continue to enroll current employees in a healthcare plan, and was in addition to the Affordable Care Act’s individual and employer mandates requiring healthcare coverage.

October 2015

LOCAL | October 30, 2015
Evesham Approves Development Application

Richard Birdoff and his development company, RD Management, based in New York, received preliminary approval from Evesham officials to move ahead with The Shoppes at Renaissance Square and the Residences at Renaissance Square. The proposed project would demolish and rehab the empty Tri-Towne Plaza on Route 70, owned by RD Management, making way for construction of restaurants, a coffee shop, and a free-standing 12,600-square-foot commercial/retail building. The residential plan calls for 338 apartments in five buildings. The developer will need to secure several other approvals, including those from NJDOT and NJDEP. Construction could create more than 300 jobs.


NATIONAL | October 28, 2015
Construction Employment Down in 40% of Metro Areas

For the year from September 2014 to September 2015, construction employment dropped in 40% of the nation’s metro areas – down in 144 of 358 metros. It increased in 159 and remained the same in 55. New Jersey’s Bergen-Hudson-Passaic landed in the bottom five, losing 2,700 jobs, a 9% drop. But despite the less-than-good news across the country, the rest of New Jersey’s metros fared reasonably well for the year-over-year period. Atlantic City-Hammonton and Newark each saw a 12% jump, with an increase of 600 and 5,400 jobs respectively. Camden gained 1,800 jobs, an 8% rise. The rest each increased jobs at a 4% rate, with Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean picking up 1,400 jobs, Trenton adding 200 jobs and Vineland-Bridgeton gaining 100 jobs. Statewide, New Jersey added 8,400 jobs, a 6% gain for the year-over-year.


LOCAL | October 27, 2015
Fed Grant Will Replace Newark’s Portal Bridge

The railroad swing bridge over the Hackensack River is 105 years old, and it doesn’t work well. NJ Transit, in collaboration with Amtrak for the design and engineering, can now replace it, with $16 million in a federal grant announced Monday. The grant will also cover electrical and fiber optic work, a retaining wall and a pier from the river’s western shore to allow steel, concrete and piping for construction to be delivered by water. The bridge will be built high enough for boats to pass under, eliminating the need for the problematic swing.


LOCAL | October 27, 2015
Competition for Plans to Replace Port Authority Bus Terminal

Late last week, the Port Authority approved a competition for plans to replace the aging bus terminal on Eighth Avenue. The new terminal will be located a block west, between Ninth and Eleventh, and could cost $10 billion. The Port Authority plans to select a design at its September 2016 board meeting, if not sooner.


LOCAL | October 22, 2015
AC Armory to Become Mixed-Use Development

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority approved conversion of the old Morris Guards Armory at Pacific and New York avenues into a mixed-use development that will be privately funded by developer John Longacre, whose firm, LPMG of Philadelphia, bought the site in April. The plan calls for 25 one- and two-bedroom apartments over first-floor retail. Longacre would like leasing to begin midyear 2016.


LOCAL | October 22, 2015
Newark Charter School Slated for Old Star-Ledger Site

On Tuesday, the Newark Central Planning Board okay’d plans for a new NorthStar Academy charter school to be built on a former Star-Ledger site on Court Street. The six-story school will serve K-12. Construction is expected to begin in early 2016 and be completed in 2018.


NATIONAL | October 20, 2015
September Construction Jobs Across the Country Up for Year

We posted in Hot Topics last week news of the 2,800 new construction jobs created in New Jersey in September, a 1.9% increase over August. AGC of America, using BLS data, reports New Jersey ranked #6 in the 23 states that added jobs for the month. A total of 35 states and DC added construction jobs in the year since September 2014, including New Jersey, which added 5,900 for the year, a 4.1% gain.


LOCAL | October 16, 2015
Bayonne Bridge Completion Delayed Two Years

The Port Authority’s Bayonne Bridge raising will take another two years beyond the original projected completion date, and is now expected to be finished in late 2017. The new date means new super-container ships that will begin passing through the widened Panama Canal in the spring of 2016 won’t be able to take advantage of the bridge’s 64-foot additional height. The Port Authority blames harsh weather and structural steel issues for the delay.


LOCAL | October 16, 2015
New Jersey’s Construction Industry Adds Jobs in September

New Jersey added 4,700 jobs in September, and construction employment contributed nearly 60% of the growth, with 2,800 new jobs in the industry. A close second, leisure and hospitality added 2,700 jobs.


LOCAL | October 16, 2015
Casino Gambling Revenues Up Nearly 10% in September

Atlantic City casinos reported total revenues of $230.1 million in September, a 9.9% increase over last year – when Revel and Trump Plaza revenues were included. Six of the eight remaining casinos reported gains, with Borgata’s year-over-year clocking in at the highest increase, up $7.8 million. Caesar’s had a $4.9 million increase, Resorts saw a $3.6 million gain and Golden Nugget reported a $3.3 million increase. Resorts and Golden Nugget had the biggest percentage gains from last year, up 31.8% and 20.9% respectively. Bally’s and Trump Taj Mahal both saw revenues drop, with Bally’s revenues down 4.2% and Taj revenues down 4.6%.


LOCAL | October 16, 2015
AFL-CIO Firm Expected to Announce Billion-Dollar Affordable Housing Investment

Crain’s New York Business reported earlier this week that the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust will commit $1 billion to financing 20,000 affordable-housing units in New York City within the next seven years. All the construction projects will hire union labor.


LOCAL | October 13, 2015
Phase 1 of Paulsboro Plaza Redevelopment Gets Funding

Lindsey-Ore LLC, a developer that plans to recreate Paulsboro Plaza, has obtained a construction loan for the first phase, rehabilitation of the old Acme grocery store into a Save-A-Lot grocery store. The developer now must get building permits from Paulsboro and put together a construction schedule.


LOCAL | October 13, 2015
Online Merchants Push NJ Industrial Vacancy Rates Down

The vacancy rates in New Jersey’s industrial space have dropped to their lowest levels since 2007, per Cushman & Wakefield, driven by demand from online merchants. In North Jersey, the vacancy rate is 7.2%, with just under 700,000 square feet currently under construction and an average rental rate of $6.33 per square foot. In Central Jersey the vacancy rate is 8%, with nearly 2.6 million square feet under construction and an average rental rate of $5.12 per square foot. Cushman & Wakfield did not report South Jersey rates.


LOCAL | October 9, 2015
Jersey City Takes Back Further School Control

On Wednesday, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop announced the city was taking back further control of the public school system, including personnel and operations. The State of New Jersey Department of Education, which took over the schools in October 1989 because of poor student performance, returned finance and governance control to the city in 2012. The state will continue to maintain control over instruction and program, but Mayor Fulop and School Superintendent Dr. Marcia Lyles both expressed optimism about transitioning that control back to the city in Spring 2016.


LOCAL | October 6, 2015
Burlington County Expected to Approve $60 Million for Bridges

The vote is next week, but the Burlington County Board of Freeholders will most likely approve a guarantee for $60 million in bonds to the county’s Bridge Commission for two major bridge rehabilitation projects. Total cost is estimated at $90 million for both projects – $45.3 million for stripping and painting both bridges and $45 million for replacing the deck on the Burlington-Bristol Bridge, plus $1.2 million to install gates and traffic signals on both 90-year-old bridges. The county would guarantee the loan and the Commission would repay the bonds through toll collection. Board of Freeholders meeting is scheduled for October 14, 7 pm in the county administration building, 49 Rancocas Road, Mount Holly.


NATIONAL | October 6, 2015
Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund Seeks Benefit Cuts

Not unexpected but now officially announced, the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund filed a plan to cut benefits for retirees in an effort to keep the fund from becoming insolvent. It is the first multiemployer pension fund to file an application with the Treasury Department for benefit cuts under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014. Under the rules, the plan will be made public by October 25. If Treasury approves the plan, it will go to the retirees for a vote. However, if propping up the pension fund will cost the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation more than $1 billion, Treasury can override the retirees’ predicted “no” vote.


NATIONAL | October 2, 2015
Nonresidential Construction Spending Takes Summer Leap

Private nonresidential construction spending across the nation in August jumped 16.9% over August of 2014, and even public construction spending was up, 7% higher than a year ago. Overall construction spending in August hit a seven-year high at $1.086 trillion (the highest since May 2008), 13.7% higher than August 2014 and the strongest year-over-year growth rate since March 2006. AGC of America noted “exceptionally strong growth in manufacturing, lodging and apartment construction all year,” with a recent spurt in construction spending for office, healthcare, highway and education structures.


LOCAL | October 1, 2015
Nearly $6 Million in Freight Rail Grants Come to South Jersey

Freight rail will get improvements in Paulsboro, Camden and Salem County, thanks to two DOT grants. South Jersey Port Corporation, which owns marine terminals in Paulsboro and Camden, will receive $5 million to improve the railroads at both terminals, including track extensions and two new grade crossings at Paulsboro and renovation of four crossings at Camden, along with improvements to the Camden terminal. Salem County will receive $972,840 to rehab its 18-mile shortline, primarily replacing old rail ties.

September 2015

NATIONAL | September 29, 2015
Construction Employment Falls in 43% of Metro Areas

Construction lost jobs in 153 of 358 metro areas, nearly 43%, across the country in the period from August 2014 to August 2015, which meant only 163 gained jobs while construction employment in another 42 remained unchanged. AGC of America attributed some of the job losses to the “steep downturn in oil and gas drilling,” along with uncertainty in the industry because of the lack of federal funding for infrastructure projects. In the bottom five metro areas was New Jersey’s Bergen-Hudson-Passaic, which lost 1,900 jobs for the year, down 6%. Trenton also saw a decline, losing 200 jobs, a 4% drop. But the rest of the state fared better for the year-over-year. Alphabetically, Atlantic City-Hammonton picked up 600 jobs, a 12% gain; Camden added 3,000 jobs, a 14% jump; Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean added 500 jobs, a 1% increase; Newark added 5,000 jobs, a 12% increase; and Vineland-Bridgeton added 200 jobs, a 7% gain. Overall, the state added 7,300 construction jobs, a 5% increase.


LOCAL | September 29, 2015
Camden Looks Toward $1 Billion Waterfront Development

Liberty Property Trust, the same developer that remade the Philadelphia Navy Yard, last week announced a $1 billion mixed-use project for 16 acres of Camden waterfront that was formerly used by industry. The development, based on a master plan from architect Robert A.M. Stern, would include 1.7 million square feet of office space, a hotel with 120 to 140 rooms, retail shops at ground level, 325 rental apartments and 5,000 parking spaces. The design features a series of low-lying buildings strung between two towers. To date, Liberty has a signed agreement to purchase Camden Town Center LLC and develop the 16 acres. Once approvals are complete, Liberty could break ground in third-quarter 2016 and begin opening buildings for occupancy in late 2018. The project is expected to create thousands of construction jobs.


NATIONAL | September 23, 2015
Year Better than Month in Construction Employment

Across the country, construction employment rose in 36 states and DC in the year from August 2014 to August 2015. But the monthly numbers were not so positive: only 25 states added jobs from July to August. New Jersey’s picture was a little rosier than of late, with 4,800 more jobs this August than last, a 3.3% increase. For the month, the state added 600 jobs, a 0.4% gain. In the region, Rhode Island ranked second from the bottom in percentage of jobs lost in the year-over-year period, down 7.9% with a loss of 1,300 jobs, but managed to pick up 100 jobs for the month, a gain of 0.7%. Connecticut added 1,700 jobs over last year, a 3% gain, but lost 500 jobs for the month, a 0.9% drop. New York added 7,800 jobs for the year, a 2.3% increase, and 2,600 for the month, a 0.7% gain. Pennsylvania added 8,900 jobs compared to last year, a 3.8% increase, but lost 300 jobs over the month, a 0.1% drop.


LOCAL | September 23, 2015
Golden Nugget To Transform Restaurant Into Villas

Last week, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority gave the go-ahead to the Golden Nugget Atlantic City to create two 2,400 sq.ft. villas from an old restaurant on the property, each with a bedroom, living room, entertainment space, dining area and bar. The $4.5 million project is being funded with $1.2 million in Investment Alternative Tax obligations, with more to come from projected IAT revenue. The villas will be available for weekend hotel guests and used for small-group meetings and hospitality suites.


LOCAL | September 22, 2015
$3.2 Million in Fed Funds for AC Airport Reconstruction

As Chair of the House Aviation Subcommittee, US Rep. Frank LoBiondo announced last week the FAA will give $3,223,440 to Atlantic City International Airport for reconstruction projects as part of the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program.


LOCAL | September 22, 2015
Proposed Woolwich Retail Project Gets Sewer Access

Earlier this month, Logan Township agreed to expand its sewer treatment facilities to accommodate a Woolwich retail project. Woolwich Commons, the first phase of a mixed-use development that will ultimately total more than a half-million square feet at the intersection of Kings Highway and Route 322, will include a Walmart, Chili’s, Applebee’s, Outback Steakhouse, Starbucks, a variety of fast-food choices and other retail stores. Subsequent development plans call for 3,000 to 4,000 residential units in a walkable environment, along with plans for NJ DOT to upgrade the intersection and build in safety features.


LOCAL | September 21, 2015
Blatstein Confirmed as Showboat Buyer

Reports surfaced and then were confirmed last week that Bart Blatstein, a Philadelphia developer and principal of Tower Investments, has purchased Atlantic City’s Showboat Casino from Stockton University for $22 million, with a closing date of November 9. Per the university, which paid $18 million for the hotel and casino last year, Stockton will be able to use some of Showboat’s entertainment venues and has an agreement with Blatstein to provide guest accommodations at Stockton’s Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway if AC rooms are booked. Blatstein previously bought AC’s Pier Shops at Caesars.


LOCAL | September 18, 2015
$253 Million in Tax Incentives for Camden Recycling Plant

Last week, the NJ EDA approved $252,750,000 in tax incentives over 10 years for EMR Eastern LLC, which will build a nearly 700,000 sq.ft. advanced metals recovery facility and corporate headquarters on six blocks along Camden’s Waterfront South. EMR already owns Camden Iron & Metal in the vicinity, and will move its headquarters and 71 jobs from Bellmawr, along with 27 jobs from other New Jersey towns. According to the proposal approved by EDA, the project will create 285 new permanent jobs and 1,274 construction jobs.

August 2015

LOCAL | August 20, 2015
Ocean Drive in Avalon Slated for $9 Million Resiliency Project

Cape May County plans a multi-year, $9 million “permanent fix” to approximately 1,500 feet of Ocean Drive that will install resiliency into the portion of the road at the bulkhead badly damaged during Superstorm Sandy. Plans call for thick plates of tar-coated sheet steel, driven down 25 feet on the ocean side and 15 feet on the marsh side, to flank a new road surface. The road itself will be constructed of nine-inch slabs of reinforced concrete with a six-inch Portland cement base over geotextile. Also part of the project is repair of the stone seawall, which will be made more resilient with a backing of filter stone rip-rap on the ocean side and rip-rap stone on the marsh side to allow seawater to drain away from the road. The project is expected to go out for bid in September, with a shortened winter construction cycle that will end March 15 because of shorebird protections.


LOCAL | August 13, 2015
Update: American Dream Meadowlands Tax Break

Latest news: The project is still eligible for a $390 million tax break, following a vote of approval from the EDA on Tuesday. Developer Triple Five had presented an expanded and amended plan for the project, and EDA’s approval of the plan means the developer can proceed with the sale of as much as $800 million in bonds within the next 30 to 60 days. New construction funding of $3.2 billion is needed to finish the project. EDA approval, the bond sale and final approval from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which meets today to discuss the revised plan, could allow American Dream to open in the latter half of 2017. In the meantime, construction continues at the site. Triple Five’s EDA application specified 5,810 construction jobs would be created by the project.


LOCAL | August 7, 2015
NYC Forms Construction Fraud Task Force

Wednesday, New York announced the formation of a citywide Construction Fraud Task Force to investigate and prosecute corruption and fraud in the construction industry. Oversight of the task force comes from a partnership of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the NYC Department of Investigation, the Port Authority’s Office of the Inspector General, the MTA’s Office of the Inspector General, and the Business Integrity Commission for the City of New York. Created in the midst of a huge building boom in the city, the task force’s mission is two-part: uncovering fraud and preventing unsafe practices on jobsites. The Attorney-in-Charge is Assistant DA Diana Florence of the DA’s Rackets Bureau.


LOCAL | August 7, 2015
Former Elizabeth General Hospital May Morph Into Mixed-Use

The old Elizabeth General Hospital site, five acres on East Jersey Street in Elizabeth, was sold to a private developer listed as H. Elizabeth Realty LLC of Brooklyn for $2.5 million. The developer plans a mixed-use housing and retail complex on the site, which still holds part of the former hospital’s 350,000 sq.ft. building and a parking deck with 500+ spaces.

July 2015

NATIONAL | July 29, 2015
Metro Area Construction Employment Uninspiring for Year

Of 358 metro areas, 127 (35%) saw construction employment drop in the year from June 2014 to June 2015, while 180 (50%) saw an increase and 51 (14%) saw no change. AGC of America blames lack of sustained federal transportation funding for the sluggish growth. New Jersey’s numbers hit highs and lows: Bergen-Hudson-Passaic was in the bottom five in the nation with a loss of 1,200 jobs for the year, a 4% decline, while Camden ranked third in the nation in terms of percentage gains, picking up 4,000 jobs for a whopping 19% increase. The rest of the metro areas in the state did better than Bergen-Hudson-Passaic, some of them recording a significance increase year-over-year: Atlantic City-Hammonton picked up 900 construction jobs, an 18% gain; Newark added 5,000 construction jobs, a 12% gain; Vineland-Bridgeton added 300 jobs, also a 12% increase; Trenton added 100 jobs, a 2% gain; and Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean added 500 jobs, a 1% gain.


LOCAL | July 28, 2015
CSX To Replace Oradell Reservoir Bridge Deck

CSX, whose trains carry Bakken crude oil across the Oradell Reservoir Bridge every week, announced it would replace the bridge’s wooden deck this summer. The bridge is 86 years old and its 25-foot open-slat deck is deteriorating such that CSX ordered trains to reduce speed over the span from 40 mph to 25 mph. The deck will be replaced with a ballasted deck. Train traffic will be halted, not rerouted, during the bridge replacement, which is expected sometime this summer, although CSX did not name a date.


LOCAL | July 28, 2015
NY Gov. Cuomo Announces $4 Billion Rebuild for LaGuardia

Yesterday, New York Governor Cuomo announced a plan to rebuild LaGuardia Airport, consolidating its four terminals into one and moving the entire facility closer to the Grand Central Parkway in Queens. Pending approval from the Port Authority, the $4 billion project could break ground next year and be completed in 18 months.


LOCAL | July 27, 2015
Proposed Ridgewood Parking Garage Estimated at $15 Million

Last week, Ridgewood approved $500,000 for pre-construction costs, including project analysis and design, of a proposed $15 million parking garage. The garage would include conventional parking decks with perhaps as many as 300 additional parking spaces. This fall, Ridgewood residents will vote on financing the project through public funds.


LOCAL | July 27, 2015
Rebuilding Atlantic County’s Bridges: Three Years, Maybe $50 Million

A bridge rebuilding plan in Atlantic County will take three years and cost as much as $50 million. Many of the 28 bridges slated for reconstruction are 75 years old or more, one is more than a century old. Next in the project pipeline is replacement of the Catawba Bridge in Hamilton and Egg Harbor Township, for which construction is expected to begin in September and end in May of next year.


LOCAL | July 22, 2015
East Rutherford Votes to Issue $675 Million in Bonds for American Dream Project

Last night, the East Rutherford Borough Council unanimously approved issuing up to $675 million in bonds to help finance the American Dream Meadowlands project. These high-yield municipal bonds are “non-recourse,” which protects the borough from having to repay investors should the project ultimately fail. Triple Five, the project developer, is also in the midst of applying to the NJ Economic Development Authority for up to $390 million in tax breaks, another piece of the financing necessary to continue with the project.


NATIONAL | July 21, 2015
States Drop Construction Jobs in June

Half the states in the US lost construction jobs in the month from May to June, including New Jersey, which ranked close to the bottom in both number and percentage of jobs lost (down 4,600 jobs, a 3% drop). Another 24 states added jobs, and construction employment in Wyoming and DC remained unchanged. In the region for the month, Rhode Island lost 700 jobs, a 4.5% drop, Pennsylvania lost 2,300 jobs, a 0.9% drop, New York gained 3,300 jobs, up 0.9%, Connecticut picked up 2,200 jobs, a 3.8% increase, and Delaware added 900 jobs, a 4.3% gain. Despite the losses for the month, the construction employment picture for the year from June 2014 to June 2015 was somewhat improved, with 39 states and DC adding jobs, 11 states losing jobs. New Jersey finished the period with 6,200 more jobs than a year ago, up 4.4%.


NATIONAL | July 15, 2015
Some Construction Materials Prices Drop, Some Rise

Copper futures dropped during the first week of July to a six-year low, down to approximately $2.45 per pound, a 20% decrease from the same period in 2014. Iron ore used in steelmaking fell to the lowest price in a decade, and aluminum prices dropped 2% in the first week in July and have decreased 10% since January. Rising demand pushed up the prices for window glass, wallboard and steel pipe. Overall, however, the construction cost index, measured in 12 cities across the US, rose during the first quarter of 2015 only 0.5% in New York and 0.6% in Boston.


LOCAL | July 15, 2015
Montvale Property to Become Sloan Kettering Center

A 17-acre property in Montvale, most recently home to Teva Pharmaceuticals, will be transformed into an outpatient center for Memorial Sloan Kettering, which purchased the land and a 142,500 sq.ft. office building for $37 million. Sloan Kettering will invest more than $100 million in renovations to the building, located at 225 Summit Avenue, with plans to open it in 2017.


NATIONAL | July 2, 2015
Construction Spending Jumps This May Over Last

Construction spending nationally jumped 8.2% in May compared to May 2014, reaching the highest level of spending since October 2008. Totaling $1.036 trillion, the figure also represented a 0.8% increase over April. Private nonresidential spending increased 0.9% for the month, 10.3% for the year. By segment, year-over-year, construction spending in manufacturing rose 70%, amusement and recreation spending was up 46%, lodging was up 30%, private office construction was up 26% and multifamily construction spending rose 21%. Public construction spending increased 0.7% for the month, up 2.8% for the year.


LOCAL | July 2, 2015
New Mantoloking Borough Hall Rings Up at $5 Million

The old Mantoloking Borough Hall, damaged by Superstorm Sandy and demolished in 2013, will be replaced with a new one at a cost of almost $5 million, approved by the Borough Council Tuesday. The two-story building on Downer Avenue will incorporate the borough’s police department, municipal offices, a community and municipal meeting room that will double as a courtroom, and judge’s chambers. Once the architect, B.L.D.G. Architecture LLC of Brielle, finalizes the plan and bidding package, the project will be put out to bid.


LOCAL | July 2, 2015
Former Cherry Hill Syms Proposed for $50 Million Medical Complex

Vacant for the past three years, the 150,000 sq.ft. Syms store on 11 acres on Route 70, will be transformed into a $50 million medical complex if developer Penn Medicine’s proposal is adopted. The developer, an affiliate of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, envisions an urgent care center, radiology and cardiology units, a primary care center and more. The building would undergo a new façade, new roof, new electrical and HVAC systems and lighting upgrades. The project also includes a parking garage, and would take an estimated 18 months to complete. The Cherry Hill Planning Board will consider the proposal next week. The site is owned by Finmarc Management, based in Bethesda, Maryland.


NATIONAL | July 2, 2015
May Metro Construction Employment Reflects Slow Growth

While 205 of 358 metro areas across the country added construction jobs between May 2014 and May 2015, the number of municipalities adding jobs declined to its lowest level since April 2013. Rounding out the figures, 101 metro areas lost jobs compared to last year, and 52 remained unchanged. The New Jersey picture for the year was improved, however: Atlantic City-Hammonton, for example, ranked #3 in the US for largest percentage gains, picking up 1,100 jobs, a 22% increase over May 2014. Camden also appeared in the top 10 in terms of percentages, adding 3,300 jobs, a 16% increase. Newark was strong for the year, picking up 4,500 jobs, an 11% gain, followed by Trenton (up 500 jobs, a 10% increase); Vineland-Bridgeton (up 200 jobs, an 8% gain); and Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean (up 800 jobs, a 2% gain). Bergen-Hudson-Passaic was the only New Jersey metro area to lose jobs for the year, down 3% with a loss of 900 jobs. Overall, the state picked up 9,800 construction jobs from last May to this, a 7% increase.

June 2015

LOCAL | June 29, 2015
Bayonne’s Large Public Projects to Have PLAs

If a Bayonne public works or city-funded municipal project is valued at more than $5 million, it will now be covered by a PLA with the Hudson County Building and Construction Trades Council. The City Council approved the measure on June 17 in a unanimous vote.


LOCAL | June 29, 2015
Atlantic City Rescue Plan Passes Senate

Now awaiting action by Governor Christie, the package of five bills designed to rescue Atlantic City’s finances passed the state Senate on Thursday. It had been approved by Assembly on June 11, as posted in Hot Topics June 12.


LOCAL | June 25, 2015
Redevelopment Planned for Jersey City Pasta Factory Site

Developer Argent Ventures would like to raze the century-old Mueller’s pasta plant at 180 Baldwin Avenue in Jersey City and replace it with a four-building mixed-use complex holding 980 residential units, 490 parking spaces, ground-floor retail space, public plazas and a promenade. Plans call for two buildings of seven floors each, two of 25 floors each. Part of the Journal Square 2060 Redevelopment Plan, the complex would be built in four phases, the first two of which came before the Jersey City Planning Board Tuesday night for site plan approval.


NATIONAL | June 23, 2015
May Construction Employment Picks Up in the Northeast – But Not in New Jersey

Across the country, 40 states and DC added construction jobs in May compared to May 2014, but only 28 states and DC added jobs in the month from April to May. The six states that added the highest percentage of jobs for the month were all in the Northeast, including Connecticut (2,400 jobs, up 4.3%), New Hampshire (1,000 jobs, also up 4.3%), New York (14,200 jobs, up 4.2%), Vermont (600 jobs, up 4.1%), Maryland (4,500 jobs, up 2.9%) and Massachusetts (3,500 jobs, up 2.7%). While New Jersey fared better this year compared to last, up 11,000 jobs, a 7.8% gain, construction employment for the month slipped, down 700 jobs, a 0.5% loss.


LOCAL | June 19, 2015
$164 Million EDA Grant Goes to American Water Works

American Water Works, based in Voorhees, will use the 10-year grant for a new 250,000 sq.ft. headquarters building in Camden, consolidating staff from Mount Laurel, Haddon Heights, Cherry Hill and Voorhees. American Water claims the Camden project will retain 596 jobs and create 100 new jobs in New Jersey.


LOCAL | June 18, 2015
Teaneck to See New Glenpointe Hotel Development

Hackensack developer Alfred Sanzari Enterprises announced plans last week to build a 13-story, 350-room hotel at the Glenpointe mixed-use complex in Teaneck. The hotel will be jointly branded as a Hampton Inn & Suites (190 rooms) and Homewood Suites by Hilton (160 rooms), and will sit near the corner of Glenwood Avenue and the I-95 off-ramp.


NATIONAL | June 18, 2015
Kenneth Feinberg to Review Applications to Cut Multi-Employer Pension Benefits

Kenneth Feinberg, known for overseeing the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster Victim Compensation Fund and the Boston Marathon’s One Fund for victims of the bombings, was appointed by the Treasury Department to review applications from multi-employer pension funds that seek to cut retiree benefits to avoid insolvency. No applications have yet been received, but Feinberg will be responsible for ensuring that the regulations guiding the process are followed. Those regulations were issued with his appointment yesterday. Feinberg will serve in the position without pay.


LOCAL | June 12, 2015
NJ Assembly Approves AC Bailout Bills

A package of bills designed to bail out Atlantic City passed the New Jersey State Assembly yesterday, and now moves to the Senate for a vote later this month. The five bills cover these tax revenue issues: •Casinos would pay collectively $120 million in taxes each year for 15 years, based on annual gross gaming revenues of $2.2 billion to $2.6 billion, adjustable if gaming revenues rise or fall dramatically; casinos would not be allowed to appeal taxes. •$60 million in casino tax money would go to the Atlantic City Alliance this year rather than over the next two years as scheduled. •Casino Reinvestment Development Authority’s development funds would be used to pay down the city’s debt service, anticipated to be $36 million in 2015. •Casino workers would receive healthcare and retirement benefits. •Atlantic City schools would receive extra funding if necessary.


LOCAL | June 8, 2015
Track Port Authority Projects with Website Dashboard

The Port Authority last week launched a new dashboard on its website to post quarterly updates on its capital projects, including cost and schedule information. Access the dashboard at http://capitaldashboard.panynj.gov/.


LOCAL | June 3, 2015
Update on Next Gen Aviation Park: Stockton Gets Lease

As we told you in Hot Topics in late January, settled lawsuits between the South Jersey Economic Development District and its former executive director paved the way for a land lease transfer to Stockton University’s Aviation Research & Technology Park. The lease transfer of 58 acres in Egg Harbor Township went through last week, and Stockton now plans development to begin on the first building in the park by year-end. Construction is scheduled to include a total of seven buildings with 400,000 square feet of office and research space. The first building will offer 66,000 square feet, with 7,000 square feet of it set aside for the FAA.


NATIONAL | June 2, 2015
April Construction Employment Up in 65% of US Metro Areas

From April 2014 to April 2015, construction employment increased in 232 of 358 metro areas, declined in 66 and remained the same in 60. All New Jersey metros gained jobs in the year-over-year period, and Atlantic City-Hammonton ranked #2 in percentage increase, adding 1,100 jobs for a 24% gain. Newark added 5,600 jobs, a 14% gain, followed by Camden with 2,700 jobs, a 13% increase; Trenton with 600 jobs, a 13% increase; Vineland-Bridgeton with 300 jobs, a 13% increase; Bergen-Hudson-Passaic with 600 jobs, a 2% increase; and Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean with 500 jobs, a 1% gain. Statewide for the April-to-April period, New Jersey gained 11,900 jobs, a 9% boost.


LOCAL | June 1, 2015
Roller Coaster for AC?

Last week, Florida developer Joshua Wallack proposed a vertical roller coaster for the site of the former Sands casino in Atlantic City. The project would include construction of the roller coaster around a vertical-drop ride on a site that would also be filled with entertainment venues. Wallack is currently building Skyplex, a similar entertainment complex in Orlando, and would like to see an Atlantic City version open by Summer 2017. According to Wallack, the project would create approximately 1,000 construction jobs and 200 to 300 permanent jobs. Boardwalk Piers LLC owns the property.

May 2015

LOCAL | May 29, 2015
Wildwood Hopes Tax Incentives Draw Construction Projects

Wildwood City Commissioners have approved tax breaks for commercial renovations and construction, hoping to encourage new development, including construction of a year-round, full-service hotel in close proximity to the convention center. The city’s redevelopment plan also envisions construction on the Bayfront and the former landfill off Garfield Avenue, which must first be capped in compliance with state regulations. New construction and improvements of commercial, industrial or multi-family units would be eligible for an exemption in the form of a five-year phase-in process. During the first year, zero taxes would be due on improvements, with a 20% increase each year over five years.


LOCAL | May 29, 2015
Bayonne Bridge Construction Updates for June and July

The Port Authority and City of Bayonne officials have announced another set of updates to the bridge construction. Street Closures •West Third Street, as previously announced, will be closed until July. •West Fourth Street, originally scheduled to open in June, will be closed until July. •Gertrude Street will be closed until July (updated from previous announcements). •As previously announced, no other streets will be closed while these three are closed. In addition, the Bayonne Bridge will remain open over the Father’s Day weekend, from Saturday, June 20, 8 am, through Monday, June 22, 9 am. For the latest information on bridge closures, call 855.265.5482, press 1. For notifications via email and/or text, visit www.paalerts.com and click on “Register for Port Authority Alerts.”


NATIONAL | May 27, 2015
April’s Construction Employment Up in 30 States, Including New Jersey

Compared to March, construction employment in April rose in 30 states and DC. And compared to April 2014, this April’s construction employment rose in 40 states plus DC. New Jersey came out in the top five states in both numbers, with a month-to-month jump of 3,400 jobs, a 2.3% increase, and a year-over-year leap of 9.9% with 13,900 jobs. In the region, Pennsylvania added the most jobs – 10,000 – compared to all other states for the month, a 4.3% hike. But New York and Rhode Island were among the 18 states that lost jobs month-to-month, down 3,200 (a 0.9% loss) and 400 (a 2.5% drop) respectively. Rhode Island was also one of seven states to lose jobs compared to April 2014, down 800, a 4.8% drop.


LOCAL | May 26, 2015
AC Seeds New Development Company

The Atlantic City Development Company, AC Devco, received a $2.5 million loan as seed funding from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority last week and, as its first tasks, will look into a partnership with AtlantiCare and Rowan University to build a medical school as well as develop a new corporate office for South Jersey Industries, parent company of South Jersey Gas. The medical school could be built on property owned by CRDA that is bordered by Pacific, Atlantic, Ohio and Indiana avenues, across from AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center’s City Campus. A possible site for the corporate office is the former Atlantic City High School property on Atlantic Avenue at the entrance to Route 40.


LOCAL | May 18, 2015
Possible Funding for NJ Air National Guard Hangar

The House last week approved a military spending bill that includes $10.2 million for a new fuel-handling and corrosion-control hangar at the New Jersey Air National Guard’s 177th Fighter Wing, stationed at Atlantic City International Airport in Egg Harbor Township. The new hangar will replace and upgrade two existing facilities for daily maintenance of F-16 fighter jets. The bill is the FY 2016 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, which still must be approved by the Senate and signed by the President.


NATIONAL | May 13, 2015
US Construction Unemployment Rate Drops to Nine-Year Low

With 45,000 construction jobs added in April, up 280,000 over April 2014, the construction unemployment rate in the US dropped to 7.5%, the lowest April rate since 2006. Nonresidential contractors hired 20,800 workers for the month and 126,100 since April 2014, up 3.3%, but 20,200 were in the specialty trades and 8,400 were in the heavy and civil engineering sector. Nonresidential building construction dropped 7,800 jobs for the month and was up only 2.4% for the year with 16,600 jobs. The number of unemployed construction workers has declined to 652,000, the lowest since 2001.


LOCAL | May 7, 2015
Bayonne Bridge Closure Updates

From the Port Authority and the City of Bayonne: The Bayonne Bridge will remain open – no closures – on these days: •Mothers’ Day (Saturday, May 9, 8 am through Monday, May 11, 5 am) •Memorial Day (Friday, May 22, 5 am through Tuesday, May 26, 5 am) •Fathers’ Day (Saturday, June 20, 8 am through Monday, June 22, 5 am) In effect since April 20 and for the duration of the project, the bridge closes at 8:30 pm on weekdays. Street closings: •Portions of West Fourth Street until June •Portions of West Third Street until July •Juliette and Gertrude streets will be closed frequently through the duration of the project from 7 am to 3 pm No other streets will be closed while three of the above streets are closed; for local access only, vehicles can enter from JFK Blvd. or Avenue A. No through traffic can travel under the bridge.


NATIONAL | May 7, 2015
Indiana Repeals Construction Wage Law

Indiana’s common construction wage law, which set minimum wages for public construction projects, was repealed this week with Governor Pence’s signature. The wages were set by government boards, and will now be determined by the state and local market conditions.

April 2015

LOCAL | April 29, 2015
Kevyn Orr, Aide to AC Emergency Manager, Leaves Post

Kevyn Orr arrived in Atlantic City in January as a consultant to Emergency Manager Kevin Lavin, and will leave that position tomorrow, returning to law firm Jones Day as Partner-in-Charge of its DC office and partner in the firm’s Business Restructuring & Reorganization Practice. Orr had previously served as Emergency Manager for Detroit.


LOCAL | April 29, 2015
New Plan for Old Proposal at Vineland Hospital Site

Vineland’s Newcomb Hospital has been closed for more than a decade, but redevelopment proposals have stalled. Developer Newcomb Medical Alliance has now proposed dividing the 6.5-acre site into several parcels, each to be owned, developed and financed separately but compatibly. The project could include 70 assisted-living housing units and 140 independent-living units for senior and disabled citizens and veterans, alongside a new facility for Vineland’s Emergency Medical Services. Chestnut, State, Howard and Almond streets border the site.


NATIONAL | April 28, 2015
Ironworkers General President to Retire

Walter Wise, General President of the Iron Workers since 2011, announced he will retire on July 1, 2015, and will also step down as Labor Co-Chair of IMPACT, the labor-management cooperative. He will be replaced in both positions by current General Secretary Eric Dean.


LOCAL | April 23, 2015
AC Moves Fast on Bader Field Development

Following the submission of proposals last week for Atlantic City’s Bader Field redevelopment, the AC City Council has moved quickly to select a concept and begin negotiations. Bader Field Sports LLC, based in Midland Park, proposed a “world-class destination” for sports from baseball to lacrosse and field hockey, soccer to softball, with indoor and outdoor fields, an air-supported dome facility, a senior citizen center, college dorms, classrooms, boardwalk promenade, restaurants and maybe even an indoor waterpark.


NATIONAL | April 22, 2015
March Construction Employment Up for Year, Down for Month

The year-over-year picture, March 2014 to March 2015, looks positive for construction employment, as 41 states added jobs, and the top five states added a significant number of jobs – 158,500 in total. Only nine states lost jobs in the industry for the period, and construction employment in DC remained unchanged. For the month from February to March, however, the number of construction jobs decreased in 29 states and DC, while it increased in only 19 states and remained unchanged in two. For the year-over-year, New Jersey added 11,200 jobs, an 8.1% jump, ranking #9 among all states. But for the month, the state lost construction jobs, down 2,300, a 1.5% drop, reversing the increases seen in January and February.


LOCAL | April 16, 2015
Proposals Hint at Various Futures for AC’s Bader Field

Four proposals submitted this week for Atlantic City’s Bader Field reveal some very different possibilities for the 140-acre peninsula site. Glenn Straub, the Florida developer who purchased the Revel casino, wants to recreate an airport to include a fixed-base operation for pilot services, airshows and other aviation entertainment. Link International Design of Houston envisions a sports and entertainment complex, including international soccer events. Bader Field Sports LLC of Midland Park, NJ, also sees the site as a draw for major spectator sports. SORA Northeast of Sewell has a somewhat different slant on the sports theme, including regional training camps and competitive leagues.


NATIONAL | April 6, 2015
Metro Construction Employment Continued to Rise in February

More than three-quarters of the 358 metro areas in the US reflected an increase in construction employment in the year between February 2014 and 2015, including every metro area in New Jersey. In fact, Atlantic City-Hammonton ranked #4 in percentage gains in the nation, with an increase of 1,000 jobs in the year-over-year, a 25% leap. Another 277 metro areas also saw an increase, while 36 lost jobs and 44 remained unchanged. Increases in the state were strong in Camden, which added 3,300 jobs, an 18% gain; Trenton, with 700 more jobs, a 15% gain; Newark, which added 5,100 jobs for a 14% gain; and Vineland-Bridgeton, which added 300 jobs, also a 14% gain. Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean added 1,400 jobs, a 4% increase, and Bergen-Hudson-Passaic added 700 jobs, a 3% increase.

March 2015

LOCAL | March 30, 2015
White Horse Circle DOT Project Expedited

NJ DOT Commissioner Jamie Fox announced last Thursday the White Horse Circle project in Hamilton has been fast-tracked, with construction scheduled to begin in Fall 2016. South Broad Street, Route 206 and White Horse Avenue all converge into the circle, which is now slated to be a modernized roundabout with circle traffic having the right of way.


NATIONAL | March 30, 2015
Most States Saw Rise in February Construction Employment

February 2015 proved much better for construction employment than the same month a year ago, as 45 states and DC added jobs. Four states lost jobs for the year-over-year, and only Delaware construction employment remained unchanged. For the month from January to February, 33 states added construction jobs, 17 states and DC lost jobs. For the first time in a long time, New Jersey appeared in the top 10 states adding jobs for the year-over-year, ranking #6 with an increase of 14,500 jobs, a 10.5% jump. For the month, New Jersey added 2,100 jobs, a 1.4% gain.


LOCAL | March 26, 2015
East Windsor Looks Forward to New Aurobindo Pharma Plant

As announced in mid-February by East Windsor Mayor Janice S. Mironov, Aurobindo Pharma, headquartered in India with its primary US manufacturing center in Dayton, has purchased 90 acres on Windsor Center Drive for a major pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution center.


LOCAL | March 26, 2015
New York Investment Firm Plans Private Port on the Delaware

Last Friday, Senate President Steve Sweeney announced that Fortress Investment Group, headquartered in New York, has purchased the old DuPont Repauno Works in Gibbstown, Greenwich Township, and plans to develop it into a privately run port on the Delaware River. Fortress, which owns other ports in the US, will build a two-berth port with import/export facilities for autos and warehousing. Much of the nearly 1,800-acre site is slated to remain protected wetlands and buffer for the surrounding community. Talk about turning the brownfield site into a port has been in the works for nearly a decade, but the recession stalled public development. With studies, permits and approvals needed first, it could be many months before Fortress can begin work at the site.


LOCAL | March 24, 2015
DCA Commissioner Leaves for Private Sector

Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable, who joined Governor Christie’s cabinet in 2012, is leaving the position Friday, March 27, to enter the private sector. DCA Deputy Commissioner Charles Richman will take over as Acting Commissioner.


LOCAL | March 24, 2015
Edison Set to Replace School Destroyed by Fire

A year ago, James Monroe Elementary School in Edison burned to the ground. As we told you in Bulletin 30-15, Edison voters approved an $18.6 million bond issue this month to replace the school, with another $3.8 million coming from state funds and nearly $9.5 million from insurance. Construction for the new $28 million school will begin in May; the timeline kicked off March 18 when the district advertised for a general contractor. Advertising for RFPs for a construction manager will also begin this month, bids will be opened on April 28, and at a special school board meeting in early May the contracts are expected to be awarded. The board would like to see construction begin May 14 and be completed by August 19, 2016. Plans for the new school encompass 67,775 sq.ft., some on a second floor, and include fire sprinklers, a gym, cafeteria, media center, handicapped-accessible facilities and classrooms.


NATIONAL | March 20, 2015
January Construction Employment Trends Up in Metro Areas

More than two-thirds of the nation’s metro areas, 247 of 358, saw an increase in construction employment in January compared to a year ago. The same time period also recorded a decline in 56 metros and no change in 55. New Jersey’s metro-area construction employment was positive across the board in January compared to January 2014, with double-digit percentage gains in Atlantic City-Hammonton (up 20% with the addition of 800 jobs); Vineland-Bridgeton (up 19% with an increase of 400 jobs); Newark (up 15% with 5,500 more jobs); and Trenton (up 11% with 500 more jobs). In the other New Jersey metros, Bergen-Hudson-Passaic picked up 900 jobs, a 3% gain; Camden picked up 1,400 jobs, a 7% gain; and Middlesex-Monmouth-Ocean, which used to be registered as Edison-New Brunswick, picked up 1,900 jobs, a 6% gain. Statewide, the net gain was 10,600 more construction jobs, an 8% jump.


LOCAL | March 18, 2015
AC Eyes Concepts for Bader Field and Gardner’s Basin

On Monday, a packed crowd at City Hall in Atlantic City saw concepts for redeveloping Bader Field and Gardner’s Basin from Maser Consulting, an engineering firm headquartered in Red Bank that used a Sandy recovery grant to develop the ideas. Bader Field redevelopment could start with the construction of sports fields to attract youth tournaments and later morph into residential, commercial, boating, retail and community uses. FEMA regs now require the field to be raised approximately six feet, while bordering Albany Avenue might also be raised and widened. AC has issued a request for proposal for the site with an April 14 deadline. Gardner’s Basin could become a mix of new retail and residential, green spaces and an amphitheater, and an expanded Atlantic City Aquarium. Current parking along the shore would be moved to allow a fishing pier. Currently Gardner’s Basin is managed by The Atlantic City Historical Waterfront Foundation, a nonprofit whose contract with the city goes through 2026. The Foundation could issue a request for proposal to gauge interest in the site.


LOCAL | March 18, 2015
Millville Ready for Downtown College Campus

Cumberland County College’s $6.4 million Arts and Business Innovation Center will open at High and Vine Streets in September 2016, bringing an estimated 500 students plus staff and visitors into downtown Millville. The 30,000 sq.ft. building will house the college’s arts curriculum, offering courses in the fine arts, ceramics, computer graphics, journalism, television and digital technology. The cost of the project will be covered by $3.2 million in state Chapter 12 funds, of which $1.6 million is a loan, along with funding from the Cumberland County Improvement Authority, the Millville Housing Authority, banks and other organizations. Cumberland County will pay half the loan, the City of Millville will pay a quarter of it, and the rest will be repaid by other groups.


LOCAL | March 18, 2015
Cape May County MUA Plans New $5 Million Building

The Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority is planning a new $5 million administration building behind its existing one on Route 9 in Swainton. OSK Design Partners of Collingswood and Stone Harbor serves as architect and construction administrator for the hurricane-resilient, two-story building, which will become a technology hub to allow staff to monitor operations for the landfill, transfer station, wastewater treatment, composting and recycling centers in Woodbine and Middle Township. It will also include basement archival storage. Construction is expected to begin next year.


LOCAL | March 11, 2015
Coming Soon – Toronto to AC on Air Canada

Last week, Air Canada announced it will launch non-stop seasonal service from Toronto Pearson to Atlantic City on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 22 to September 7, 2015, using a 74-seat Bombardier Q-400 aircraft. One way, the trip is approximately 90 minutes.


LOCAL | March 11, 2015
Funding Found for Bridge Repair

NJ DOT has released $25 million in funding through the Local Bridges, Future Needs program to allow county governments to repair bridges. The NJ Association of Counties reports county governments operate 7,140 bridges, classified as major and minor. Of the major bridges, 11% are declared structurally deficient (needing repair) and 17% are functionally obsolete (needing replacement). Of the minor spans, the numbers are 64% in need of repair and 21% in need of replacement. The funding program gives each county $1 million, and awards another $4 million based on a competitive application process.


LOCAL | March 6, 2015
Melissa Orsen Named New CEO at EDA

Last week, Melissa Orsen became the new Chief Executive Officer at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, filling the position vacated by Michelle Brown when she left to take over as head of ChooseNJ. Most recently, Orsen was serving as deputy commissioner at the Department of Community Affairs. During the past 15 years, she had been chief-of-staff to Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, during which time she served on the EDA board as Governor's designee, as well as chief-of-staff at DCA, chief counsel for the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing and a trial lawyer in the Attorney General’s office.


LOCAL | March 4, 2015
PSE&G’s Gas System Modernization Plan Filed

PSE&G filed with the NJ Board of Utilities this week its proposal to upgrade its gas systems in a $1.6 billion, five-year Gas System Modernization Program. Requesting approximately $320 million per year in funding, PSE&G would replace roughly 160 miles of cast iron and unprotected steel gas mains and 11,000 unprotected steel service lines to residences and businesses, using durable plastic piping. These new, higher-pressure systems would allow installation of excess flow valves that automatically shut off the gas to a damaged line. They also provide better support for high-efficiency appliances. PSE&G says the program would create more than 500 direct jobs. The Gas System Modernization Program is designed to work in tandem with PSE&G’s Energy Strong project that is, among other work, replacing 250 miles of low-pressure cast iron gas mains located in or near flood areas.


NATIONAL | March 3, 2015
Construction Spending Up for the Year in January But Down for the Month

Construction spending across the nation in January rose 1.8% over January 2014, but dropped 1.1% from December’s spending, which had reflected a six-year high. Total January spending reached $971 billion. Drilling down, private nonresidential spending was up 4.8% for the year but fell 1.6% for the month. Public construction spending rose 5.1% for the year, but decreased 2.6% for the month. And by segment year-over year, spending on multifamily construction was up 30%, manufacturing was up 23%, lodging was up 18%, office was up 15% and commercial (which includes warehouse, retail and farm) was up 14%. In the public arena, highway and street construction spending rose 8.4% for the year and education construction spending was up 0.6% for the year.

February 2015

LOCAL | February 26, 2015
Crest Haven Has Designs on $5.2 Million Library

The Crest Haven branch of the Stone Harbor library will be 10,000 square feet, measure 60 by 110 feet, have two floors and cost $5.2 million. Town and county officials saw architect Kevin Settembrino’s design this week of the building to be situated next to Borough Hall on Second Avenue, on the former Bank of America site. Elevation will be slightly more than 2.5 feet above basic flood elevation, and the structure itself will be 35 feet high, with dormers and a hip roof capped by a cupola. Plans also call for composite siding that looks like flagstone and cedar shake, and wood-like vinyl floors throughout most of the space with ceramic tile in the entrance, teaching kitchen and restrooms.


LOCAL | February 23, 2015
AC Electric Plans New Avalon Substation

The new Avalon substation, replacing the old one at 271 61st Street, will have triple the capacity, boosted from 23 kilovolts to 69 kilovolts, enough to power through the tourist season, provide power to Stone Harbor and, if needed, send power to Swainton and Cape May Court House. Work should begin at month’s end and take a year. The Avalon project is part of Atlantic City Electric’s five-year, $800 million upgrade and resiliency plan.


LOCAL | February 18, 2015
Road Construction in Carteret to Start In Spring

A very busy intersection at the base of the Turnpike bridge in Carteret will see major construction this spring to ease congestion and improve safety. The meeting of Roosevelt Avenue, Minue Street and Post Boulevard will be widened and turning lanes will be clearly defined in a $3.1 million project that will take approximately 18 to 24 months. Funding comes from state, county and municipal coffers.


LOCAL | February 17, 2015
AC Casino Revenues Up in January

In a good start to the New Year, Atlantic City’s casinos mostly saw revenue rise in January. Total revenue for the eight casinos reached $197.5 million, including the take from Internet gaming, slot machines and table games, up 19% from the $166.3 million in revenue for those eight in January 2014. Seven of the eight enjoyed higher revenue in January; only Trump Taj Mahal was down for the month, a whopping 21% drop from January 2014. Internet gambling revenues jumped from $9.5 million last year to $11.6 million this January, with the biggest percentage increase coming from Golden Nugget. Online winnings for Tropicana and Resorts also increased substantially. Overall, Borgata came out on top in January, with slot machines and table games generating $57.1 million, up 18% over last year, but Borgata’s $3.8 million in Internet revenue, while higher than the rest of the casinos, was down nearly 3% compared to last year.


LOCAL | February 10, 2015
Millville High School Slated for Renovation and Expansion

With a budget of approximately $108 million in SDA funds, Millville Senior High School on Wade Boulevard will be renovated and expanded to accommodate all Millville students in grades 9 through 12 – 2,026 students in total – in one school. The design calls for 228,544 sq.ft. in additions, 54,950 sq.ft. in alterations and 54,480 sq. ft. in demolition, and work is expected to be completed by Fall 2019. The designer is RSC Architects of Hackensack, originally hired by the SDA to design a “swap” between Millville Senior and Lakeside Middle School.


NATIONAL | February 4, 2015
December Construction Employment Strong in Metro Areas, Construction Spending Rose to Six-Year High

Construction employment grew in 257 of 339 US metro areas – 75% – for the year from December 2013 to December 2014. It declined in 43 metro areas and remained unchanged in 39. In New Jersey, some gained and some lost. The losses were among the worst in the nation, with Edison-New Brunswick ranking sixth in the bottom 10, shedding 1,000 jobs, a 3% drop. Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton ranked fifth in the bottom 10 in percentage of jobs lost, down 9% with a loss of 200 jobs. Atlantic City-Hammonton, on the other hand, gained 400 jobs, a 10% boost. Bergen-Hudson-Passaic added 1,800 jobs, a 7% increase; Camden added 1,200 jobs, a 6% hike; Newark-Union added 500 jobs, a 2% increase; and Trenton-Ewing added 400 jobs, a 9% jump. Overall, the ups-and-downs gave the state a net increase of 1,800 jobs, up 1% from December 2013. At the same time, nationwide construction spending overall rose 2.2% in December over December 2013, climbing to a six-year high of $982 billion. Public construction spending rose year-over-year for the first time since 2009, up 6.7% from December 2013. Non-residential spending was up 5.3% for the year, although it dropped 0.2% from November 2014. Construction spending for warehousing (up 50%) and multifamily housing (up 34%) were strong across the country and in New Jersey, and projections are strong for those sectors in 2015 as well.

January 2015

NATIONAL | January 29, 2015
New Jersey on List for Enhanced myE-Verify Features

US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced this month that employees in New Jersey, along with 15 other states, can now create myE-Verify accounts and lock their Social Security numbers to protect against misuse. These 16 states join five other states and the District of Columbia, the original pilot states when myE-Verify launched in October 2014. The site is billed as a “one-stop shop for employees” and allows workers to create free and secure personal accounts to manage the use of their information in the E-Verify system and Self Check. In addition to securing their Socials, employees can find information on their rights and their employer’s responsibilities in the employment eligibility verification process.


LOCAL | January 29, 2015
Bayonne Bridge Construction Update

From the Port Authority, these updates on bridge and street closures due to Bayonne Bridge construction: •Periodic 20-minute traffic holds between 9 am and 3 pm throughout 2015 •Periodic six-hour daytime closures during first quarter of 2015, beginning in early February •Extended Friday night closures January 30 and February 7, from 11:59 pm Friday through 11:59 pm Saturday •Closures daily, 7 am to 4 pm, as needed on Juliette Street, Gertrude Street and West Third Street •Portions of West Fourth Street will remain closed through June 2015 The Port Authority posts specific closures on its website, www.panynj.gov.


LOCAL | January 29, 2015
Wildwood Proposes Development-Incentive Tax Breaks

Wildwood has proposed a property-tax incentive plan to encourage redevelopment, including new commercial construction. The program would offer developers the opportunity to pay nothing for taxes the first year and 20% increments of the total tax bill each year thereafter for five years. The same plan is currently available to developers for properties on Pacific and Rio Grande avenues in the city, but would now be expanded city-wide.


LOCAL | January 29, 2015

Wildwood has proposed a property-tax incentive plan to encourage redevelopment, including new commercial construction. The program would offer developers the opportunity to pay nothing for taxes the first year and 20% increments of the total tax bill each year thereafter for five years. The same plan is currently available to developers for properties on Pacific and Rio Grande avenues in the city, but would now be expanded city-wide.


LOCAL | January 29, 2015
Settled Lawsuits Could Advance NextGen Aviation Park

Lawsuits between the South Jersey Economic Development District and its former executive director have been settled, which means the SJEDD will be able to complete a land lease transfer to Stockton College so construction on the proposed aviation park at Amelia Earhart Boulevard and Delilah Road in Egg Harbor Township may finally begin. Stockton took over the project in 2013 and renamed it the Stockton Aviation Research and Technology Park. The site lies adjacent to the Atlantic City airport and the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center, home of testing and research on the NextGen air traffic control system.


NATIONAL | January 28, 2015
State Construction Employment Up in 40 States in December

In the year from December 2013 to December 2014, 40 states and Washington DC added construction jobs, and in the month from November to December 2014, 38 states and DC added jobs. AGC of America’s Chief Economist Ken Simonson attributed some of this December’s rosier outlook to its relatively mild weather compared to December 2013 and November 2014. Overall, however, construction employment increased at more than double the rate of total nonfarm payroll jobs. New Jersey actually gained jobs year-over-year for the first time since the beginning of 2014, picking up 1,800 jobs, a 1.4% increase, compared to December 2013. For the month, New Jersey added 900 jobs, a 0.7% increase, the second consecutive month of gains following a dismal year of month-over-month losses.


LOCAL | January 26, 2015
Liberty Science Center Plans Major Development on Adjacent Acres

On 16 acres of land owned by the city and adjacent to Liberty Science Center, Jersey City hopes to create a science and technology campus with a 100,000 sq.ft. technology business incubator and research facility, biotech lab, a light manufacturing facility, a coding lab, a STEM-focused elementary school, a science-themed hotel with 135 rooms and a “visiting scholar” residence for as many as 275 scientists. The project, called “SciTech Scity,” is projected to cost $80 million and create 2,526 construction jobs. Liberty Science Center will be the master developer, as appointed by the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency last week.


NATIONAL | January 26, 2015
AGC Upgrading EPA Compliance Website

AGC of America is partnering with the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences to upgrade the EPA’s compliance site for construction contractors. AGC will finance the upgrades to the site, called the Construction Industry Compliance Assistance website, which will add web tools and updated information on requirements, green construction and environmental management programs. Topics covered include air emissions, construction and demolition debris, diesel engines, endangered species, green building, hazardous and toxic waste, oil spill prevention/planning, process wastewater, release reporting, safety and health, stormwater and wetlands/water bodies.


LOCAL | January 23, 2015
Governor EOs Emergency Management for AC

An executive order from Governor Christie announced yesterday will install an emergency management team in Atlantic City to help solve its financial crisis. Kevin Lavin, an attorney specializing in corporate finance, and Kevyn Orr, who guided Detroit through bankruptcy, have been named to come up with a plan within 60 days to stabilize AC’s finances. The team can recommend operational changes, debt restructuring and cost-cutting measures, as well as negotiate with municipal employees. Per Executive Order 171, any actions in response to the recommendations must by directed by the Governor’s office.


LOCAL | January 23, 2015
Michele Brown Moves from EDA to Choose NJ

Michele Brown, CEO of the NJ Economic Development Authority, has been approved by Choose New Jersey to take over as that organization’s CEO beginning February 16, replacing founding CEO Tracye McDaniel, who announced her resignation in December. EDA has not yet announced a new CEO.


LOCAL | January 22, 2015
NJ DOT’s Fox Moves to Stop TTF-Linked Municipal Aid

As we reported in the earlier Hot Topic today, negotiations to refund the state’s Transportation Trust Fund are ongoing. However, NJ DOT Commissioner Jamie Fox has indicated the Department intends to halt municipal aid that is linked to TTF monies until a funding deal is reached.


LOCAL | January 22, 2015
NJ DOT Orders Inspections of 300 Structurally Deficient Bridges

The state DOT closed two bridges recently, one in Franklin (Somerset County) and one in Dover (Morris County). And on Tuesday, DOT announced it will “immediately” begin inspections of 300 state-maintained bridges, about half of the approximately 600 New Jersey bridges deemed structurally deficient, with the option of closing any that are considered a threat to public safety. With the Transportation Trust Fund nearly dry, DOT says there is no money to fix the bridges. Negotiations to refund the TTF are ongoing.


LOCAL | January 20, 2015
AC’s South Inlet Development to Break Ground in April

According to a statement late last week from Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian, the Boraie mixed-use development proposed for the South Inlet will break ground in April, creating as many as 250 construction jobs.


LOCAL | January 14, 2015
No Money In TTF as State Closes Bridge

The state shut down a bridge deemed too unsafe to carry traffic, but in June the Transportation Trust Fund runs out of money to fix it – or any others that prove too rickety. The bridge, at Prospect Street in Dover, couldn’t carry the weight of a fire truck without the risk of collapse. The New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority voted to add $4.8 million to the state transportation improvement plan to replace the Prospect Street bridge, but now that the TTF has reached its credit limit, it can only repay its debt load, not repair or replace bridges. According to Jamie Fox, Transportation Commissioner, 500 other New Jersey bridges are in urgent need of repair.


LOCAL | January 14, 2015
New Jersey Demanded Industrial Space in 2014

Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial brokerage firm, reports 11.7 million square feet of existing industrial space was picked up by tenants in 2014, and more than 7.3 million square feet of new industrial space was built – more than any year since 2003. The demand for space has come from logistics companies who want a warehouse in New Jersey; more than half the new construction was build-to-suit. With 3.1 million square feet under development across the state, Cushman & Wakefield expects demand to continue in 2015.


LOCAL | January 14, 2015
Sussex County Commuter Rail to Get New Station

As construction gets underway on a commuter rail line from Roxbury to Andover, NJ Transit plans to accept bids this spring on a new train station and high-level platforms in Andover. The commuter line, expected to be carrying passengers in approximately four years, will connect Sussex County to NJ Transit’s Morris & Essex lines and to Mid-Town Direct service to New York from Dover. Plans also include more track construction and work on the Roseville Tunnel.


LOCAL | January 14, 2015
Announcing…Atlantic City Sports Commission

Meet AC, in its efforts to attract meetings and conventions to financially troubled Atlantic City, has formed the Atlantic City Sports Commission to lure sporting events and meetings. Global-Spectrum, already contracted with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, has brought several sporting events to the city that have become annual occurrences, but AC officials are hoping the city can leverage the sports promotion connections of the Meet AC group to bring even more.


LOCAL | January 14, 2015
Metropark Expansion in the Planning

Metropark in Iselin, currently an office park clustered near the Amtrak/NJ Transit train station, could become much more if developer Hampshire Real Estate’s plans come about. The proposal calls for an expanded mixed-use development between Woodbridge and Edison that would include a new 192-room hotel, a 274-unit apartment complex and perhaps three new restaurants. It would be developed in two phases, with 17,000 sq.ft. of retail and restaurant space plus the apartment complex built first, followed by a 250,000 sq.ft. office building and three new levels added onto an existing parking deck. Hampshire Real Estate Co. is based in Morristown, and redeveloped Metropark’s CENTRA office complex in 2011.


LOCAL | January 6, 2015
AC Alliance CEO Resigns

Lisa Cartmell, CEO of the Atlantic City Alliance that splashed the “DO AC” marketing campaign across multimedia, resigned yesterday, replaced by Jeff Guaracino, who had been serving as chief strategy and communications officer. Created in 2011 as a five-year marketing agency for AC, the Alliance may be disbanded early if the State Legislature votes in favor of a proposed economic-recovery plan that would divert the Alliance’s $30 million annual budget to the city to help cover some of AC’s budget deficit.


LOCAL | January 5, 2015
Virtua Proposes New Hospital in Westampton

Virtua Hospital Inc., which recently renovated its Mount Holly facility, now envisions an eight-story acute-care hospital at Route 541 and Woodlane Road in Westampton Township, adjacent to the Burlington County Human Services offices and just a mile from the Mount Holly building on Madison Avenue. The proposed hospital, on 100 acres, would include 330 beds, medical offices, other outpatient and support buildings, a heliport and parking. Estimated cost is $700 to $800 million with an expected seven-year construction schedule. Plans, however, are very preliminary, and no application has been filed with the Township; if it goes forward, the plan would require a zoning change because the lot is currently zoned commercial. Also needed would be an amendment to the Township’s master plan, an ordinance updating building codes and resolution of environmental issues.

December 2014

NATIONAL | December 30, 2014
Coal Ash Status as Recycled Material Preserved by EPA

We know the value of recycled coal ash, also known as fly ash, in concrete, asphalt and other construction material, and as a valuable component in the LEED rating system for green building. So it was a relief to the construction industry when the EPA did not designate coal ash as a hazardous material in its new regulation announced December 19, but instead placed it under Subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act that regulates solid waste. AGC of America’s CEO Stephen Sandherr estimates the industry is able to recycle 30% of the combustion by-product every year.


NATIONAL | December 30, 2014
Construction Employment Up in Two-Thirds of Metro Areas

Just as it did in October, construction employment increased in November in two-thirds of the country’s metropolitan areas – 224 of 339 – compared to November 2013. It declined in 64 metros and remained the same in 51. Edison-New Brunswick came in third from the bottom, however, losing 2,700 jobs year-over-year, a 6% drop. Other New Jersey metros losing jobs compared to last November included Atlantic City-Hammonton, down 100 jobs, a 2% drop; Newark-Union, down 1,000 jobs, a 3% drop; and Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton, down 300 jobs, a 13% drop. On the positive side, Bergen-Hudson-Passaic picked up 700 jobs from last November’s total, a 2% gain; Camden gained 100 jobs, a 0.5% uptick; and Trenton-Ewing added 400 jobs, an 8% increase. Statewide, construction employment was down 3,700 jobs year-over-year, a 3% decrease.


LOCAL | December 24, 2014
Port Authority Releases Bayonne Bridge Updates

Bayonne Bridge construction will hit its halfway mark in mid-2015, and in the meantime the Port Authority has issued these updates: • Cable work on the streets should be completed this month. • Sheeting, drill shaft work and concrete work has been completed on a majority of the piers; the rest will continue into 2015. • Beginning January 5, 2015, drivers can expect periodic 20-minute traffic holds, but the bridge will remain open until then. • During 2015, six-hour daytime closures are tentatively planned.


NATIONAL | December 22, 2014
State Construction Employment Remains “Variable” in November

In the latest construction employment figures, 38 states and the District of Columbia gained construction jobs in November compared to November 2013. The one-month results were not so rosy, with 26 states adding jobs from October to November. What is most notable is the list of states “has varied significantly from month to month” according to AGC of America, demonstrating continued volatility in the market. New Jersey’s year-over-year picture remained dismal, with the state coming in at the bottom with most jobs lost, down 6,200, a 4.5% drop. However, for the first time in months, New Jersey had a happier outcome in the month-to-month stats, adding 5,200 construction jobs in November compared to October, a 4.2% increase.


LOCAL | December 19, 2014
Stockton Inks Showboat Purchase for $18 Million

Stockton College will transform the Showboat Casino into a 26.8-acre “Stockton-Island Campus” following its purchase from Caesars Entertainment for $18 million. At 1.4 million square feet, the new college almost doubles Stockton’s space, as the Galloway Township campus measures 1.7 million square feet. It will double as a hotel and campus, and the hope is it will anchor a “University Park” section in the north end of Atlantic City. The casino portion of the old Showboat will be converted to accommodate academic and retail activity. With projections for 4,000 students within the next decade, Stockton plans to have the hotel operational by late spring 2015, perhaps offer summer classes and open a full academic schedule in the fall.


NATIONAL | December 12, 2014
Fed Funding Bill – With MEPP Reform – Passes House

Last night the House passed the $1.014 trillion spending bill that included some of the reforms for multi-employer pension plans as outlined in the AGC-supported “Solutions, Not Bailouts” recommendations. Reforms cover amendments to the sunsetting Pension Protection Act, additional authority in the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation to facilitate mergers of multiemployer plans, premium adjustments in the plans, changes in plan status rules, and benefit suspensions for plans in critical status. The funding bill now goes to the Senate. ACCNJ MEMBERS: Check your email for complete details on the reforms as provided by AGC of America.


LOCAL | December 11, 2014
GSP Reconfiguration Will Lead to Sayreville Mega-Project

Update on Sayreville’s Luxury Pointe: Exit 125 on the Garden State Parkway will be reconfigured to lead traffic more directly to the sprawling mixed-use project slated for the Sayreville waterfront. With a two-year construction plan beginning in 2016, new ramps from the Parkway southbound and to the Parkway northbound will provide full access from and to Chevalier Avenue, which will lead to the development. The developer, O’Neill Properties, expects construction on the project to begin after the Parkway work commences, with the first phase opening in 2017.


LOCAL | December 8, 2014
Big Retail Coming to American Dream Project

Despite uncertainty about a final funding solution, American Dream developer Triple Five says it is signing big retail names, including FAO Schwartz, Victoria’s Secret, The Gap, Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor. In addition, Triple Five expects Cirque du Soleil to open a permanent theater in the Meadowlands mall. American Dream anticipates at least a partial opening in the Fall of 2016, but no construction has begun.


LOCAL | December 8, 2014
Burlington County’s $47.5 Million Capital Plan Announced

Of the total $47.5 million, Burlington County has slated $34.1 million for public works and road projects, of which $8.5 million is funded by grants. The road project plans include $2.7 million for a makeover of the Rancocas Road streetscape in Mount Holly, $1.6 million for drainage improvement on Moorestown-Mount Laurel Road in Moorestown, and $1.8 million for a roundabout in Cinnaminson where Riverton Road, Branch Pike and Parry Road meet. In addition, five upgrades are planned for intersections in Mansfield, Mount Laurel, North Hanover and Chesterfield (two). Also planned is guard-rail design, curb replacement, traffic signals and the state-funded overlay project. Bridge work, both underway and planned, covers 16 bridges in Burlington Township, Cinnaminson, Medford, Moorestown, Mount Laurel, Southampton and Wrightstown.


LOCAL | December 8, 2014
Choose NJ CEO Leaving

Tracye McDaniel, President and CEO of Choose New Jersey, is leaving the organization early in 2015 to serve in the same position for the Texas Economic Development Corporation. No successor has been announced.


LOCAL | December 4, 2014
Borgata Plans $13 Million in Interior Renovations

The Borgata in Atlantic City will begin a $13 million renovation next month, including a $7 million redesign of the buffet, upgrades to the spa lounges and improvement of workout facilities. Next year, it will continue the work with a $6 million restyling of 39 suites plus its two 5,000 sq.ft. residence suites. The lobby and front desk of the casino will also be redesigned.


NATIONAL | December 4, 2014
October Metro Construction Employment Up in 67% of Markets

October construction employment rose in 228 of 339 metro areas compared to October 2013, reflecting an uptick in construction spending in many areas of the country. In New Jersey, however, metro construction employment continued to show decreases from a year ago, as it has for most of 2014. Edison-New Brunswick clocked in as the second-biggest loser in the nation year-over-year, down 3,000 jobs, a 7% drop. Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton lost 300 jobs, a 13% drop; Newark-Union lost 1,300 jobs, a 4% drop; Atlantic City-Hammonton lost 100 jobs, a 2% drop; and Bergen-Hudson-Passaic lost 200 jobs, a 1% drop. In the good-news column, Camden gained 700 jobs, a 3% boost, and Trenton-Ewing picked up 200 jobs, a 4% hike. Statewide, New Jersey lost a total of 9,100 jobs, a 6% drop, from October 2013 to October 2014.

November 2014

LOCAL | November 24, 2014
Lakewood Public Housing Moves Closer to Redevelopment

NJEDA’s award of $4 million in state tax credits will help Lakewood revitalize its aging public housing project, the 63-unit JFK Apartments at Cedarbridge Avenue and South Clover Street. Community Investment Strategies, Inc., an affordable housing developer, received approval from NJEDA for the tax credits through the state’s Economic Redevelopment and Growth program (ERG). The JFK Apartments project is part of a HUD pilot, the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, which encourages local projects to seek alternative funding and thus allowed CIS to apply an ERG grant to a public housing project. CIS is partnering with the Lakewood Housing Authority, owner of the apartment complex, to rehabilitate it and rename it Chambers Crescent in construction that is expected to begin in Spring 2015 with completion later in the year. Approximately 43 construction jobs will be created during the $16.3 million renovation, which includes full rehabilitation of 10 buildings and demolition of two that will be replaced with new structures.


LOCAL | November 24, 2014
Cape May County Plans New Jail

A new jail project for Cape May County will go out for bid January 15, with an 18-month construction schedule starting in May 2015. The proposed $34-$38 million project will be built on county land behind the old jail in Cape May Courthouse and will accommodate 346 inmates as well as the sheriff’s department offices, county drug court and weekly sheriff sales, plus an infirmary for inmates and a laundry that will also service the Crest Haven Nursing Home and county animal shelter. The old jail will be demolished and the space used for parking.


LOCAL | November 24, 2014
Resorts Casino Building Its Own Conference Center

Harrah’s is building the mega conference center, due to open next year, but Resorts is targeting a different corporate niche – smaller conventions and business meetings – with a planned $9.3 million conference center of its own. A fast construction schedule calls for a February start date and July completion date for 12,000 sq.ft. holding 11 meeting rooms. To help fund the project, the Casino Reinvestment Development Agency will front $3.6 million of Resorts’ reinvestment credits with the agency, and Resorts will later request reimbursement of $5.7 million of future reinvestment payments to the CRDA.


LOCAL | November 19, 2014
Northfield Considers Zoning Law Change for Apartment Project

Recognizing shifting times and economic imperatives, the Northfield City Council is asking residents to consider a change in the zoning on 22 acres to allow for 265 rental apartments, of which 40 would be affordable housing. Under the existing law, only senior housing would be allowed on the property located behind the Tilton Shopping Center on Tilton Road and Cresson Avenue. If the change in zoning is approved, the apartments, proposed by Max Gurwicz Enterprises, could be marketed to all ages. The City Council will hold a public hearing on the ordinance on December 16, 2014.


LOCAL | November 18, 2014
$120 Million Upgrade for Newark’s Terminal C

United Airlines’ Terminal C at Newark Liberty Airport serves approximately 20 million passengers a year. This busiest of terminals will be upgraded to give those visitors fine dining and retail choices – and 6,000 iPads to track flight information, order food for delivery to their seats, purchase headphones and other flight amenities, and pay for those purchases with accrued United Airlines flight mileage. A big-name architect, David Rockwell, will design the new interiors, and 55 restaurants will feature famed restaurateurs, including Alain Ducasse, Marc Forgionne and Mario Carbone. The iPads will be tethered to three-quarters of the seating in the terminal, and 10,000 electrical plugs and USB ports will be installed for passengers to charge mobile devices. In a deal with United Airlines, OTG Management, which has upgraded terminals at JFK and LaGuardia, will cover the estimated $120 million upgrade in exchange for a share of the revenue.


LOCAL | November 18, 2014
HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley Plans Expanded ER

HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley in Westwood opened in June 2013 as a newly renovated and updated facility on the site of a shuttered hospital – and now has plans to double the size of its Emergency Department to more than 22,000 sq.ft. The project, estimated at $14 million with a 15-month construction schedule, will be able to accommodate 37,000 visits a year, and will feature a prominent front entrance, 26 private exam rooms, 11 adult and five pediatric exam and treatment rooms, six “Fast Track” rooms, two triage rooms, two rooms dedicated to behavior health exams, a digital radiology scanner, a CT scanner, and a lounge for EMS personnel. It’s expected to open in 2016.


LOCAL | November 14, 2014
AC Revitalization Report Released

The Governor’s Advisory Commission on New Jersey Gaming, Sports and Entertainment and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority yesterday released a set of proposals aimed at revitalizing Atlantic City in the aftermath of the closing of four casinos this year. Casino revenues, decreasing since the Great Recession began, dropped to $2.5 billion in 2014, less than half the previous high of $5.2 billion, and since 2008 assessed property value has correspondingly dropped 45%. Unfortunately, dwindling property taxes accounted for 81% of Atlantic City’s revenue in 2014. The report proposes appointing an Emergency Manager (similar to Detroit’s actions following its bankruptcy declaration) and reforms to schools, taxes, pensions, and fire and police departments, as well as regionalization or privatization of some public services. It also recommends creation of a not-for-profit development company, ACDevCo, and concentration of revitalization efforts city-wide, not just in the Tourism District.


LOCAL | November 14, 2014
NJ Supreme Court Announces “Complex Business Litigation Program”

Stuart Rabner, Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, announced yesterday the launch of what was previously called “business court” and is now formally called a Complex Business Litigation Track for business, commercial and construction cases that meet the $200,000 threshold for damages. Its purpose is to streamline business disputes for faster resolution and less disruption in company operations. Eligible cases will be identified early in the process and overseen by a single judge, who will receive special training in relevant areas of the law, effective case and trial management, and e-discovery. The program also includes formation of a legal e-library of case decisions, posted on www.njcourts.com.


LOCAL | November 12, 2014
Stockton College Plans to Purchase Showboat Casino

The former Atlantic City casino, which closed August 31, may become a branch of Richard Stockton College, if the sale goes through as planned. Caesars Entertainment Corporation announced today a letter of intent signed by both parties indicating Stockton plans to purchase the 1.4 million sq.ft. building and 28 acres and transform it into a Stockton campus.


LOCAL | November 10, 2014
Hartz Mountain Plans Warehouse or Datacenter on Panasonic Site

Hartz Mountain plans to build a state-of-the-art, 303,000 sq.ft. warehouse or datacenter on the remaining undeveloped part of the former Panasonic site in the Meadowlands. The location, 46 Meadowlands Parkway, is within the Harmon Cove Industrial Park. Hartz is currently working on the design and entitlements phase and expects to begin construction in January, with completion by fall of 2015. The warehouse project will include a 36’ clear ceiling height, 500 pounds per square foot floor load, 60’ x 55’ column spacing, 55 overhead doors measuring 9’ x 10’ with 35,000-pound pit levelers, ESFR sprinkler system, fluorescent T-5 lighting, 44 truck parking spaces, 460 car spaces, 15,000 sq.ft. of office space, ample electrical capacity, and other features.


LOCAL | November 4, 2014
Improvements Planned for Camden’s Haddon Avenue

The Haddon Avenue Improvement Project, estimated at $2.3 million, is the first phase of reconstruction for the corridor, focusing on the section that bisects Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center. Plans announced by the Camden County Board of Freeholders call for resurfacing the roadway, installing pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, curbs and ramps, upgrading traffic signals and doing significant stormwater reconstruction. Haddon Avenue is one of the oldest roads in Camden, running from far out in the surrounding suburbs and towns all the way into downtown Camden.

October 2014

LOCAL | October 31, 2014
Clementon Shopping Plaza To Become $50 Million Mixed-Use Development

The 30-acre site on White Horse Pike in Clementon, former home to Acme and Grants, will become a retail and commercial development in a project estimated at $50 million, according to an announcement this week by Camden County officials. Leewood Real Estate Group/NJ plans 205 residential units surrounded by promenades and walking/jogging trails that will lead to Rowand Pond and the adjacent Camden County Greenway. The first phase of the residential development will include 49 units ranging in price from $169,900 to $199,990. Seven acres of the site will be reserved for commercial development.


NATIONAL | October 31, 2014
September’s Construction Employment Up in Most Metro Areas Nationwide

From September 2013 to September 2014, construction employment rose in 236 of the 339 metro areas across the country (70% of the metros), while declining in 53 and remaining the same in 50. However, New Jersey metros continue to struggle, as they have for most of the year. Edison-New Brunswick came out in the bottom five losers, down 7% with the loss of 2,800 jobs during the period. Also measuring losses in the state: Atlantic City-Hammonton down 6%, losing 300 jobs; Newark-Union down 5%, losing 1,900 jobs; and Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton down 12%, losing 300 jobs. Looking a little more positive, Bergen-Hudson-Passaic added 100 jobs, a 0.3% gain; Camden added 900 jobs, a 4% gain; and Trenton-Ewing added 200 jobs, also a 4% gain.


LOCAL | October 23, 2014
Upgrades Planned for AC Convention Center and Boardwalk Hall

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority plans $110 million in upgrades to the Convention Center and Boardwalk Hall, part of a $253.3 million bond offering that, once sold, will signal the official beginning of the CRDA’s control of the two public venues. Upgrades over the next five years for the buildings will include maintenance work to the electrical, lighting, plumbing, and heating and ventilation systems, repairs to the roofs, cosmetic renovations such as new floors and painting, and possibly new entryways and space conversion in the Convention Center. Also under consideration is a redo of Boardwalk Hall’s Adrian Phillips Ballroom into a venue for concerts and boxing matches. A construction schedule will be developed over the next few months.


LOCAL | October 23, 2014
Wider NJ Turnpike Opens This Weekend

The $2.5 billion job to widen the New Jersey Turnpike from six to 12 lanes and ease the bottlenecks between Exits 6 and 9 is coming to an end, with the new northbound lanes scheduled to open this weekend, followed by the opening of the southbound lanes next weekend. The project – the largest in Turnpike history – commenced in 2009 and encompassed 170 miles of new lanes, and is finishing up three weeks ahead of its planned mid-November completion date.


LOCAL | October 21, 2014
Five NJ Airports Receive $4.4 Million in State Grants

Five of New Jersey’s general aviation airports have received six airport grants totaling $4.4 million for safety and improvement projects. The projects, worth $5.7 million, are also partially funded by federal monies and airport contributions, and include taxiway rehabilitation, lighting improvements and fuel system replacement at Trenton-Mercer (Mercer County), Old Bridge (Middlesex County), Ocean County, Woodbine Municipal (Cape May County) and Somerset (Somerset County) airports. Through a separate federal grant, Morristown Municipal Airport received $985,455 from the FAA, 90% of the $1.1 million cost for an environmental study to rehabilitate the airport’s Runway 5-23. NJDOT is matching 5% of the grant, $53,242, and the airport will pick up the rest of the tab.


LOCAL | October 17, 2014
AC Casino Revenue Shows Improvement

For the eight casinos still open in Atlantic City, combined September revenue was $197.7 million, up 3.8% from September 2013. But the loss of four casinos, which collectively brought in $49.8 million in September 2013, means total gambling revenue was down 17.1% compared to a year ago. The surviving casinos hope to attract as much as 50% of the business from the closed properties. In the meantime, Internet gaming continues to grow in popularity, with a 5.8% jump in the number of accounts in September.


NATIONAL | October 17, 2014
New E-Verify Website Focuses on Employee

E-Verify, the electronic system designed by US Citizenship and Immigration Services to confirm for employers that employees are authorized to work, now has a new element specific to the employees themselves. The new website, myE-Verify, includes the existing Self Check feature and adds the ability to “lock” Social Security numbers to protect against fraudulent use, create and manage personal accounts, and find information on employee rights. MyE-Verify, currently available in only a handful of states that does not include New Jersey, will be rolled out in phases. While E-Verify is mandatory for employers in some states, the new myE-Verify is strictly voluntary for employees.


LOCAL | October 13, 2014
Cape May County Library Looks Forward to $1.1 Million Facelift

The library’s main branch on Mechanic Street in Cape May Court House, which serves as the county library system’s headquarters, can’t be reached from the main entrance because of buckling steps and crumbling columns. Inside, there isn’t enough room to accommodate the library’s programs. The Cape May County Library Commission estimates exterior and interior renovations will add up to $1.1 million, and include a new roof plus a sunroom near the entrance. The Department of Emergency Management, which currently resides in the basement, will be moved to a new location. Also in the plans, construction of a new library branch on 96th Street in Stone Harbor.


LOCAL | October 8, 2014
Sentinel Data Centers Plans Somerset Expansion

Sentinel Data Centers’ Somerset facility would be nearly doubled with a planned 200,000 sq.ft. expansion on its existing 230,000 sq.ft. The company owns, develops and operates multi-tenant data centers, and the expansion would represent Phase III of its growth, using modular building blocks that allow customization for each customer’s suite in the facility. Completion is projected for the second half of 2015.


LOCAL | October 8, 2014
Brookfield Bid for Revel Approved by Bankruptcy Judge

Yesterday a judge in federal bankruptcy court formally approved the sale of Atlantic City’s Revel Casino to Brookfield US Holdings LLC for $110 million, trumping the $90 million stalking-horse bid placed by Florida real estate developer Glenn Straub. Brookfield, which plans to keep a casino operating at Revel, is part of a Toronto investment firm, Brookfield Asset Management, that owns the Atlantis in the Bahamas and the Hard Rock in Las Vegas. The sale is expected to close within 60 days.


NATIONAL | October 1, 2014
New Jersey’s Metro Construction Employment Drops in August

While construction employment grew in 220 of 339 metro areas, New Jersey continued to lose construction jobs year-over-year. From August 2013 to August 2014, the state lost 9,600 jobs, a 7% loss. By metro area, Edison-New Brunswick (down 2,700 jobs, a 6% loss), Newark-Union (down 1,800 jobs, a 5% drop) and Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton (down 300 jobs, a 12% drop) were among the top 10 losers in the 73 that saw job decreases nationwide. Also in the loss column is Atlantic City-Hammonton, down 300 jobs for a 6% drop. Bergen-Hudson-Passaic showed no change from a year ago (along with 45 other metro areas across the country), while Camden picked up 500 jobs, a 2% gain, and Trenton-Ewing added 100 jobs, also a 2% gain.

September 2014

NATIONAL | September 22, 2014
State Construction Employment for August Still Positive – But Not for NJ

Across the country, 36 states added construction jobs in August compared to a year ago, while 28 states added jobs for the month. But New Jersey was the biggest loser among the 12 states and DC that saw a decrease in construction jobs year-over-year, shedding 11,300 jobs, an 8.1% drop. The state also lost jobs over last month, down 1,600 jobs, a 1.2% loss, one of the top four losers out of the 21 states and DC that shed construction jobs between July and August. While the rest of the region looked stronger for the 12-month period, New York too saw a drop from July to August, down 2,700 jobs, a 0.8% decrease, as did Pennsylvania, which hit the bottom in the loss list, down 3,000 jobs, a 1.2% decline.


LOCAL | September 22, 2014
New Jersey Receives Two DOL Grants for Misclassification Prevention Efforts

New Jersey received two grants totaling $838,621 from the US Department of Labor for its exemplary efforts in combatting worker misclassification in its unemployment insurance program. The funds will be used to further those efforts by the state’s Unemployment Insurance Division. The first grant, $342,222, recognized New Jersey’s existing initiatives to prevent misclassification fraud, while the second, $496,399, was a high-performance bonus applauding the state’s achievements. New Jersey was one of 19 states to receive the grants.


LOCAL | September 19, 2014
More Sandy Funding: $1.5 Billion for NJ Transit and PA

Nearly $1.3 billion from the Federal Transit Administration will go to New Jersey Transit for Sandy-related projects, out of a total package of nearly $1.5 billion. NJ Transit projects include, among others, $410 million for the electrical “microgrid” that will power trains even if other electric sources are shut down, $446 million for a new drawbridge over the Raritan River in Middlesex County, and filling in Long Slip, the historical canal terminus in Hoboken. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey received $212 million in FTA grants, of which approximately $85 million will pay for mitigation efforts at the World Trade Center site and transit facilities.


NATIONAL | September 19, 2014
Reason Foundation Issues Annual State Highway Report

The Reason Foundation’s 21st Annual Report on the Performance of State Highway Systems ranks New Jersey in the bottom five, even though overall state highways have improved during the past four years. Third from the bottom, New Jersey is one of just six states that together carry almost half (49.5%) of the “poor-condition urban Interstate mileage.” For the report, visit www.reason.org.


LOCAL | September 19, 2014
New Tech High School at Cumberland County College

A $70 million technical high school on 10 acres of the Vineland campus of Cumberland County College, scheduled to open in the fall of 2016, goes out for bid next month. It will be one-third of a partnership with the college and the $7.7 million Cumberland County Center for Workforce and Economic Development, currently under construction on the campus. Also under construction is phase one -- two soccer fields -- for the new high school, formally called the Cumberland County Technical Education Center. The two-story high school, 200,000 sq.ft., will encompass classrooms, a media center, technical labs and a greenhouse, plus other essential school spaces.


LOCAL | September 15, 2014
As Casinos Faced Closings, August Revenues Were Up

August casino revenues were mostly up in August compared to both July and August 2013, even as four more were slated for closing. Borgata came out the highest winner, with revenue totaling nearly $66 million, up from $62.5 million a year ago and $60 million in July. Caesars was second with nearly $44 million, up from $38 million a year ago and way up from July’s win of $28 million. In its final month, Showboat (which closed August 31) revenues were just over $15 million, comparable to its July take and roughly $600,000 more than last August. Revel, which closed September 2, claimed $12 million in revenues during its final month, down from $15 million in July and well below the $20 million it took in last August. Trump Plaza, closing this week, saw less than $5 million for the month, down from $5.4 million in July and $9 million in August 2013. Trump Taj Mahal, expected to close in November, drew in $25 million in August, up from $22 million in July but down from the $26.5 million it saw last August. The rest of the take in August: Harrah’s claimed $38.9 million; Tropicana won $31.3 million; Bally’s saw $25.7 million; Golden Nugget took in $16.8 million; and Resorts drew in $14.9 million.


LOCAL | September 11, 2014
Movement in AC Casino Status

Two items of note in Atlantic City this week: Revel received a $90 million bid from Glenn Straub, president of bidding company Polo North Country Club Inc., of Florida. It established a low-bid floor; any other bidders must come in higher. Deadline for other bids is September 23; if none materialize, Straub will own the Revel. No word yet on what Straub would do with the casino. MGM, former part-owner of the Borgata, has qualified for a new gaming license, plans to regain its 50% share in the casino and bring in new entertainment.


LOCAL | September 11, 2014
Update: Bayonne Bridge Construction

From the Port Authority, updates on “Raising the Roadway” project… • Construction continues on mechanical building at Sixth Street and Avenue A. • Mechanically stabilized earthwall from Sixth to Margaret streets nearly complete. • Gantry footings complete. Gantry assembly commencing this week, expected completion early November. In use for assembly and then pier construction: 330-ton crane with height starting at 120 feet, growing to 300 feet as it moves closer to Kill Van Kull. Base is at Sixth Street and travels length of bridge. This fall, a second crane should be at work on the southern section of the bridge, and also will be used for pier construction. • Wire vaults completed on First, Gertrude, Third, Juliette and Fourth streets. As cables are installed in the vaults, curb closures will occur. • Sheet pile work for support structures completed until next year. • Drill shaft work for 16 footings commenced last week and will take several months to complete. • Excavation work continues between Juliette and Fourth streets, and between Second and Gertrude streets. Removal of existing concrete piers continues at Gertrude and Third streets.


LOCAL | September 9, 2014
Grand Central Subway Looking at $210 Million Upgrade

Developer SL Green plans a $210 million upgrade for Manhattan’s Grand Central subway station that would include four new staircases, two new entrances from the street, a renovated mezzanine level and a new, 4,000 sq.ft. waiting area for commuters on the street level. With city approval pending, the project has some complex issues, including the agreement that the work will be finished before tenants may move into SL Green’s 65-story office tower, 1 Vanderbilt, which is to be located on the block just west of Grand Central, north of East 42nd Street. The planned waiting area in Grand Central would encompass the northeast corner of 1 Vanderbilt. That project is also going through its own laborious approval process. In addition, the planned mezzanine expansion for the Lexington Avenue line, which lies below the Hyatt Hotel, requires the hotel’s existing building columns to be incorporated into the design. Other design plans call for a hall linking the Grand Central Terminal to the Long Island Railroad station currently under construction, and improvements to the connections to Metro North and the Times Square shuttle. Ultimately, the block of Vanderbilt that runs between East 42nd and East 43rd will be closed to traffic and transformed into a public plaza, under the direction of the DOT. The timetable is expected to be as follows: site approval for 1 Vanderbilt should be completed by March 2015, after which demolition of buildings on that site will run through mid-2016, with excavation and foundation completed by 2017. Subway construction is anticipated to run concurrently.


LOCAL | September 5, 2014
Mountain Creek Envisions $150 Million Water Park Hotel

Mountain Creek, which early in the summer reverted the name of its outdoor water park back to Action Park, once a famous New Jersey summer destination, now wants to build a monumental indoor water park complex in Vernon, a $150 million investment the company sees as part of a larger, half-billion-dollar ski village development. Plans call for a 400-room hotel, 100,000 sq.ft. water park, 40,000 sq.ft. extreme-sports camp and 60,000 sq.ft. convention center. Mountain Creek proposes to pay for the project with $40 million from foreign investors, $25-$28 million through floating bonds, and the rest with financing from capital markets. A PILOT (payment-in-lieu-of-taxes) program to fund part of the project received approval on its first pass in front of the Vernon Town Council, and is scheduled for a second review this month. If approved and funded, the project would take approximately two years to complete.


NATIONAL | September 5, 2014
FHWA Loosens Restrictions on Fed Grants for State Projects

The Federal Highway Administration announced yesterday it is easing restrictions on federal grants for state highway and bridge projects, scrapping the required “value engineering” process on highway projects that cost less than $50 million and bridge projects that cost less than $40 million. Value engineering, which the feds claim saves the government approximately $1 billion a year, entails a complex process of determining the cheapest components for a project.


NATIONAL | September 2, 2014
July Construction Employment Up in 223 Metro Areas

Compared to July of last year, construction employment this July increased in 223 of 339 metro areas across the country, decreased in 72 and remained the same in 44. Some of the biggest losses came in two New Jersey metro areas. Newark-Union came in third in the nation for number of jobs lost (a drop of 2,500 jobs, down 7%) and Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton came in second for largest percentage decline (a 16% drop with the loss of 400 jobs). Two other New Jersey metro areas also recorded declines: Atlantic City-Hammonton lost 300 jobs for the period from July 2013 to July 2014, a 6% drop; and Edison-New Brunswick lost 700 jobs for the period, a 2% drop. On the up side, three New Jersey metro areas gained jobs year-over-year: Bergen-Hudson-Passaic picked up 300 jobs, a 1% increase; Camden added 600 jobs, a 3% rise; and Trenton-Ewing added 100 jobs, a 2% increase.

August 2014

LOCAL | August 20, 2014
BPU Ordered to Reconsider AC Windfarm Application

In April, the state Board of Public Utilities rejected the offshore windfarm proposed by Fishermen’s Energy, but now an appellate court has told the Board it must reconsider the application with a revised $199-per-megawatt-hour price. The BPU had used a $263-per-MWH price in its decision to reject the proposal. The order, dated August 8, was released to the public on Monday, August 18. The BPU has 120 days from August 8 to deliver its decision. In May, even without the blessing of the BPU, Fishermen’s Energy was awarded $47 million in funding from the US Department of Energy to build the $200 million project in state waters off the coast of Atlantic City.


NATIONAL | August 19, 2014
States Increase Construction Employment for the Year – Except NJ

New Jersey once again came out at the bottom among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, losing both the highest percentage (down 6.5%) and total number of construction jobs (a loss of 8,900) in July compared to July 2013. For the period, 39 other states gained jobs, 11 states and DC lost jobs. For the month, however, New Jersey fared better, picking up 2,000 jobs over June, a 1.6% gain. Across the country for the month, 34 states added jobs while 15 states and DC lost jobs.


LOCAL | August 14, 2014
NYC Construction Spending Could Be 10% Higher in 2014

As we move through the second half of the year, the New York Building Congress predicts total construction spending in New York City will increase 10% by year-end to $31.5 billion, compared to $28.5 billion in 2013. The spending increase results from the residential construction boom, which at an estimated $10.2 billion will account for 32% of all construction spending in the city this year. Non-residential spending will likely reach $7.8 billion in 2014, down from $8 billion in 2013 and possibly the lowest level of non-residential spending since 2005. Government spending is predicted to be $13.5 billion, just slightly lower than last year. And, while spending may top $30 billion in the city, construction employment, expected to hit 122,700 jobs this year, is still well below 2008’s peak of 132,600.


LOCAL | August 14, 2014
Gas Pipeline Proposed for Parts of Mercer and Hunterdon

PennEast Pipeline, a joint venture with AGL Resources (parent company of Elizabethtown Gas), NJR Pipeline Co., South Jersey Industries and UGI Energy Services, announced a proposed $1 billion project Tuesday to run a 30-inch natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania through towns in Mercer and Hunterdon counties. The line would carry natural gas from a distribution center near Wilkes-Barre through four counties in Pennsylvania and then across western Hunterdon and the Hopewell Valley area of Mercer. According to PennEast, the line would provide lower, more stable natural gas prices because it would tap into the gas-rich Marcellus Shale region, and supply enough gas for 4.7 million homes. The proposal must be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a process expected to take three years. Construction would start in late 2017 under that timetable, and take seven months to a year, creating 2,000 jobs.


LOCAL | August 11, 2014
Carpenters’ Peter J. McGuire Joins NJ Hall of Fame

The Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters had asked us to vote for Peter J. McGuire, founder of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America in 1881, as an inductee into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. ACCNJ staff and guests even got a tour of the Hall of Fame’s Mobile Museum, the first mobile hall of fame in the country. And now it’s official – Peter J. McGuire was inducted in as part of the Class of 2014. McGuire was “the driving force behind the adoption of Labor Day as a national holiday in 1894,” and a “prominent figure in the struggle for the five-day, 40-hour work week.” He was born in 1852 and lived the last part of his life in Camden, dying in 1906.


LOCAL | August 5, 2014
Vineland Bread Manufacturer Plans $32 Million Expansion

Bread and pastry manufacturer Bridor Inc. will invest $32 million in an expansion to its Vineland plant that will add pastry manufacturing to its bread operations and create 50 more jobs. Bridor, a French company, also plans to source ingredients for the baked goods locally. The plant will expand from 136,000 to 183,000 square feet, with $5 million of the construction costs coming from Vineland’s revolving Urban Enterprise Zone loan funds.

July 2014

NATIONAL | July 30, 2014
Metro Area Construction Employment Up in June

Of 339 metro areas across the country, 215 saw a rise in construction employment in June compared to June 2013, while 80 experienced a drop and 44 saw no change. In New Jersey, Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton came in third from the bottom in percentage of jobs lost, down 13% with the loss of 300 jobs. Most of the rest of the state fared badly as well. Atlantic City-Hammonton lost 400 jobs, down 8%; Newark-Union lost 1,600 jobs, down 5%; Edison-New Brunswick lost 700 jobs, down 2%; Bergen-Hudson-Passaic lost 500 jobs, down 2%; and Trenton-Ewing lost 100 jobs, down 2%. Camden was the only New Jersey metro area to gain jobs, picking up 300 for a 1% increase.


LOCAL | July 29, 2014
Salem County Proposes Jail Expansion

The Salem County Jail, which currently holds just over 400 beds, could nearly double to 780 beds in a proposed expansion that would allow the county to house more inmates from Gloucester County, thereby increasing revenue. When completed, the $29 million project could bring in an estimated $7 million per year in revenue currently lost because Salem, which has an agreement with Gloucester County, can’t hold all the inmates Gloucester sends, and thus they are housed in Cumberland, Burlington and elsewhere. If approved, funding for the project would most likely come through a 10-year bond.


LOCAL | July 29, 2014
Jersey City’s Port Jersey Boulevard Upgrade Approved

The Port Authority recently approved a $9.5 million upgrade for part of Port Jersey Boulevard, which runs to the Global Container Terminal in Jersey City. The upgrade will improve access to the terminal and ease movement between the BMW processing facility and the vessel berthing area. Funding for the project comes from cargo facility charges, and will cover a new left-turn lane and entrance to the BMW site, realignment and repaving of the Boulevard between Colony Road and the Global Container Terminal gate, upgrades to the drainage system and installation of a guiderail.


LOCAL | July 29, 2014
Nearly $1.8 Million To Go To Atlantic City Airport

Announced a week ago, Atlantic City International Airport will receive $1,778,976 million from the FAA for taxiway rehab and reconstruction projects. That funding is in addition to the more-than-$1.68 million announced in June.


LOCAL | July 25, 2014
US Transportation’s Anthony Foxx Views NJ’s I-80 Project

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx visited Parsippany today for a briefing on the $84 million I-80 Rehabilitation project, which began nearly two years ago and is expected to be completed next year. Accompanied by New Jersey’s US Senator Cory Booker and NJ DOT Acting Commissioner Joseph Bertoni, Foxx pushed Congress in his comments to pass “a long-term funding solution for our nation’s highways and bridges.” The I-80 rehab stretches from Route 202/Littleton Road (milepost 41.5) to Beverwyck Road (milepost 45.6), and includes reconfiguration of the I-80 eastbound exit ramp in both directions at I-287 and the Route 202 northbound ramp to I-80 eastbound. This section of I-80 carries approximately 160,000 drivers each day, according to the state; the rehab will improve pavement conditions and reduce traffic congestion. The federal Highway Trust Fund, due to run out of money in a week, covered $83 million of the project.


LOCAL | July 25, 2014
Atlantic City Road and Drainage Improvements Planned

Atlantic City’s Planning Director Elizabeth Terenik recently laid out an array of road and drainage projects planned to improve the city’s infrastructure: •$6.3 million reconstruction of the hundred-year-old Baltic Avenue Canal that runs underground from Rhode Island to Georgia avenues and drains stormwater and tides from a third of the city; $2 million would come from AC and the rest from FEMA and the US Economic Development Administration, and the project should be completed in 18 months •$50 million project to shore up the seawall and boardwalk from Rhode Island Avenue to Gardner’s Basin, funded by the Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, NJ EDA and NJ DCA, and scheduled for construction beginning this fall through mid-2016 •Another Army Corps job involving outfall pipes that drain from Pacific Avenue to the beach at these avenues: Mississippi, California, Mansion, Arkansas, George and St. James •$200,000 stabilization project of the waterfront at South Boulevard in Chelsea Heights, still in design stage •$200,000 in repairs to the Flood Texas Avenue Bulkhead, outfall and street, of which $100,000 has already come from the Army Corps •$450,000 flood mitigation project at Massachusetts Avenue (city seeking funding) •$4.8 million flood mitigation project at the Sunset Avenue Bulkhead (city seeking funding) •Boardwalk improvements by the Public Works Department, for which the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has funded $1.7 million in lumber and supplies •$1 million paving of Arctic Avenue from Indiana to Delaware avenues (includes $400,000 grant from NJ DOT) •$1.1 million paving of Maryland Avenue from Brigantine Blvd. to Pacific Avenue (funded by NJ DOT) •$289,000 paving of Marmora Avenue from Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. to Ohio Avenue ($187,000 funded by NJ DOT) •$276,200 paving of Ventnor Avenue from Jackson to Bartram avenues ($210,000 funded by NJ DOT) •$964,000 paving of Pacific Avenue, funded by CRDA, currently underway and scheduled for completion by late fall •South Jersey Gas project to replace gas lines throughout 40% of the city through 2015, including new curb-to-curb asphalt •Various other traffic signal and safety projects


LOCAL | July 23, 2014
EDA Tax Incentive to Holtec Prompts Paulsboro Partnership

With a $260 million tax incentive from EDA, Holtec International will build a 600,000 sq.ft. manufacturing plant at the Port of Camden’s Broadway Terminal. And that deal has prompted another one. Holt Logistics, which must move some of its operations to make room for the Holtec project, has partnered with the South Jersey Port Corp. to become operator of the Port of Paulsboro, making that terminal a reality with the construction of a wharf and an investment of $10 million from Holt that will bring in equipment, cranes and technology. The state has committed $175 million to the redevelopment, and Holt estimates 850 new permanent jobs when the port is fully operational.


NATIONAL | July 23, 2014
State Construction Employment Still Shaky

While 38 states added construction jobs in June compared to a year ago, 27 states lost jobs for the month and the nation added only 6,000 jobs during the same period, indicating recovery remains “choppy,” according to AGC of America. New Jersey lost both the biggest number of jobs and the biggest percentage in June compared to June 2013, down 11,200 jobs, a loss of 8.1%. For the month, New Jersey shed 2,600 construction jobs, a 2% drop. In the region, New York lost a large number of jobs for the month, down 3,700, a 1.1% drop, but was up by 7,700 jobs (2.4%) for the year. Rhode Island lost 500 jobs for the month, a 2.9% drop, but was up 800 jobs (5%) for the year. Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Delaware all gained jobs for both the month and the year.


LOCAL | July 16, 2014
Carpenters’ George Laufenberg Joins Port Authority Board

George Laufenberg, Administrative Manager of the Carpenters Fund of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters, and a labor partner of ACCNJ, was recently ratified by the New Jersey State Senate to fill a vacant seat on the Port Authority Board of Commissioners. Laufenberg is now one of six New Jersey commissioners on the board.


NATIONAL | July 16, 2014
House Passes Short-Term Highway Trust Fund Bill

Yesterday the US House of Representatives passed a short-term, $11 billion funding bill for the Highway Trust Fund, which is expected to start running dry in August. The bill was approved by a vote of 367 to 55, with 181 Republicans and 186 Democrats voting for it, 45 Republicans and 10 Democrats voting against. If approved as is by the Senate and signed by President Obama, the bill would draw $9.9 billion from the general fund and another $1 billion from a separate trust fund, extending the Highway Trust Fund until May 31, 2015. The Senate, which is working on its own short-term, open-ended fix, could amend and pass the House bill, but a key debate in the Senate will be whether to proceed with short-term funding or strive to pass a long-term funding bill during the lame-duck session following November’s elections. The current two-year authorization bill for the Highway Trust Fund expires September 30. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who chairs the public works committee, wants a long-term transportation bill, and could monkey-wrench short-term spending by refusing to permit authorization of spending beyond December 31, which would negate the May 31 deadline in the House bill.


LOCAL | July 14, 2014
Manasquan Inlet Coast Guard Station Slated for $14 Million Upgrade

The Manasquan Inlet Coast Guard station, located on the Point Pleasant Beach side of the Manasquan River, is slated to consolidate its operations in a new 91,100 sq.ft., three-story building that will cost nearly $14 million. The station’s current three buildings, including the administration office built in 1936, all experienced flooding during Superstorm Sandy, with damages reaching about $2.1 million. With the consolidation, the boat house and crew barracks will be demolished, but the historic administration building will be preserved. The new facility will have a generator capable of continuing operations for up to two weeks without electricity. Funding for the project comes from the $60 billion Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, of which $144 million is set aside for the Coast Guard. The plan is to award a contract on August 7 for the project, which is expected to take 18 months to two years to complete.


LOCAL | July 9, 2014
Terrence Brody to Lead Office of Recovery & Rebuilding

Governor Christie has chosen Terrence Brody as Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Recovery and Rebuilding, the group that leads Sandy-related recovery efforts. Brody, who has been serving as the Deputy Executive Director since the office was created in 2012, replaces Marc Ferzan, who resigned to take a teaching position at the University of Virginia.


NATIONAL | July 3, 2014
Metro Construction Employment Improves in May - Mostly

Construction employment this May compared to May 2013 increased in 218 of 339 metro areas across the country, decreased in 72 and remained the same in 49. In New Jersey, Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton came in third from the bottom of all metro areas in percentage of jobs lost, down a whopping 13% from May 2013 with a loss of 300 jobs. Atlantic City-Hammonton wasn’t far behind, losing 600 jobs for a 12% loss. Newark-Union lost 1,700 jobs, a 5% drop; Trenton-Ewing lost 100 jobs, a 2% drop; and Bergen-Hudson-Passaic lost 100 jobs, a 0.4% drop. Camden gained 300 jobs compared to May 2013, up 1%. Edison-New Brunswick numbers remained unchanged.

June 2014

LOCAL | June 30, 2014
Linden Grants Entitlement Approval for $350 Million Logistics Center

Goodman Birtcher, a subsidiary of Australia’s Goodman Group, an industrial property firm, has received entitlement approval for a $350 million logistics center, proposed as a redevelopment project consisting of 2.8 million sq.ft. across five distribution warehouses on a 143-acre site in Linden.


LOCAL | June 25, 2014
US Conference of Mayors Predicts Stronger Growth for Cape May County, Lesser for Cumberland and Atlantic Counties

In an IHS Global Insight report on metro economic forecasts commissioned by the US Conference of Mayors, three counties in South Jersey emerged with three distinctly different growth paths. Cape May County’s projected 3.1% annual growth through 2020 puts it in the top 40 areas of growth. But Atlantic County, looking at only 1.4% annual growth for the same time period, lands in the bottom five. Cumberland County comes out somewhere in the middle, with a projected 2.5% annual growth through the decade. One reason for the rosier picture in Cape May County is the anticipated influx of Baby Boomer retirees. According to Vicki Clark, president of the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce, reports the county has the largest concentration of second homes in the state, with less than half of them rented out. Thus they transition from vacation to retirement homes.


NATIONAL | June 25, 2014
In May, New Jersey Lost the Highest Number of Construction Jobs – Again

Following April’s dismal showing, New Jersey again shed more construction jobs in May compared to a year ago than any other state. Dropping 8,500 jobs, a 6.2% drop for the year, New Jersey was also the only state in the region to lose jobs – New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island all had gains. Overall, 10 states lost construction jobs during the past 12 months, while 40 states and the District of Columbia added jobs. From April to May, 30 states and DC added jobs, 20 states lost jobs. New Jersey did show a one-month gain in jobs, up 1.3% with 1,600 jobs added.


LOCAL | June 18, 2014
Millions of Square Feet of Office Space Forecast for Manhattan

A New York Building Congress report projects Manhattan will gain nine million square feet of office space by 2015, with another 10 million square feet to come between 2016 and 2018. Much of the first batch of new office space will be found in three buildings: One World Trade Center, 4 World Trade Center and 10 Hudson Yards, the first tower in the Hudson Yards project. The second batch will arrive with 30 Hudson Yards, 1 Manhattan West, and 2 and 3 World Trade Center. Financing for the projects making up the second 10 million square feet hasn’t been secured, but approvals and sites are in place. Another project that could add more than a million square feet of office space is a yet-to-be-approved 1,200-foot tall office tower across from Grand Central Terminal. In total, the Building Congress forecasts 24.4 million square feet of new office construction from 2010-2019, five million more than was built in the previous decade and more than twice as much as was built in the 1990s. However, noting that net absorption rate for office space has been negative following the Great Recession, Building Congress President Richard T. Anderson affirms New York City will have to generate at least 20,000 new office jobs annually into the next decade to keep vacancy rates from rising and continue the demand for new office construction.


NATIONAL | June 16, 2014
May Sees Gain of 6,000 Construction Jobs in US

Across the country, the construction industry gained 6,000 jobs in May, reaching a total of 6,004,000, up 3.2% from May 2013. Nonresidential construction counted for 2,700 of those new jobs. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.6% in May, down from 10.8% in May 2013. However, as AGC of America has noted previously, while the unemployment rate has dropped by more than half since May of 2010, when it reached 20.1%, more than a million construction workers lost their jobs during that period and, to date, industry jobs have increased by only 480,000.


NATIONAL | June 16, 2014
OSHA Video on Silica Dust Exposure Wins Award

In August 2013, OSHA released “Deadly Dust,” an educational video on the dangers of silica dust exposure timed to coincide with the release of OSHA’s silica rule. The nine-minute video recently won first place in the Best Safety Video category of PR Daily’s 2013 Video Awards. View the documentary-style video on the Department of Labor’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXsGJ1C4Xcw">www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXsGJ1C4Xcw">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXsGJ1C4Xcw


LOCAL | June 12, 2014
Update: Sixers to Build Camden Training Center

With an $82 million tax credit over 10 years, the 76ers will indeed build a training center in Camden, expected to be a 120,000 sq.ft. state-of-the-art training facility and team headquarters completed in 2016. The tax deal requires the team to employ 250 people in Camden and stay in the city for 15 years. The Sixers will lease four acres near the Susquehanna Bank Center on the southeast corner of Delaware Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard as the training center site, and construction is slated to begin in October.


NATIONAL | June 12, 2014
ConsensusDOCS Releases Revised Federal Work Subcontract

ConsensusDOCS recently updated its standard federal subcontract, ConsensusDOCS 752, to reflect recent changes in federal contracting rules, including requirements for certifying small business entities and reporting executive compensation. ConsensusDOCS says 752 is the first and only standard subcontract agreement for federal work that complies with the 2012 Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). It includes a FAR Provisions Exhibit. For more information, visit www.consensusdocs.org.


NATIONAL | June 12, 2014
INSTALL Doubles Warranty Program

INSTALL, the International Standards & Training Alliance for Floorcovering Professionals, introduced a one-year, $5,000 Warranty on Labor last year. In January of this year, INSTALL doubled the program to two years and a $10,000 Warranty on Labor. For its Certified Contractors, INSTALL offers this free, third-party, value-added installation guarantee on commercial and residential installations of carpet, resilient and hardwood. The INSTALL Certification allows buyers to identify the most dependable and skilled installers in the US and Canada.


LOCAL | June 11, 2014
NJ DOT Gets New Acting Commissioner

Joseph D. Bertoni is the new Acting Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation, where he has 26 years of experience. Most recently Deputy Commissioner, Bertoni began his career in the Division of Bridge Design, worked as a Project Manager in the Department’s Capital Program Management unit and then became Chief of Staff. He received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Widener University and is a licensed Professional Engineer in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.


LOCAL | June 11, 2014
Governor Names George Laufenberg for Port Authority Seat

Last week, Governor Christie named George Laufenberg, Administrative Manager of the New Jersey Carpenters Funds, to a seat on the Port Authority Board of Commissioners that was vacated by Anthony Sartor’s resignation in April. Laufenberg joins Ray Pocino, Vice President of the Laborers International Union, as the second labor leader to be named by Christie to the Port Authority Board.


NATIONAL | June 11, 2014
President Obama Signs $12.3 Billion Water Bill

Yesterday, President Obama signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) into law, the first water projects reauthorization since 2007. It authorizes 34 projects and cuts $18 billion in projects the Army Corps of Engineers deemed outdated or unnecessary. Included in the projects is dredging of ports in Jacksonville, Savannah and Boston – projects which can now, per the bill, be paid for by the ports up front and reimbursed by the feds later, helping reduce construction time. The rest of the funding is slated for flood control, hurricane recovery and environmental restoration.


LOCAL | June 4, 2014
Webcams Allow Public to View Goethals Bridge Construction

Four webcams now let the public view construction of the Goethals Bridge almost as it occurs, with updates every 15 minutes. The construction, which began in May, will replace the old bridge with a new one offering more 12-foot-wide travel lanes, 12-foot shoulders and a pedestrian/bicycle pathway. Two webcams are mounted on the side of the old bridge, providing views of New York and New Jersey where the new bridge will span, and two are located nearby, one facing the bridge in Elizabeth and one facing it in Staten Island. Visit all four webcams at www.panynj.gov/bridges-tunnels/goethals-bridge-replacement.html#webcam, and share images on Facebook and Twitter.


LOCAL | June 4, 2014
Two NJ Projects Win HUD “Rebuild by Design” Grants

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced yesterday that two New Jersey projects are winners in the Hurricane Sandy Rebuild by Design competition, and will be constructed using $380 million in disaster relief. One project would establish a large nature reserve in the Meadowlands, open to the public and surrounded by a multipurpose berm to protect against storm surges. The second project would use bulkheads, deployable flood walls, green roofs, stormwater pumps and constructed wetlands to protect Hoboken from the flooding that devastated much of the city during Sandy. The HUD competition selected six projects in New Jersey, New York State and New York City, and allotted more than $900 million in disaster relief funds to pay for them.


LOCAL | June 3, 2014
Kris Kolluri Named CEO of Rowan/Rutgers-Camden Partnership

The health sciences partnership between Rowan University and Rutgers-Camden now has a CEO to oversee day-to-day operations. Kris Kolluri, former Commissioner of the NJ Department of Transportation and CEO of the Schools Development Authority, was appointed Friday by the partnership’s Board of Governors, and will officially take the position on July 1, 2014, at an annual salary of $275,000. His responsibilities include overseeing capital projects, running the joint programs and driving community involvement.


LOCAL | June 3, 2014
Rumors of a Sixers Training Center in Camden

Scott O’Neil, CEO of the 76ers, didn’t confirm locations, but the Sixers could build a training center in Camden adjacent to Campbell’s Field now that their first choice, the Philadelphia Navy Yard, didn’t come through. If the same design is used for a new location, the project would be a 55,000 sq.ft. facility housing two basketball courts, other training space, locker rooms, a player lounge, a broadcast center and more – estimated at $20 million to $25 million. Check the agenda for the next NJ Economic Development Authority meeting scheduled for June 10, 2014. The agenda is posted 48 hours prior to the meeting, according to the NJ EDA website, http://www.njeda.com/web/default.aspx.">www.njeda.com/web/default.aspx.">http://www.njeda.com/web/default.aspx.


NATIONAL | June 3, 2014
March Materials Costs Up for Nonresidential Building

Bureau of Labor Statistics for March 2014 show that prices for materials used in nonresidential construction were well-above the overall inflation rate. Most notable increases compared to March 2013 include iron and steel scrap prices, up 14.9%, with a 4.8% jump over February 2014 prices; gypsum prices, up 11.6% for the year and up 7.4% for the month; and lumber and plywood prices, up 7.7% for the year, and up 2.4% for the month. Other increases were seen in prefabricated metal buildings, up 5.7% for the year, 2% for the month; cement prices, up 3.5% for the year, 2% for the month; concrete product prices, up 2.8% for the year and 0.8% for the month; brick and structural clay tile, up 2.3% for the year but down 0.2% for the month; asphalt paving mixtures and blocks, up 1.6% for the year, 1% for the month; steel mill product prices, up 0.5% for the year, 1.2% for the month; fabricated structural metal, up 0.2% for the year but down 1.4% for the month; and plastic construction products, up 0.1% for the year, 0.7% for the month. Prices that dropped compared to March 2013 include copper and brass mill shapes, down 5% for the year and down 1.2% for the month; aluminum mill shapes, down 4.7% for the year, but up 0.6% for the month; #2 diesel fuel, down 3.3% for the year and down 1.9% for the month; asphalt at refinery, down 2.5% for the year and down 2.2% for the month; and architectural coatings, down 1.5% for the year and down 0.3% for the month.

May 2014

LOCAL | May 30, 2014
Affordable Housing Plans to Revitalize Burlington City

The Apartments at the Mill, a 65-unit, $15 million affordable housing project planned for Mitchell Avenue in Burlington City, could generate as many as 141 construction jobs and $2.6 million in outgoing economic input. An old mill that became a PSE&G warehouse and has now sat empty for many years will be restored to encompass 11 apartments, a community center, and marketing and leasing offices. Another five three-story multifamily building with 54 units will also be built on the three-acre property. Five of the units will be designated for special-needs tenants. The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency provided $1.7 million in permanent financing and awarded federal low-income housing tax credits, which generated approximately $12.1 million in private equity. Developed and managed by the Ingerman Group, the project is expected to be completed this fall.


NATIONAL | May 30, 2014
April’s Metro Construction Employment Improves – Except in NJ

As we reported for the state-by-state construction employment in April, many metro areas also saw an improvement – but four New Jersey metros landed in the top five in the loss column, and a fifth also lost jobs. Construction employment increased in 220 of 339 metro areas, dropped in 70 and remained unchanged in 49 between April 2013 and April 2014. Newark-Union recorded the third-largest loss in number of jobs, down 1,600 for the year, a 5% drop, while Bergen-Hudson-Passaic took the fourth-largest hit, losing 1,300 jobs, also a 5% drop. In percentages, Atlantic City-Hammonton topped the loss column, losing 900 jobs that represented an 18% drop for the year. Vineland-Millville-Bridgetown was fourth in the percentage-lost figures, down 300 jobs for a 13% drop. Trenton-Ewing also lost jobs, down 100 positions, a 2% drop. Two New Jersey metros actually reflected slight gains for the year: Edison-New Brunswick picked up 500 jobs, a 1% increase, and Camden added 100 jobs, a 0.5% increase. Statewide, New Jersey lost 10,700 construction jobs compared to April of last year, an 8% drop.


LOCAL | May 30, 2014
Fed Sandy Grants of $235 Million Go To NJ Transit and PATH

NJ Transit was awarded $66.8 million and PATH received $166.9 million in federal Sandy grants from US DOT’s Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program, run by the department’s Federal Transit Administration. NJ Transit will use the funds to build a system-wide emergency-operations communications center to replace the current one. PATH will use the funding to eliminate the saltwater residue left from the floods and upgrade signals in the tunnels between Jersey City’s Exchange Place and the World Trade Center in Manhattan.


LOCAL | May 27, 2014
New York Building Congress Responds to NYC Capital Budget

In New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposed capital budget for FY 2015-2018, $34.7 billion would go for the construction and rehabilitation of the city’s infrastructure, including $10.2 billion for new school construction and expansion, $966.6 million for water projects, $2.7 billion for bridges and $2.5 billion for 200,000 affordable housing units. The New York Building Congress reacted favorably to the Mayor’s commitment to infrastructure and his “realistic” budget.


LOCAL | May 21, 2014
NextGen Update: Promising Movement

After lots of starts and stops, the Next Generation Air Transportation System, NextGen, got a 2020 deadline for deployment from the FAA, which also said NextGen’s “basic infrastructure” should be in place by 2016. Last week at an Air Traffic Control Association meeting in Atlantic City, the conferees affirmed NextGen is finally moving along. New Jersey’s US Rep. Frank LoBiondo, chair of the House Aviation Subcommittee, said the FAA had begun to set “realistic benchmarks” for NextGen, which is important for New Jersey because of its connection with the proposed aviation research park adjacent to the AC airport and the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township.


NATIONAL | May 21, 2014
April Construction Employment Figures Not Good in NJ

In April, New Jersey lost more construction jobs compared to April 2013 than any other state in the nation: both the highest percentage (down 6.8%) and the highest number (a loss of 9,300). Nine other states also lost construction jobs, while 39 states and DC gained jobs over the year. Compared to the previous month, March 2014, 20 states lost construction jobs, while 29 states added jobs and one state held the status quo. New Jersey came in second in the loss column for the month, down 2,800 jobs, a 2.1% drop.


LOCAL | May 21, 2014
Route 35 Summer Work Schedule Revised

NJ DOT updated its Route 35 summer work schedule today, adding details not previously released. • Over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, only one lane will be available southbound from Curtis Point Drive in Brick to Strickland Boulevard in Toms River. The one-lane restriction will be in place through Thursday, June 26. • Work on this section of the project will be suspended from Friday, June 27 through noon on Tuesday, September 2, allowing two southbound travel lanes during the summer peak travel months. • During the holiday weekend and continuing through the summer, two southbound lanes will be available from Strickland Boulevard to the project’s end at Island Beach State Park. • On all other sections of the highway from Brick to Berkeley, all travel lanes will be open from Friday, June 13, through noon on Tuesday, September 2. • Work on the side streets in Berkeley, Seaside Park, Seaside Heights, Toms River, Lavallette, and Brick will continue throughout the summer. • Work on Route 35 northbound in Lavallette between Brown and Bond avenues will be suspended by 6 am this Friday, May 23, and will resume at noon on Tuesday, September 2. • Work on the rest of Route 35 northbound will cease at noon on Friday, June 13, and will resume at noon on Tuesday, September 2. • New Jersey Natural Gas will be installing new gas lines on the northbound shoulder. • In Mantoloking and Bay Head, work on Route 35 and all side streets will be suspended by 6 am this Friday, May 23, and will resume at noon on Tuesday, September 2. Residents in the affected towns can contact NJDOT about the project by phone, 732.230.7356, and email, restore.nj35@dot.state.nj.us.


LOCAL | May 16, 2014
April Casino Revenues Up

Comparing April 2014 to April 2013 revenues for the 11 Atlantic City casinos that were open in both months (which excludes the Atlantic Club), the Division of Gaming Enforcement filings show an increase of 3.3%. Internet gaming revenue was $11.4 million for April of this year, down from $11.9 million in March. The number of Internet gaming accounts in April rose 10.6% over March’s number. Combining the two venues, revenues rose 3.2% from last April, even when the now-defunct Atlantic Club is factored in. Total gaming taxes reached $18 million in April 2014, up 8.8% over last year. In the first four months of this year, total gaming taxes were $66.2 million, up 2.9% over January – April 2013.


LOCAL | May 16, 2014
Choose NJ Launches RFP Database

Choose New Jersey recently launched a next-generation database offering subscription access to public and private Requests for Proposals, Requests for Information and other business opportunities in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. RFP Watch 2.0 aggregates data from more than 30,000 public and private sources, averaging 7,000 contract leads a month, and is available to all companies with a New Jersey location for $295 per year.


NATIONAL | May 13, 2014
Wells Fargo to Offer Loans to Small Businesses

Wells Fargo Bank plans to ramp up loans to businesses with less than $2 million in sales and for commercial real estate financing below $500,000. The “Wells Fargo Works for Small Business” plan is to create $100 billion in new loans to small businesses across the country by 2018, aimed toward equipment upgrades and real estate investment. Its website, www.wellsfargoworks.com, combines product offerings with guidance on sustaining growth.


LOCAL | May 9, 2014
PSE&G Reaches Settlement with BPU for “Energy Strong”

PSE&G and Board of Public Utilities staff have brokered an agreement to roll out the utility’s proposed “Energy Strong” proposal for $1.22 billion, about 30% of the original $3.9 billion proposal. Pending final BPU approval, Energy Strong will include these investments: $620 million to raise, relocate or protect 29 switching and substations; $350 million to replace and modernize 250 miles of low-pressure, cast-iron gas mains in or near flood areas; $100 million to create redundancy in the system, which will reduce outages; $100 million in smart-grid technologies for faster deployment of repair efforts; and $50 million to protect five natural-gas metering stations and a liquefied natural-gas station. The agreement calls for PSE&G to earn a return on equity of 9.75% of the first $1 billion of investment, after which the utility can file for a base rate adjustment to recover the remaining $220 million. According to PSE&G, the new proposal would add approximately 2% to a typical residential bill. The utility also anticipates that upcoming expiration of certain bill charges will actually cause customer bills to decrease.


LOCAL | May 7, 2014
Vineland Proposes Changes for Chestnut Avenue

Chestnut Avenue between Main Road and Delsea Drive could downsize four lanes to two under a proposal put forth by Vineland’s City Council, which will vote next week to apply for Federal Highway Administration funds to cover the cost of project design, estimated to be $500,000. The road could also get a center turning lane and bicycle lanes, upgraded traffic signals and a roundabout. The design goal is to improve traffic flow and increase safety by controlling speed, easing left turns, decreasing the number of lanes pedestrians must cross and eliminating a passing lane. The final design will determine construction costs.


LOCAL | May 7, 2014
AC Offshore Wind Farm Proposal Gets Federal Monies

Although the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities turned down the offshore wind farm proposed by Fishermen’s Energy, the project is one of three that will receive up to $47 million over the next four years from the US Department of Energy. A news release issued by the Energy Department today called the project “pioneering” and explained that its “innovative, US-developed twisted jacket foundation” is “simpler and less expensive to manufacture and install” than other designs. The Energy Department wants to use the five turbines, in their proposed location 2.8 miles off the coast of Atlantic City, as a laboratory for research in offshore wind and turbine interaction.


NATIONAL | May 5, 2014
Construction Unemployment Rate Drops to 9.4%

At 9.4%, the April unemployment rate in the construction industry hit its lowest point in seven years. Contractors added 32,000 workers to April payrolls, and the total number of people employed in the industry rose to 6.0 million. That’s up 3.3%, 189,000 jobs, since April 2013, when the unemployment rate was 13.2%. Aggregate hours also rose for the year, up 3.8%. By sector, nonresidential construction – building, specialty trades and heavy and civil engineering – added 18,600 employees from March to April, up 81,300 employees (2.2%) compared to April 2013.


NATIONAL | May 2, 2014
Construction Spending Slightly Higher in March

Spending for multi-family housing construction projects was strong in March, and spending for nonresidential projects was up a bit, pushing overall construction spending up 0.2% over February to $943 billion, and 8.4% higher over March 2013. Multifamily housing construction spending jumped 4.4% for the month, and was up a whopping 33% over March 2013. As a whole, private nonresidential spending crept up 0.2% for the month, and was 8.6% higher than a year ago. By segment, power construction rose 2.8% for the year, and communication construction leapt 34% for the year. However, overall public construction spending continued to decline, down 0.6% for the month and down 0.8% for the year. By segment, highway and street construction increased 8.5% for the year, but educational construction dropped 5.3% from March 2013.

April 2014

NATIONAL | April 29, 2014
Metro Area Construction Employment Improves in March

From March 2013 to March 2014, construction employment increased in 197 of 339 metro areas across the country (60%), declined in 87 and remained the same in 55. New Jersey’s picture was not as rosy, as construction employment decreased in four metro areas, increased in two and remained the same in one (Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton). Atlantic City-Hammonton lost 400 jobs, a 9% drop; Bergen-Hudson-Passaic lost 1,100 jobs, a 4% drop; Newark-Union lost 300 jobs, a 1% drop; and Trenton-Ewing lost 100 jobs, a 2% drop. Camden gained 200 jobs, a 1% increase, and Edison-New Brunswick picked up 100 jobs, a 0.3% rise. Statewide, New Jersey lost 6,600 jobs, a 5% drop.


LOCAL | April 29, 2014
New Jersey to Receive More Than $1 Billion in FEMA Funds

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will give New Jersey more than $1.1 billion in aid for Superstorm Sandy-related debris removal, building and property repairs, and other work needed for recovery. The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management posted that, to date, FEMA has given the state approximately $494 million, 43% of what FEMA had pledged. FEMA will pay 90% of eligible expenses, rather than the 75% usually paid out in public assistance grants, because federal disaster aid needed in New Jersey exceeded the threshold of $133 per resident. The state office reports 1,318 government agencies, schools and nonprofit organizations submitted nearly $1.3 billion in expenses eligible for FEMA’s public assistance grants.


LOCAL | April 29, 2014
American Dream Gets PLA, Due to Open Fall 2016

Triple Five, developer of American Dream Meadowlands in East Rutherford, yesterday signed a project labor agreement with the Bergen County Building & Construction Trades Council to begin work on the project formerly named Xanadu. Triple Five anticipates an opening date in the fall of 2016 for the mega complex, which is expected to include an indoor amusement and water park, indoor ski slope, observation wheel for panoramic views of New York, an NHL-class ice rink, a movie theater, an aquarium, a miniature golf course, and hundreds of retailers, restaurants and services. First order of business, according to Governor Christie, who was in attendance for the PLA signing, will be to redo the exterior façade. The project is expected to generate at least 9,000 construction jobs.


LOCAL | April 22, 2014
World Poker Tour Championship Kicks Off in AC

After 11 years in Las Vegas, the World Poker Tour Championship event kicked off Monday at the Borgata in Atlantic City, a move synergistic with New Jersey’s new online gambling market, which Saturday launched its first New Jersey Championship of Online Poker, the largest online tournament in the US. Why the Borgata? Because the World Poker Tour is sponsored by partypoker, whose parent, bwin.party, is the Borgata’s online gambling partner. The competition for the World Poker Tour’s $5 million prize drew “hundreds” of players to Atlantic City for the week. Approximately 15% of nj.partypoker.com players come into New Jersey from out-of-state for the online gambling, adding to the visitor revenue.


LOCAL | April 22, 2014
Detours Scheduled Around Lincoln Tunnel Helix Rehab

For the next eight months, night and weekend travelers on the Lincoln Tunnel Helix (Rte. 495) can expect detours while the second phase of helix rehabilitation progresses. Beginning tonight, New Jersey-bound (westbound) traffic will be detoured to the eastbound lanes from 11 pm to 5 am Monday through Thursday, between 11:59 pm Friday and 8 am Saturday, and from 1 to 9 am on Sunday. An hour before the weeknight westbound closings and a half-hour before the weekend westbound closings, New York-bound (eastbound) traffic will be detoured to exit at the Pleasant Avenue off-ramp and follow local streets to the Lincoln Tunnel by way of JFK Boulevard East. Traffic heading to Union City and North Bergen on the Route 495 West Helix, including NJ Transit buses, that usually exits at the Park Avenue/Union City ramp, will use the Hoboken exit to 19th Street in Weehawken to northbound Boulevard East to North Marginal Road. NJ Transit is advising bus travelers to expect delays in and out of the Port Authority Bus Terminal.


LOCAL | April 22, 2014
College of New Jersey Gets Financing for Student Housing

Campus Town, a 130-unit student housing project for The College of New Jersey in Ewing, has received $52.5 million in financing from a bank syndication composed of M&T Bank, Provident Bank and Columbia Bank, in the form of a 36-month construction loan for the borrower, the PRC Group. Campus Town will be located on 12.5 acres at the main entrance to the college between Pennington Road (Route 31) and Metzger Drive. Seven buildings will include more than 80,000 sq.ft. of ground-floor retail served by 503 parking spaces. Barnes & Noble will operate a college bookstore as part of the retail space, and a fitness and activity center will also be built in the space. An open plaza with a bell tower will be the focal point. Construction is expected to be completed in mid-2015.


NATIONAL | April 21, 2014
Construction Gains Jobs in 38 States from March 2013 to 2014

Construction firms added jobs in 38 states in March compared to March 2013, while 11 states and the District of Columbia lost jobs, and one state held on to the status quo. The largest number of losses occurred in New Jersey for the year, with a drop of 4,600 jobs (down 3.4%). In the month from February to March of this year, 24 states and DC gained construction jobs, 23 states lost jobs and construction employment remained unchanged in three states. New Jersey lost 1,900 for the month, down 1.4%.


LOCAL | April 17, 2014
Joint Base Groundbreaking for New Army Aviation Research Center

Last Friday saw the groundbreaking for the new, $42 million Communications and Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. Originally proposed as a $47 million project, the new facility will be downsized but still large enough to accommodate helicopters and four-engine C-130 Hercules aircraft. The old CERDEC facility was a World War II-era wooden blimp hangar at Lakehurst that was literally crumbling on top of the people and aircraft housed there. Because the Army has maintained a flight facility at Lakehurst for 60 years, and CERDEC works on systems such as battlefield sensors and communications networks, it was the only group that remained when Fort Monmouth’s command was moved to Aberdeen, MD, as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure process.


NATIONAL | April 9, 2014
AGC Survey Reveals 45% of Highway Contractors Experienced Motor Vehicle Crashes at Work Zones

The results of AGC’s survey of more than 400 highway contractors show 45% have had vehicles crash into their work zones during the past year, and that vehicle operators and passengers were injured or killed in those crashes at a higher rate than construction workers. Released to coincide with Highway Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, the survey said 43% of the contractors who experienced work zone crashes reported injuries to vehicle operator and/or passengers, and 16% reported operators and/or passengers were killed. More than 20% of work zone crashes injured construction workers, and 6% of those crashes killed workers. Crashes also affect construction schedules and costs, as 25% of the contractors reported work zone crashes forced temporary shut-downs, with 38% of the shut-downs lasting two or more days. To combat the risk, two-thirds of the contractors want tougher laws, higher fines and more stringent legal penalties for moving violations in work zones, and 74% called for an increased use of concrete barriers.


NATIONAL | April 7, 2014
Construction Adds 19,000 Jobs in March

Across the country, the construction industry added 19,000 jobs in March for a total of 5,964,000, bringing industry employment to its highest level since June 2009. Over March 2013, construction gained 151,000 jobs, a 2.6% rise. Nonresidential construction grew by 9,900 employees over February, and by 48,800 compared to March 2013, up 1.3%. The unemployment rate dropped to 11.3%.


NATIONAL | April 3, 2014
Steve Sweeney Appointed General Vice President, International Iron Workers

In January, Ironworkers General Organizer and President of the New Jersey State Senate Stephen Sweeney was appointed General Vice President of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers. He was initiated into Local 399 (Camden) as an apprentice in 1977, became a journeyman in 1980 and served as Financial Secretary Treasurer and Business Agent of Local 399 before becoming a General Organizer in 2008 for the District Council of Philadelphia and Vicinity and the District Council of Northern New Jersey. Sweeney was first elected to the State Senate in 2001, representing the Third Legislative District, and has been Senate President since 2010.


NATIONAL | April 2, 2014
Nonresidential Construction Spending Stronger in Early 2014

Total construction spending in February, measured at $946 billion nationwide, only increased by 0.1% over January (which had been revised upward by $1.5 billion from the original estimate), but January and February spending combined clocks in at 8.9% higher than the first two months of 2013. Using the same timeframe, private nonresidential spending climbed 11.8%, but public construction spending dropped 2%. By segment in the private nonresidential market, spending during the first two months of 2014 for power and energy projects rose 3% compared to the same months in 2013; rose 17.3% for manufacturing; rose 13.7% for retail, warehouse and farm; rose 19.5% for office; rose 43.8% for lodging construction; and rose 47.3% for communications construction.


NATIONAL | April 2, 2014
Some States Gain, Some Lose Construction Jobs in February

In the year from February 2013 to February 2014, 37 states added construction jobs, while 30 added jobs from January to February of this year. New Jersey, however, was second behind Indiana in the largest number of job losses for the year, down 2,800 jobs, a 2.1% drop. The state was also down for the month, shedding 2,000 jobs, a 1.5% loss.


LOCAL | April 2, 2014
Bayonne Reviews Plans from Six Developers for Site at Former Military Base

Six developers have submitted plans for a 57-acre site known as Harbor Station South at Bayonne’s former military base. The RFP was looking for transit-oriented, mixed-used development emphasizing retail and commercial space to complement the adjacent Royal Caribbean Cruise Line operations. The six developers include the Bayonne Peninsula Ventures Group (a partnership between Bergstol Enterprises and the Cameron Group); the Waitex Group (made up of Waitex, Gaw Capital, the Nan Fung Group and the Shui On Group); DeBartolo Development and Advance Realty; JMF Properties and K. Hovnanian Homes; Somerset Development LLC; and the Richmond Company.


LOCAL | April 2, 2014
Plainfield Designated 28th State Transit Village

Last Friday, the City of Plainfield in Union County became the state’s 28th Transit Village, eligible for mixed-used development and Complete Streets accommodations near the Plainfield/North Plainfield train station. NJ Transit’s Northeast Corridor train service takes residents and commuters into Newark and Manhattan, and more than a dozen NJ Transit bus routes provide regional service. The Transit Village designation comes after several years of planning, including a transit-oriented development project report completed in partnership with NJIT that outlined specific recommendations. Based on the recommendations, there are 13 “transit-supportive” projects currently being built, in the planning stage or envisioned.

March 2014

NATIONAL | March 27, 2014
Major US Businesses Form Alliance to Push for Infrastructure Investment

Led by Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman and former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, a group of five major US corporations have formed the Alliance for American Competitiveness, whose mission is to advocate for strategic infrastructure investment because it will enhance the long-term growth and competitiveness of American business in the global economy. The initial five also includes top executives from UPS, Honeywell, Dow Chemical and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. These corporations use integrated rail, road, water and air transportation systems to move billions of pounds of product, equipment and supplies around the world, and plan to work with Congress to pass legislation that will make the infrastructure improvements necessary to maintain a competitive advantage.


NATIONAL | March 24, 2014
Construction Employment Up in More Than Half of US Metros

Across the US, construction employment rose in 195 of 339 metro areas, more than 57%, from January 2013 to January 2014, fell in 90 and remained the same in 54. In New Jersey, however, construction employment during the same period fell in all but two metro areas. Atlantic City-Hammonton lost 300 construction jobs, a 7% drop; Bergen-Hudson-Passaic lost 1,100 jobs, a 4% drop; Camden lost 200 jobs, a 1% drop; Trenton-Ewing lost 300 jobs, a 6% drop; and Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton lost 100 jobs, a 5% drop. Edison-New Brunswick gained 2,600 jobs, a 7% increase, and Newark-Union gained 700 jobs, a 2% increase.


LOCAL | March 20, 2014
AC Update: Trop to Add Health & Fitness Center, Progress on South Inlet Development, New Convention Sales Group

Tropicana Atlantic City Casino and Resort announced $35 million in multi-phase projects, including converting storage space into a two-story health and fitness center, adding shops at Morris and Pacific avenues, and updating 434 North Tower hotel rooms. When the work is complete, a light-and-sound show on the renovated façade will project from nine LED screens and bollards above the Boardwalk. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority indicated this week it will approve $18.8 million toward the Trop’s projects. The CRDA also agreed to provide a $30 million loan for the $60 million apartment building proposed by Shaquille O’Neal and developer Boraie Development in the South Inlet. The CRDA funding will be accessible when Boraie secures the rest of the money for the project, and will come from sales tax rebates Revel Casino must remit to the CRDA for development projects in the South Inlet. The CRDA authorized the spin-off of a non-profit entity, Meet AC, that will operate as a convention sales group similar to the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority that was merged with the CRDA in the 2011 Tourism District legislation. The merger proved a hindrance to the convention sales arm because of cumbersome state regulations. As the state’s deadline for improvements in AC tourism and resort revenue rapidly approaches, the CRDA hopes the new independent partner will be able to build convention sales more quickly – and increase midweek business. The 91 conventions, trade shows and public shows in 2013 reflected a 15% drop in bookings from 2010 levels.


LOCAL | March 19, 2014
$230 Million Upgrade Planned for Burlington Center Mall

Moonbeam Capital Investments of Las Vegas, new owner of the Burlington Center Mall on Route 541 in Burlington Township, announced a $230 million proposal last week to redevelop the mall, enlarging it to cover 1.5 million sq.ft. of retail, part of which would be on adjacent land along I-295. For the redevelopment, Moonbeam has partnered with home-builder Peter Hovnanian of Mount Laurel, who owns the I-295 land, and developer Patrick Heller, who owns Diamond Real Estate in Limerick, PA. The mall, renamed Marketplace at Burlington, could eventually include a movie theater and restaurants, along with retailers.


NATIONAL | March 19, 2014
January Construction Employment Up Despite Hard Winter

Although winter hit hard in nearly every state, construction employment grew from December to January as well as year-over-year. For the month, 27 states added construction jobs, while 38 added jobs from January 2013 to January 2014. For the year, New Jersey lost 1,300 jobs, down 1%, putting the state in the top 5 biggest losers. However, for the month, New Jersey was among the top five gainers, adding 5,700 jobs, up 4.4%. In the region, New York and Pennsylvania also added jobs for the month, up 7,900 jobs (a 2.5% gain) and 7,500 jobs (a 3.4% gain) respectively.


LOCAL | March 14, 2014
First State Channel-Dredging Project Out for Bid

The first project of the state’s newly announced State Channel Dredging Program went out for bid yesterday, the start of an aggressive schedule to repair the waterways affected by Superstorm Sandy. Dredging of the Waackaack and Thorns Creek in Keansburg will remove about 36,000 cu.yds. of sediment, and is expected to begin in June, following work on the adjacent Confined Disposal Facility in May. NJDOT expects to open bids for these projects in the coming months: dredging of St. Georges Thorofare (Atlantic County); Cape May Harbor and Middle Thorofare (Cape May County); and Double Creek, Double Creek – Mainland and Barnegat Light Stake Channels in Barnegat Bay (Ocean County). Funding for the multi-million-dollar program will come from State Transportation Trust Funds as well as federal monies. The projects could receive some reimbursement from FEMA.


NATIONAL | March 14, 2014
FAA To Increase NextGen Funding for FY2015

On Wednesday, the FAA announced increased funding for the NextGen air traffic control system in its proposed FY2015 budget, which begins July 1. The funding, set at $836 million plus another $186 million from the Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative, is up from last year’s $901 million and will move the NextGen satellite-based tracking system further along its 10-year or longer implementation. The day before, Rep. Frank LoBiondo (D-2nd District) chaired a Congressional panel at the FAA’s Hughes Technical Center at Atlantic City International Airport, a national testing site for NextGen.


LOCAL | March 14, 2014
Ocean County Applies for $2 Million Grant to Fund Water Treatment System

Earlier this week, Ocean County submitted a grant application to the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust for $2 million to fund a portable stormwater treatment system for Barnegat Bay, along with a camera pipeline inspection truck system for viewing drainage pipes under the 620 miles of road in the county. The new water treatment system would allow water to be collected, treated and discharged at the site of each storm drain, more efficiently protecting against pollution from clogged stormwater pipes that back up onto the street. The grant application also seeks funding for six manufactured treatment devices that would be installed along the Toms River to collect solids and floatables so they can’t enter the river or the bay.


LOCAL | March 13, 2014
American Dream Lawsuit Settled

Triple Five, developer of the American Dream Meadowlands project, and the NFL’s Jets and Giants reached a tentative settlement of the lawsuit brought by the football teams to block a water and theme park as part of the shopping and entertainment complex. For the developer, that could mean construction can start soon to finish the stalled project, although Triple Five must still secure $1.9 billion in financing. As we reported last month, some of the funding may come from East Rutherford’s offer to issue up to $524 million in bonds and the Bergen County Improvement Authority’s deal to issue $276 million in bonds.


LOCAL | March 11, 2014
Jersey City’s Saint Peter’s University Partners with Developer

Announced in late January, Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City will partner with Sora Development to build a 20-story apartment building in McGinley Square that will house 300 students and include a separate section for market-rate apartments for the public, a parking garage, a movie theater, a bank and retail stores. Saint Peter’s is providing the land for the $210 million project. Sora Development, which partnered with Rowan University for similar mixed-use projects, hopes to complete construction and open the building by the end of 2016, pending approvals from the municipality.


LOCAL | March 11, 2014
Pennsauken Redevelopment To Begin with Rental Units

In 2003, Camden County received a $24 million redevelopment grant from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority for the old Pennsauken Mart on 35 acres at Routes 130 and 73. It was the first CRDA grant awarded outside AC. After demolition and three years of environmental cleanup, the site has sat empty. But the Camden County Improvement Authority announced last week that KMS Development Partners, a subsidiary of Keating Cos. of Philadelphia, has been chosen to build up to 600 residential rental units on 30 acres, with the other five acres slated for commercial development.


LOCAL | March 11, 2014
PSE&G To Spend $10 Billion on Transmission Line Upgrades

Late last week PSE&G announced it will spend $10 billion over the next five years to upgrade high-voltage transmission lines, the biggest chunk of PSE&G’s planned capital investment of $12 billion during the time period. This investment is separate from the utility’s “Energy Strong” project that proposes a $3.9 billion, 10-year “grid-hardening” undertaking currently being reviewed by the state Board of Public Utilities.


LOCAL | March 11, 2014
First Phase of Bayonne Peninsula Redevelopment Approved

Last week the Bayonne Planning Board approved development of the first phase of the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor, a project at Harbor Station North to build 400 residential and commercial units. Construction is expected to begin by early 2015.


LOCAL | March 11, 2014
Bedminster Bridge Construction Expected to Last Seven Months

Three bridges in Bedminster are under construction that will last approximately seven months. The three Burnt Mills Road bridges cross above all lanes of I-78, over the southbound lanes of I-287 and over the northbound lanes of I-287. According to the NJDOT, the bridge decks will be replaced with cast-in-place concrete, beginning with the bridge over I-78. Burnt Mills Road will be closed up to each bridge as it’s being worked on. ACCNJ member Joseph M. Sanzari Inc. is the contractor for this $4.8 million federally funded project to replace the structurally deficient bridge decks, make guide rail upgrades and repair substructure at each bridge, as well as pave the approaches. Check www.511nj.org for real-time travel information.


NATIONAL | March 7, 2014
Construction Employment Rises in February

The construction industry added 15,000 jobs in February, up 2.6% from February 2013, making the total of 5,941,000 employees the highest in four-and-a-half years. The unemployment rate clocked in at 12.8%, down from 15.7% a year ago. Nonresidential construction added 12,700 jobs over January and 50,600 for the year, a 1.4% rise.


LOCAL | March 6, 2014
Pothole Repair Ramps Up Across New Jersey

It’s a rare vehicle that hasn’t hit a pothole this winter. NJDOT says it filled 100,000 in the past five months – the average per year is 160,000. NJDOT announced it is ramping up pothole repair from now until spring, allowing crews to close travel lanes as necessary, even during peak hours. The Department also advised travelers that detailed current repair locations would be posted on www.511nj.org. The toll-free number to report potholes: 1.800.POTHOLE. There is also a reporting form at www.nj.gov/transportation.


NATIONAL | March 5, 2014
“Hardhats for Highways” Campaign Announced Today

A national coalition co-chaired by AGC of America CEO Stephen Sandherr announced today it is launching a campaign to send the message to Congress that local construction contractors and craftworkers across the country depend on federal transportation funding. “Hardhats for Highways,” created by the Transportation Construction Coalition that includes AGC, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, and 27 other national associations and labor unions, aims to encourage construction firms to contact their US Congressional representatives and Senators. In the coming days, contractors will receive special “Hardhats for Highways” decals and are asked to write on the decal the number of jobs at their firm that rely on federal highway funding, then affix the decal to a company hardhat and present it to their Congressional representation. Contractors and employees can also send “e-Hardhat” messages to Congress with similar information, asking representatives to support new federal transportation funding. For more information about the campaign and to submit an “e-Hardhat” message, visit www.hardhatsforhighways.org. For more information about the Transportation Construction Coalition, visit http://www.transportationconstructioncoalition.org/.">www.transportationconstructioncoalition.org/.">http://www.transportationconstructioncoalition.org/.


NATIONAL | March 5, 2014
January Construction Spending Up 9.3% Over Last Year

December 2013 spending was revised upward by $12 billion from the initial estimate we reported last month, and January 2014 topped it by just 0.1%, at $943 billion. But January’s total construction spending jumped 9.3% compared to a year ago as demand rose in both private and public sectors for the year. Private nonresidential construction actually dropped .02% for the month, but was up 9.7% compared to January 2013. Public construction also dropped for the month, down 0.8%, but was 2.5% higher than a year ago. AGC of America’s Chief Economist Ken Simonson notes figures may be revised as we leave the severe winter behind us, but at the moment the Census Bureau marks highway and street construction spending in January as 3.7% higher than December and 15% more than January 2013.


NATIONAL | March 3, 2014
US DOT Announces $600 Million in Latest TIGER Funding

For the sixth round of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants, the US DOT announced last week it will make $600 million available to fund transportation projects around the country, awarded on a competitive basis. The TIGER 2014 program will focus on capital projects that “better connect people to jobs, training and other opportunities, promote neighborhood redevelopment and reconnect neighborhoods divided by physical barriers, such as highways and railroads,” according to a DOT news release issued on February 26, 2013. Deadline for TIGER applications is April 28, 2013. For more information, visit http://www.dot.gov/tiger/apply.">www.dot.gov/tiger/apply.">http://www.dot.gov/tiger/apply.


LOCAL | March 3, 2014
Dietz & Watson Gets EDA Incentive to Rebuild in NJ

When the Dietz & Watson meat-processing warehouse and distribution center burned down in Delanco, the company moved its operations to Philadelphia. Now the NJ Economic Development Authority has offered a $30 million tax incentive to entice the company to rebuild in South Jersey. The package, classified as a “mega project” under the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013, would cover $3.08 million in annual tax credits for 10 years through EDA’s Grow New Jersey program. It would include reconstruction of the 160,000 sq.ft. cold-storage facility plus construction of a new 25,000 sq.ft. corporate headquarters and a 16,000 sq.ft. fleet maintenance garage, creation of 213 full-time jobs and retention of 135 jobs. It is also the first mega project approved by the EDA since the Act was passed last July. Dietz & Watson have not yet committed to returning to Delanco.

February 2014

NATIONAL | February 21, 2014
Construction Materials Prices Rise Along with Nonresidential Building Prices

Overall, construction materials prices rose 0.6% in January, but that’s just the average in a wide range of ups-and-downs. Gypsum prices jumped 7%, for example, while diesel prices dropped nearly 2%. Lumber and plywood prices rose 2.4%, cement rose 2%, insulation materials were up 1.5%, and prices for copper and steel products each rose 1.2%. Prices for flat glass dropped 0.6% and architectural coatings, including paint, fell 0.3%. At the same time, overall prices for private nonresidential construction also rose 0.6%. By segment, new school building rose 1%, the biggest increase. Office construction was up 0.6%, industrial buildings were up 0.5%, healthcare buildings were up 0.4% and warehouses were up 0.3%.


LOCAL | February 20, 2014
Possible Muni Financing for American Dream Project

East Rutherford’s Borough Council approved up to $524 million in bonds to help finance the American Dream project in the Meadowlands, pending protection against the cost of future lawsuits by investors. The developer, Triple Five, must agree to cover legal costs for both East Rutherford and the Bergen County Improvement Authority, which could also issue bonds, should the project ultimately fail and investors sue. The borough’s bonds would be part of the $1.8 billion Triple Five wants to raise to complete the complex, and would come in the form of deferred tax revenue.


LOCAL | February 20, 2014
Updated Affirmative Action Manual Available at AGC Online Store

The Affirmative Action Manual for Construction, Third Edition, includes the updates pertaining to disabled Americans and veterans. This industry guide to federal law requiring affirmative action for federal and federally assisted contracts is now available for purchase at the AGC Online Store. Visit www.accnj.org, click on the AGC Online Store link on the home page, login using your AGC member ID and password, and then click on New Products on the AGC Store home page. As an ACCNJ member, you qualify for the member rate of $75.00 (retail rate is $97.50).


LOCAL | February 18, 2014
EDA Approves Two ERG Grants for Construction

Last week the Economic Development Authority approved $81.9 million in incentives for six projects, forecasting the creation of 435 construction jobs. Approved for EDA’s Economic Redevelopment and Growth awards are two construction projects: --$15.7 million to PRC Campus Centers LLC to advance an $84.9 million project on the Ewing campus of The College of New Jersey. The project includes nine low-rise buildings for undergraduate housing, retail space and parking, with construction completion anticipated in 2015. --$7.8 million to Paterson Commons II Urban Renewal Association LLC to advance the final phase of its 66 Gray Street project in Paterson. Earlier phases included construction of a high school and apartment building; the final phase will add more residential space, retail and parking.


NATIONAL | February 11, 2014
White House Delays ACA Employer Mandate – Again

Medium-size employers – those with 50 to 99 employees – got an extension yesterday on the Affordable Care Act mandate requiring they offer health insurance to their full-time workers. It’s the second extension this year, and draws the deadline out from 2015 to 2016 before medium-size employers would be subject to federal penalties for non-compliance. The original deadline was January 1 of this year. Big companies, with 100 employees or more, got a rule change, too. Rather than having to offer coverage to 95% of their full-time employees in 2015, they now have to hit only the 70% mark to avoid paying a fine.


NATIONAL | February 11, 2014
Six-Year Transportation Bill Needs $100 Billion in New Funds

According to the latest Highway Trust Fund projections from the Congressional Budget Office, released last week, a six-year surface transportation bill would need $100 billion in new revenue just to maintain current spending levels. The CBO and US DOT both project the Highway Trust Fund will run out of money by the end of the summer, before the expiration of MAP-21. For details, visit http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43884-2014-02-Highway_Trust_Fund.pdf">www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43884-2014-02-Highway_Trust_Fund.pdf">http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43884-2014-02-Highway_Trust_Fund.pdf


NATIONAL | February 11, 2014
Construction Employment Jumps in January

Nationally, the construction industry added 48,000 jobs in January, the largest one-month increase since April 2007. With the jump, the industry employment total reached its highest level since July 2009, topping out at 5,922,000. Nonresidential construction firms added 31,300 of those jobs. The unemployment rate for workers actively looking for jobs and last employed in construction dropped to 12.3%, down from 16.1% in January 2013.


LOCAL | February 10, 2014
Port Authority Pushes for Revised NY-NJ Rail Link

In its capital plan released last week, the Port Authority updated its plans for a rail link between downtown Manhattan and Newark Liberty Airport, a proposed $1.5 billion project that would extend the PATH and connect to the AirTrain circuit to the airport terminals. Subject to approval by the Port Authority board, the Authority would cover $1 billion of the cost. The project would include building a new platform at the Newark rail link station that connects the PATH to the AirTrain, replacing the storage yard near the station, funding a new garage with a public-private partnership, and renovating Newark Penn Station to accommodate increased ridership.


LOCAL | February 7, 2014
FEMA Releases Two NJ County Flood Maps

FEMA just released Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for Middlesex and Monmouth counties. To access the maps, visit http://www.region2coastal.com/preliminaryfirms.">www.region2coastal.com/preliminaryfirms.">http://www.region2coastal.com/preliminaryfirms. You can also view the maps through FEMA’s Map Service Center at https://hazards.fema.gov/femaportal/prelimdownload/. For help in understanding the maps, you can follow an online tutorial from FEMA at http://www.fema.gov/online-tutorials/firm-tutorial-system-requirements.">www.fema.gov/online-tutorials/firm-tutorial-system-requirements.">http://www.fema.gov/online-tutorials/firm-tutorial-system-requirements.


NATIONAL | February 6, 2014
December Spending Drops for Nonresidential and Public Work

Overall, construction spending nationally hitched up a 0.1% notch in December, and was up 4.8% for 2013, measuring only half the gain we saw in 2012. The increase was boosted by the demand for multi- and single-family homes. Private residential spending was up 2.6% in December and 18% for the year, while private nonresidential spending dropped 0.7% for the month and was down 0.4% for the year. Public construction spending dropped 2.3% for the month, down 2.8% for the year. Highway and street construction, the largest segment in the public arena, rose 1.8% in December, up 1.0% for the year. Construction put in place in December totaled $930 billion, up 0.9% over November.


NATIONAL | February 5, 2014
December Construction Employment Up in 192 Metro Areas

Compared to December 2012, construction employment was positive in 192 US metro areas in December 2013, declined in 84 and remained the same in 63. However, New Jersey’s Edison-New Brunswick numbers were not good for the period. The metro area lost the second-largest number of jobs in the country, down 3,200, a 9% drop. Atlantic City-Hammonton also registered losses, down 300 jobs, a 7% drop. Other Jersey metro areas fared better for the year: Bergen-Hudson-Passaic gained 300 jobs, a 1% rise; Camden gained 100 jobs, also a 1% rise; Newark-Union gained 800 jobs, a 2% rise; and Trenton-Ewing gained 100 jobs, also a 2% rise. Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton construction employment remained the same from December 2012 to December 2013, at 2,400 jobs.


LOCAL | February 3, 2014
Crane’s Long Journey Ends at Tappan Zee Bridge

After 6,000 miles, six weeks and a trip through the Panama Canal, the Left Coast Lifter, guided by tugboat crews, entered New York Harbor last Thursday, just in time to be another tourist attraction for Super Bowl visitors. The huge crane is currently in port in Jersey City, but come Spring it will migrate up the Hudson to the site of the Tappan Zee Bridge project, where it will move sections of the new bridge into place and, eventually, help demolish the old bridge. The crane weighs 992 tons, with a boom length of 328 feet and an 1,800-ton lift capacity. It got its name from its work on the bridge spanning San Francisco and Oakland, although its owners, Tappan Zee Constructors, nicknamed it “I Lift New York.”

January 2014

NATIONAL | January 28, 2014
December Construction Employment Downed by Cold

Construction employment declined in 32 states and DC from November to December 2013, primarily because of winter storms and severe cold. On the plus side, employment in the industry was up in 34 states in December compared to December 2012. However, New Jersey was not one of those states, ranking fourth in the top five states experiencing the largest construction losses year-over-year. Compared to a year ago, New Jersey lost 3,300 jobs, a 2.5% drop. New Jersey also lost jobs over the month, down 6,500 jobs compared to November, a 4.9% drop. In the region, Pennsylvania also suffered, losing 7,000 jobs, a 3.1% drop over the month, and 7,600 jobs, a 3.3% drop, compared to last year. New York gained jobs over both periods, up 3,100 (1%) for the month, and up 7,100 jobs (2.3%) compared to last year.


LOCAL | January 28, 2014
Super Bowl Limits Road Construction

Yesterday, NJDOT announced it would stop non-emergency construction on North Jersey roads through noon on Tuesday, February 4, 2014, to limit congestion during Super Bowl activities this week. There will be no lane or shoulder closures and no moving operations on these roads: the entire length of Route 3 in both directions; Route 17 from Route 7 to Route 80 in both directions; the entire length of Route 24 in both directions; the entire length of Route 120 in both directions; I-78 from Route 24 to the Turnpike in both directions; and the entire length of I-495 in both directions. In addition, beginning at 5 a.m. on Friday, January 31, through noon the following Tuesday, no lane or shoulder closures or moving operations will be permitted on any NJDOT road within a 20-mile radius of the Meadowlands Sports Complex, located at the intersection of Routes 3 and 120. For today’s Media Day at Newark’s Prudential Center, construction activities have also ceased on these roads: the entire length of Route 21 in both directions; the entire length of I-280 in both directions; and Route 1&9 from North Avenue in Elizabeth to Route 495 in both directions. NJDOT has added message signs to direct drivers who are unfamiliar with the region, and enhanced its Safety Service Patrol with coverage on Routes 3, 17, 21, 120 and I-495. For information about road closures, including local roads in Jersey City, Newark and East Rutherford, and real-time traffic information, NJDOT encourages visitors to go to www.nj.gov/superbowl and www.511nj.org.


NATIONAL | January 27, 2014
Ironworkers’ Ed McHugh Retires

Ed McHugh, General Treasurer of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, retired on December 31, 2013. He joined Local Union 489 in Scranton, PA, in 1965, became a journeyman a year later, and was elected to the executive board in 1968. He then became vice president in 1979 and president of the local in 1986. That same year, he became assistant business agent, and was elected business agent in 1993. In 1998, he was appointed general organizer, moved to president of the Philadelphia and Vicinity District Council in 1999 and was appointed ninth general vice president in 2001. McHugh began his tenure as general treasurer in 2008. He is succeeded by Ron Piksa.


LOCAL | January 27, 2014
Yellow Dots on Cars Help Emergency Responders

Last year, New Jersey passed legislation that would allow yellow dots to be placed on vehicles notifying emergency responders that important, potentially life-saving, information is available on the driver in that vehicle. Governor Christie signed it into law last Thursday, so NJ residents could conceivably begin to see these yellow dots in the driver’s side rear window. A corresponding yellow envelope would be located in the glove compartment, containing health information such as pre-existing medical conditions, emergency contacts, medications, the driver’s physician name and phone, etc. So if a driver is on blood thinners, for example, and gets into a car accident, police officers, firefighters and EMTs would know the driver’s blood could be slow to clot. The Yellow Dot program is at the discretion of the municipality and county, and the program allows the local entities to charge an administrative fee to drivers to offset any costs of providing the yellow dots and envelopes.


LOCAL | January 24, 2014
AC Tourism Report Sees Fewer Visitors Spending More

It’s officially a trend – Atlantic City is attracting visitors who stay longer and spend more. The 2013 third-quarter tourism report shows results that have now been seen for the last two years. Although the number of visitors dropped in the quarter overall, August proved a great month, based on a record-high Atlantic County Hotel Occupancy Fee (reflecting overnight tourist spending on accommodations) and a strong Atlantic City Luxury Tax (reflecting the level of resort entertainment spending). The third metric used in the tourism report is the Atlantic City Casino Parking Fee (showing transportation levels and spending), which continues to decline. The take-away: fewer day-trippers, increased revenue from non-gaming entertainment.


LOCAL | January 24, 2014
State Groups Collaborate on “Getting to the Game” Website

“Getting to the Game,” launched last Friday by the New Jersey State Police, brings together resources from the State Police, DOT, New Jersey Transit, the Port Authority and other departments and agencies to keep game-goers up-to-date on travel to the Super Bowl. An interactive map gives real-time traffic delays around MetLife Stadium. Visitors can find links to information on all transportation routes that lead to the stadium – bridges, tunnels, airports and PATH stations, buses and trains (including rail maps and fares). Law enforcement agencies can post public safety information. Even real-time weather news for East Rutherford and environs is posted. It’s a one-stop source at www.nj.gov/superbowl.


LOCAL | January 24, 2014
Super Bowl Billboard Ads Target Businesses

New digital billboard ads are up in high-traffic areas leading to MetLife Stadium with the message “Businesses: ChooseNJ.com.” Designed to catch the eyes of the more-than-80,000 fans heading to the Super Bowl on February 2, the billboards cite New Jersey’s business incentives and other advantages. They were launched through Choose New Jersey’s $200,000 business attraction campaign; ChooseNJ partnered with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, New Jersey Natural Gas, ShopRite, Electrical Workers Local 102, Operating Engineers Local 825 and LIUNA. The campaign, which started two weeks before game day, will last for approximately two weeks after.


NATIONAL | January 17, 2014
Database Tracks Infrastructure Mentions State-by-State

As each state governor gives a “state-of-the-state” address this month, Building America’s Future is tracking mentions of infrastructure, available to the public through a database. BAF says governors have been influencing transportation projects for years, so this year the group decided to capture what they say. With monies from the BAF Educational Fund, the database is updated daily at www.bafuture.org/2014StateSpeeches with key infrastructure points of each governor’s speech, along with a link to the governor’s entire speech.


LOCAL | January 15, 2014
AC Mayor Outlines Development Initiatives

As the new Mayor of Atlantic City, Don Guardian, begins to tackle a $40 million budget deficit, he outlined development initiatives in a speech before the Metropolitan Business and Citizens Association, of which he is a former vice president. Among the initiatives: a vacant-land giveaway program for developers to build 400 housing units and a $50 million project to rebuild the Inlet Boardwalk. Already in the works are several housing projects, including one recently announced by Shaquille O’Neal’s development group, and a new four-year college.


NATIONAL | January 13, 2014
December Construction Employment Drops 16,000 Jobs

Nationwide, the construction industry lost 16,000 jobs in December, but was up 122,000 (2.1%) compared to December 2012. The unemployment rate fell to 11.4% despite the loss of jobs, and the total number of jobs in December – 5,833,000 – is still nearly 1.9 million below the April 2006 industry peak. By segment, nonresidential construction lost 22,900 new jobs in December, with nonresidential specialty trade firms down 12,900 jobs, and heavy and civil engineering firms down 8,800.


NATIONAL | January 9, 2014
Feds Announce $3 Billion for Reinforcing Transit Infrastructure

Just after Christmas, the Federal Transit Administration announced $3 billion in funding for transit agencies to help “strengthen the resiliency” of transit systems damaged by Superstorm Sandy. Awarded on a competitive basis, the funds could go to these eligible states: New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia and DC. Proposals from public transportation agencies are due by 11:59 pm EST on Friday, March 28, 2014.


LOCAL | January 9, 2014
Evesham Plans New Shopping Center

J&J Development Group of Evesham was approved by the Township Council to demolish the old Browns Mills Shopping Center on Pemberton-Browns Mills Road and create a new commercial center with retail businesses. The 40,000 sq.ft. strip mall has been vacant since 1996. The town plans to seize the property, which J&J will then purchase. The developer’s total financial outlay, per agreement with the town, will be $3 million, with any additional expense picked up by Evesham.


LOCAL | January 9, 2014
New Business Development Coming to Robbinsville

Just approved by the Robbinsville Planning Board last week, plans from developer Ct Hankins Road LLC call for a 9,340 sq.ft. Kiddie Academy daycare, a 1,843 sq.ft. Dunkin’ Donuts, a 3,200 sq.ft. bank and a 5,000 sq.ft. retail space, to be constructed at the intersection of Route 130 and Hankins Road. Future plans may include two other retail spaces, 11,000 sq.ft. and 10,000 sq.ft. respectively, on the same site. The initial phase is projected to bring in $75,000 in annual tax revenue, with perhaps a matching sum from the second phase.


NATIONAL | January 2, 2014
Construction Employment Gains in 211 of 339 Metro Areas

Against the gains, 67 metro areas saw construction employment decline, while 61 remained unchanged in November 2013 compared November 2012. In New Jersey, all but two metro areas saw gains in November. Newark-Union saw the biggest gain, adding 3,500 jobs, a 10% rise. Camden added 1,600 jobs, an 8% gain; Atlantic City-Hammonton picked up 300 jobs, up 6%; Bergen-Hudson-Passaic gained 1,700 jobs, also up 6%; and Trenton-Ewing added 100 jobs, a 2% increase. Edison-New Brunswick was the biggest loser in numbers of jobs, down 600, a 2% loss, while Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton saw a bigger percentage drop, losing 100 jobs, down 4%.

December 2013

NATIONAL | December 30, 2013
Operating Engineers International Re-Affiliates with Building Trades

IUOE General President James T. Callahan announced on December 19, 2013, that the union will rejoin North America’s Building Trades Unions. The International represents approximately 400,000 members in 123 local unions in the US and Canada. Local 825 has more than 6,500 members in New Jersey and the lower counties of New York. With the re-affiliation, North America’s Building Trades Unions represent three million craftworkers in an alliance of 14 national and international unions.


LOCAL | December 23, 2013
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Slated to Get $46 Million

Also in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014, waiting for the President’s signature, is $46.2 million for construction projects at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. Funding includes $9.5 million for an automated multipurpose machine-gun range; $5.4 million for a modified record firing range; $10 million for replacing fuel tanks, pumps and pipes; $7.9 million for a central warehouse; and $13.4 million for a consolidated dining facility. The projects are expected to generate 150 construction jobs.


NATIONAL | December 23, 2013
Lower-Tier Small-Business Subcontracting Goals Allowed in National Defense Authorization Act

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2014, passed by the Senate on December 19 and expected to be signed into law soon, allows prime contractors to count lower-tier small-business contractors toward their small-business subcontracting goals. Once signed, this AGC of America-supported initiative will not be effective for at least 18 months after the rule-making process occurs. The Act, as AGC points out, doesn’t eliminate the prime contractor’s responsibility to make a good-faith effort to hire small-business subs at the first-tier level. In addition, the Act will require many subs to maintain small-business subcontracting plans (not applicable to subs who receive contracts of less than $1 million) – and prime contractors will be responsible for monitoring the subs’ compliance with subcontracting plans.


NATIONAL | December 23, 2013
State-by-State, Construction Employment Still Fragile

Across the country, 39 states added construction jobs in November compared to November 2012, while 10 states lost jobs and the rest remained unchanged. For the month, 30 states added jobs from October to November of this year. According to AGC of America, every state remains below its previous construction employment peak. New Jersey gained 4,100 construction jobs, a 3.2% increase, over last November, but lost 1,000 jobs, a 0.7% drop, in the past month.


NATIONAL | December 23, 2013
Worker Misclassification Hits Tax Revenues Hard; NJ Law Protects Workers and Revenues

While Congress considers passage of the Payroll Fraud Prevention Act of 2013, which addresses misclassification, states and employees around the country feel the effects of workers misclassified as “independent contractors.” According to a Cornell University study, for example, New York State’s unemployment insurance fund loses $176 million annually because of it. In May, the US Department of Labor recovered more than a million dollars in back wages and damages for misclassified employees at a single company in Kentucky. A Michigan construction worker testified to the US Senate in November about losing basic employee rights and protections when his employer switched him to “independent contractor” status. In the meantime, New Jersey’s Construction Industry Independent Contractor Act is a tough measure to protect workers and revenues – at least in our industry. Employers face fines and/or jail time for worker classification violations, with each week of misclassification considered a separate offense. In addition, they can be debarred for three years, have their contractor registration suspended and be issued stop-work orders.


LOCAL | December 20, 2013
December 31 is Deadline for Stronger NJ Business Grants

The NJ Economic Development Authority reminds us of this fast-approaching deadline to apply for up to $50,000 in Stronger NJ Business Grants to assist small businesses that were damaged by Superstorm Sandy. NJEDA also has up to $5 million in Stronger NJ Business Loans, available for small-business damage repair or if a business wants to expand into an area hit hard by Sandy. Business owners can call EDA toll-free: 855.Sandy.BZ (855.726.3929) or visit application.njeda.com/strongernjbusiness/default.aspx.


LOCAL | December 20, 2013
Shaquille O’Neal Reveals Mixed-Use Plan for AC’s South Inlet

Shaq’s $100 million project, presented this week to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, would include 250 residential rental units featuring luxury amenities – free parking garage, outdoor swimming pool, gym – and retail that includes a Shaq Cityplex urban movie theater and a supermarket, all located on the South Inlet in a currently vacant city-owned site near the Revel and Showboat casinos bordered by Delaware, Connecticut, Atlantic and Pacific avenues. Shaq’s Boraie Development group is seeking CRDA funds; the proposed financing for the rental units would be 80% market rate, 20% affordable-housing rate, based on 50% of the area median income. That puts the price points at approximately $1,000 a month for a one-bedroom unit, and between $1,200 and $1,400 a month for a two-bedroom. If CRDA approves the project and the financing works out, construction could begin next summer and would take about 16 months.


LOCAL | December 10, 2013
Pulaski Skyway Closure & Route Plans Announced

As you know, the northbound lanes of the Pulaski Skyway, which take traffic from Newark toward Jersey City, will be closed for two years beginning in March, as the $1 billion rehabilitation project proceeds to replace all four northbound travel lanes. Last Friday, NJDOT released details of its plan to divert traffic to alternate routes. The two southbound lanes, from Jersey City toward Newark, will be open during peak travel times except for eight planned weekends when the support beams across the width of the bridge are replaced. Alternative routes include the Newark Bay extension of the Turnpike, which will have a shoulder converted to an extra eastbound lane during morning and evening rush hour; the Turnpike Eastern Spur; and Routes 1 & 9 T. Alternative modes of transport include NJ Transit trains, buses and PATH trains, along with carpooling or vanpooling. Additional ferry service may also be an option. For complete details, visit NJDOT for the press release: http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/about/press/2013/120613.shtm">www.state.nj.us/transportation/about/press/2013/120613.shtm">http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/about/press/2013/120613.shtm


LOCAL | December 10, 2013
Marine Terminal Road Upgrade to Continue

Last week, the Port Authority approved the continuation of roadwork to upgrade access and ease truck traffic congestion at New Jersey’s marine terminals. The $105 million program includes design, construction and realignment of parts of the five major access roads to the ports, including Port, Corbin, Marlin and Kellogg streets and Doremus Avenue, and demolition and replacement of the Corbin Street Ramp. The road projects are part of the Port Authority’s $191.4 million Capital Plan for 2013.


NATIONAL | December 2, 2013
October Metro Construction Employment Up, Still Below Peak

October saw construction employment rise in 215 of 339 metro areas compared to October 2012. During the same time, industry employment declined in 74 metro areas and remained the same in 50. In 315 metro areas, construction employment remained below peak levels. In New Jersey, five of seven metro areas gained construction jobs. Atlantic City-Hammonton added 700 jobs, a 16% increase from a year ago. Bergen-Hudson-Passaic added 1,500 jobs, a 5% increase; Camden added 200 jobs, up 1%; Newark added 4,100, up 12%; and Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton added 100 jobs, up 4%. Edison-New Brunswick took the biggest hit, losing 2,400 jobs, a 6% loss. Trenton-Ewing also lost jobs, down 100, a 2% drop.

November 2013

NATIONAL | November 25, 2013
October Construction Employment Increased State-by-State

Compared to October 2012, construction employment was up – with 39 states seeing a gain in jobs. Compared to September, the numbers were also up; 32 states measured an increase in construction jobs over the previous month. New Jersey was one of the states that saw a healthy gain year-over-year, up 4,900 from October 2012, a 3.8% gain. But for the month, New Jersey ranked third for percentage loss and fourth for total job loss among states that lost jobs, down 3,000 jobs, a 2.2% drop.


LOCAL | November 20, 2013
Fort Monmouth Update: Change in Rollout Plans

The 1,126 acres that span three towns was slated for a $1 billion redevelopment project that was to include a hotel, medical center, office space, retail and light manufacturing facilities and 1,500 residences, along with public space. But the recession and Superstorm Sandy changed demand, and the site will now most likely be developed in a more piecemeal fashion. The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority and Cushman & Wakefield will not rewrite the original development plan, released in 2008, but expect construction and renovation will occur building by building, driven by market determination of “viable commercial uses.”


LOCAL | November 20, 2013
South Plainfield Road Project Advances with Green Permits

It’s been years in the works, but a proposed truck route that would skirt South Plainfield residential streets but border the protected Dismal Swamp has received two necessary permits from NJ DEP this month. The $10 to $15 million project will extend Hollywood Avenue to Metuchen Road, allowing trucks to enter the borough’s main warehouse district without impacting homeowners, although the route will run along 1.2 acres of the environmentally sensitive wetlands and cross two streams. Construction is expected to start in two years, after the borough secures funding, acquires land and reviews detailed drawings of the project.


LOCAL | November 19, 2013
Local Aid Grants of $1.9 Million Announced

Governor Christie announced the release of another $1.9 million in Local Aid Infrastructure Fund grants that will go toward safety, road and pavement reconstruction projects in seven New Jersey counties. The projects include $450,000 for a pavement, curb and sidewalk project in Phillipsburg (Warren County); $390,000 for road reconstruction in Hillside (Union County); $300,000 for sidewalk improvement in school zones in Jackson (Ocean County); $300,000 for road reconstruction in Quinton (Salem County); $300,000 for roadway reconstruction and drainage improvements in Woodbine (Cape May County); $150,000 for a pedestrian tunnel in Harrison (Gloucester County); and $43,000 for emergency road repairs due to a water main break in Rockaway Township (Morris County).


LOCAL | November 18, 2013
United Airlines Announces New Flights for AC

Beginning April 1, 2014, Atlantic City International Airport will offer daily nonstop flights to United Airlines’ largest hubs – Chicago’s O’Hare and Houston’s George Bush airports – giving passengers one-stop options to locations throughout the Midwest and West, Canada, Asia and Latin America. United Express will leave Chicago at 8:10 a.m. daily, arriving in Atlantic City at 11:17 a.m., and will depart Atlantic City at 11:52 a.m., arriving in Chicago at 1:10 p.m. United Express will leave Houston at 7 p.m. daily, arriving in Atlantic City at 11:20 p.m., and will depart Atlantic City at 6 a.m., arriving in Houston at 8:49 a.m. United Express will operate 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145 aircraft for the flights.


NATIONAL | November 12, 2013
Construction Employment Reaches 50-Month High

Employers added 11,000 construction jobs in October, the fifth consecutive month of growth, putting the total at more than 5.8 million, the highest level since August 2009. The unemployment rate in October clocked in at 9%, down from 11.4% in October 2012.


LOCAL | November 8, 2013
$474 Million Federal Loan for Goethals Bridge Project

The $1.5 billion Goethals Bridge Replacement Project got a $474 million loan this week through the US DOT’s Transportation Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (TIFIA). Per the DOT, the TIFIA credit program is designed to fill market gaps and leverage substantial non-federal investments; each dollar of federal funding can provide up to $10 in TIFIA credit assistance and support up to $30 in transportation infrastructure investment. The loan will be accepted by the project’s construction consortium, of which ACCNJ member Kiewit Construction is a part. The consortium’s contract is to design, build, finance and maintain the new cable-stayed bridge, which will have six 12-foot-wide travel lanes, a 12-foot-wide outer shoulder and a five-foot-wide inner shoulder on each of two roadway decks (one eastbound, one westbound), as well as a 10-foot-wide sidewalk and bikeway on the westbound deck and enough space to accommodate future transit service.


LOCAL | November 5, 2013
$1.5 Million in Tax Credits for Pennsauken Transit Village

A planned transit village estimated at $18.8 million in Pennsauken has received a $1.5 million tax credit allocation from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. The 75-unit Riverfront Village will rise on the site of a former Acme on River Road at 46th Street, with construction expected to begin next year. The tax credits will be sold to lenders to attract financing of $14.8 million. Because the housing units are intended for “workforce employees” with incomes between $40,000 and $50,000, the rents will be set in a range from $700 for a one-bedroom unit to $1,200 for a three-bedroom. The project encompasses eight buildings with brick facades and gables, combining three-story town homes over apartment flats, all with a view of the Delaware River and the Philadelphia skyline beyond. Residents can walk to NJ Transit’s 36th Street Station on the River Line light rail, and will also have access to a 3,000 sq.ft. community center with meeting rooms, exercise facilities, a computer lab and laundry services. In addition, the developer, Conifer Realty LLC of Mount Laurel, will set aside five units for military veterans who have no stable housing.


LOCAL | November 5, 2013
American Dream Project Gets $390 Million Tax Grant

It won’t be open for Super Bowl 2014, but the American Dream Meadowlands project will get a boost from the biggest Economic Redevelopment and Growth grant ever awarded by the Economic Development Authority. The award goes to Triple Five, the Canadian developer, which has six years to finish the project, estimated to cost $2.5 billion. About $2.2 billion of those costs are considered “qualified” under the grant. EDA also approved assigning a reimbursement agreement to Triple Five for remediation costs – approximately $36 million. EDA says the project will generate more than 5,800 construction jobs.


NATIONAL | November 4, 2013
AGC Constructor Magazine Covers ACCNJ Merger

AGC of America’s November/December issue of Constructor magazine carries a full-page story on the ACCNJ merger. To view, visit http://www.constructormagazine.com/">www.constructormagazine.com/">http://www.constructormagazine.com/ and scroll through the table of contents to Member and Chapter News.


NATIONAL | November 1, 2013
OSHA Extends Deadline for Silica Rule Comments

OSHA had originally set December 11, 2013, as the deadline for public comment on its proposed silica rule. But the deadline has now been extended for 47 days, until January 27, 2014, perhaps in part because of an AGC of America request for a 90-day extension. The rule would cut the permissible exposure limit in half, based on recommendations from NIOSH. AGC says compliance is “neither technologically or economically feasible.” For more information on the rule, visit www.osha.gov and www.agc.org.

October 2013

LOCAL | October 29, 2013
Development Planned for Old GM Plant in Ewing

The site of the old General Motors plant and Naval Warfare Center on Parkway Avenue in Ewing has been vacant for years. But now the township is in negotiations with a developer to build 1,000 units of retail and apartments, and could offer a financial package to the developer that includes a PILOT agreement, or Payment In Lieu of Taxation.


NATIONAL | October 29, 2013
Deadline for Health Coverage Extended

If you have struggled to get on the federal health insurance exchange website, and you’re worried about not being covered by the deadline, you now have a little extra time. Last week the Obama administration extended the deadline an extra six weeks, through March 31, 2014. The feds said the extension has nothing to do with the technical difficulties many Americans have experienced, but rather to correct a “timing” issue with the law that requires Americans to have coverage or pay a fine. The fine-tuned version is that Americans must have purchased coverage during the enrollment period if they are not covered through an employer or other avenue, even if that coverage isn’t in effect by the deadline.


NATIONAL | October 23, 2013
After the Shutdown: Construction Numbers Update

Nationally, the construction industry added 20,000 jobs in September, pushing unemployment in the industry to a six-year low of 8.5%. Total construction employment reached 5,826,000, 3.4% higher than September 2012. Aggregate weekly hours of all construction employees rose 4.2% over last September. Overall construction spending increased 0.6% in August for the fifth consecutive month, showing gains in residential, private nonresidential and public sectors, up 1.2% over August 2012. Private nonresidential spending gained 0.1% in August over July, up 4.3% compared to August 2012. Public spending rose 0.4% for the month but shrank 1.8% compared to last year. July’s construction spending figure was revised upward from a 0.6% increase to a 1.4% gain.


LOCAL | October 14, 2013
ACCNJ CEO Jack Kocsis Featured in NJ BIZ Triple Play

NJ BIZ has featured ACCNJ CEO Jack Kocsis in its Triple Play column in the October 14, 2013, issue. If you don’t receive a paper copy of the publication, you can view online here: http://www.njbiz.com/article/20131014/NJBIZ01/131019961/Triple-Play">www.njbiz.com/article/20131014/NJBIZ01/131019961/Triple-Play">http://www.njbiz.com/article/20131014/NJBIZ01/131019961/Triple-Play


LOCAL | October 11, 2013
News from Atlantic City Casinos: Borgata & Revel

Yesterday the Borgata announced it had received the first Internet Gaming Permit in New Jersey’s history. Awarded by the State’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, the permit allows the Borgata Casino to pursue online gaming in the hope it will generate “significant benefits” for New Jersey. In other casino news yesterday, Revel announced it has promoted Scott Kreeger as president and chief operating officer, replacing Jeffrey Hartmann, who had been interim CEO since March. Kreeger had previously served as Revel’s interim COO.


NATIONAL | October 7, 2013
Merger Announcement in INSTALL Newsletter

News of the ACCNJ merger appeared in the September newsletter published by INSTALL, the International Standards & Training Alliance for Floorcovering Professionals, affiliated nationally with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. To view the story, published September 23, 2013, visit: http://www.installfloors.org/Module/NewsLetter2/Story?id=529">www.installfloors.org/Module/NewsLetter2/Story?id=529">http://www.installfloors.org/Module/NewsLetter2/Story?id=529


LOCAL | October 7, 2013
Update: American Dream Lawsuit Can Move Forward

First, the Jets and the Giants sued Triple Five over the developer’s change in plans for the American Dream at the Meadowlands project (formerly Xanadu). When Triple Five moved to get the lawsuit dismissed, the motion was denied. So Triple Five countersued, claiming the football teams were being deliberately obstructive. Last week, a State Superior Court judge ruled the second lawsuit can move forward. Bottom line? No construction work for the near future while the dual – and dueling – litigation continues.


LOCAL | October 2, 2013
Merger Announcement Online at mycentraljersey.com

Online at mycentraljersey.com, visitors can read about the merger that created ACCNJ: http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20130917/NJBIZ/309170036/BCANJ-AGC-NJ-moving-forward-one">www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20130917/NJBIZ/309170036/BCANJ-AGC-NJ-moving-forward-one">http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20130917/NJBIZ/309170036/BCANJ-AGC-NJ-moving-forward-one Published on September 17, the article includes photos of CEO Jack Kocsis and the Board of Trustees.

September 2013

LOCAL | September 30, 2013
NextGen Park Now Auxiliary of Stockton College

Anticipated and now formalized, the NextGen Aviation Research and Technology Park in Egg Harbor Township was approved as an auxiliary organization of Richard Stockton College by college trustees on September 18, 2013. The college will take the lead role in developing the park for aviation-related educational programs and research. Hopes are the facility will generate 2,000 high-paying jobs related to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Next Generation Air Transportation System. However, the NextGen name has been replaced by the college name: the Stockton Aviation Research and Technology Park.


LOCAL | September 30, 2013
$13 Million in Freight Rail Repair Grants from NJDOT

Of the nearly $13 million in grants from the New Jersey Department of Transportation to repair freight rail tracks and bridges in the state through the Rail Freight Assistance Program, more than half will go to six projects in three South Jersey counties. In Gloucester County, $1.5 million will go to SMS Rail Service for expansion of the Pureland line in Logan Township, with another $1.2 million to upgrade the existing line; and $675,000 will go to Conrail to install a continuously welded rail in Greenwich Township. In Salem County, just over $2 million will go to the county for rehabilitation of the Shortline Running Track in Mannington, Pilesgrove and Woodstown; and $470,062 will go to Winchester & Western Railroad to repair the South Main Branch welded rail in Pittsgrove. Winchester & Western will also receive $895,203 to repair a bridge that connects Salem and Cumberland counties. The other six grants will be distributed to NYS&W Corp. for laying track and weld-in-place jointed rail in North Bergen, Hudson County ($2.5 million for two projects); New Jersey Seashore Lines for work in Lakehurst, Manchester Township and Woodland Township, Burlington and Ocean counties ($1.5 million); East Jersey Railroad and Terminal Co. for Yard 6 Storage work in Bayonne, Hudson County ($974,700); Conrail for rehabilitation of three timber bridges in Lakehurst, Ocean County ($675,000); and Belvidere & Delaware Railroad for the Three Bridges Rail Project in Readington Township, Hunterdon County ($395,996).


NATIONAL | September 26, 2013
August Construction Employment Rises in More Than Half of Metro Areas

Construction employment rose in 194 of 339 metro areas across the country in August, compared to August 2012, but only 19 metro areas hit new peaks. In New Jersey, four metro areas gained jobs, two lost jobs and one remained unchanged from a year ago. Atlantic City-Hammonton saw the biggest percentage gain – 19% – with an increase of 800 jobs year-over-year. Bergen-Hudson-Passaic saw the biggest increase in the number of jobs, adding 3,500, a 13% jump. Newark-Union added 2,200 jobs, a 6% increase; Trenton-Ewing added 300 jobs, also a 6% increase; and Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton remained the same compared to a year ago. Edison-New Brunswick lost 2,100 jobs, a 6% drop, and Camden lost 500 jobs, a 2% drop. Overall, the state gained 6,000 construction jobs, a 4% increase.


LOCAL | September 25, 2013
It’s Different in AC – New Ad Campaign Kicks Off

So far, the Atlantic City ad campaign has raised awareness of the city but hasn’t brought in the crowds. Now an extension of the “DO AC” campaign – “It’s Different in AC” – hopes to boost visitors and revenue. The new TV ads kicked off this week in New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore, and will be complemented by radio spots, print and online ads, and billboards. The campaign is part of the $20 million booster project from the Atlantic City Alliance, funded by the casinos.


LOCAL | September 25, 2013
Old Meredith Farms in Franklin Slated for Redevelopment

For 14 years, the former Meredith Farms poultry processing plant site on Route 40 in Franklin Twp. has been abandoned. Now the 52-acre site has been declared an area for redevelopment, which allows the township to begin plans to clean it up. A memorandum of understanding, signed in 2010, granted ACCNJ member Stanker & Galetto responsibility for development of the site. In 2012, the township received a $1.45 million federal grant to develop infrastructure for the site. A matching amount from the town via a 20-year bond agreement will fund the site’s demolition and remediation. The township and Stanker & Galetto are marketing the site to food processing companies as well as those in other industries.


NATIONAL | September 24, 2013
August Construction Employment Up in 26 States

From July to August, construction employment rose in 26 states, and was up in 35 states compared to August 2012. In the region for the month, the biggest increases were in Connecticut, which added 1,600 jobs, a 3% gain, and New York, which added 4,900 jobs, a 1.6% gain. Pennsylvania saw slight increases for both the month and the year, adding 1,800 jobs in August, a 0.8% gain, and 1,400 for the year, a 0.6% gain. Rhode Island gained 100 jobs in August, a 0.7% increase, but was one of the biggest losers for the year, down 700 jobs, a 4.4% drop. New Jersey lost 100 jobs for the month, down 0.1%, but was up 4,500 jobs for the year, a 3.5% increase.


LOCAL | September 19, 2013
Five Miles, Nine Towns, $3.7 Million on White Horse Pike

More than five miles of White Horse Pike in Camden County will get a $3.7 million upgrade. One stretch begins at Brand Avenue in Clementon and moves westbound through Lindenwold, Laurel Springs and Stratford, ending at Evergreen Avenue in Somerdale. The other stretch runs between Warwick Road in Magnolia to Grove Street in Haddon Heights, passing through Lawnside and Barrington. In addition to resurfacing, the project includes installation of image-detection cameras at some intersections, linked to traffic signals to make traffic flow more efficient.


LOCAL | September 19, 2013
AC Electric Plans Consolidation in Pittsgrove

Atlantic City Electric plans to purchase land and build a new state-of-the-art operations center in Pittsgrove, consolidating operations and closing the existing centers in Glassboro and Bridgeton. The company is currently negotiating to purchase the site, 188 acres near the intersection of Alvine Road and Landis Avenue. The proposed operations center would initially employ approximately 200 workers – primarily field crews for maintenance and repair – and house equipment and vehicles, as well as office space for engineers and operations support personnel. To date, funds for the purchase of the land have been appropriated but not for construction. Groundbreaking isn’t expected until 2016.


NATIONAL | September 17, 2013
ACCNJ Merger Announcement Makes National Press

News of the creation of ACCNJ from the merger of BCANJ and AGC of NJ was reported in ENR New York (http://newyork.construction.com/new_york_construction_news/2013/0912-newly-merged-nj-agc-chapter-sets-its-sights-on-legislative-issues.asp?elq=b8da06258e1d4fcc96a117ae37f0a995) and AGC of America’s Constructor Magazine (http://www.naylornetwork.com/ngc-constructor/articles/?aid=234045&issueID=31170).">www.naylornetwork.com/ngc-constructor/articles/?aid=234045&issueID=31170).">http://www.naylornetwork.com/ngc-constructor/articles/?aid=234045&issueID=31170). ENR New York’s Esther D’Amico spoke with ACCNJ CEO Jack Kocsis last week about the new Association’s goals.


LOCAL | September 17, 2013
Million-Dollar Makeover for East Hanover Bridge

The Melanie Lane Bridge in East Hanover, closed last year when it was declared structurally deficient, will get a $1 million makeover paid for by a Local Aid grant through NJ DOT. The two-lane bridge connects Algonquin Parkway and Ridgedale Avenue, spanning the Whippany River. No timetable has been announced for completion of the bridge repairs. Another grant for $200,000 will go to repair Section 8 of Brooklake Road in Florham Park. The grants are part of the $23.2 million in Local Aid Grants earmarked for all 21 counties and 11 municipalities in the state for bridge, road and other infrastructure work.


LOCAL | September 17, 2013
Plans for Bell Labs Building Unveiled

Somerset Development bought the largest vacant office building in the country for $27 million in August. The 2 million sq.ft. Bell Labs building and its 472 acres in Holmdel, on Preservation New Jersey’s list of endangered historic places, is now slated to become a village, with a health-and-wellness center, skilled nursing facility and assisted living center, a hotel, restaurants, shopping, spa, offices, 40 luxury single-family homes, 185 age-restricted townhomes, and a 20,000 sq.ft. public library. Surrounding it all, recreational and open space. According to plans, Community Healthcare Associates, a healthcare developer, will purchase about 400,000 sq.ft. in the building for the ambulatory surgical center and medical offices, and Toll Brothers will purchase about half the acreage for the homes and townhomes.


LOCAL | September 11, 2013
EDA Launches Another $75 Million for Sandy Rebuilding

The NJ Economic Development Authority has announced a $75 million program to finance development, downtown improvements and loans for businesses in nine counties most affected by Superstorm Sandy. The nine counties – Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union – were identified by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Of the $75 million, $62.5 million will come in the form of grants and loans of up to $10 million per applicant for development and public improvement projects, which could include commercial and residential construction, smaller multitenant technology businesses and improvements to recreational, cultural and parkland areas.


LOCAL | September 11, 2013
World Trade Center Proposed for Camden

Waterfront Renaissance Associates has proposed a 2.3 million sq.ft. Greater Philadelphia World Trade Center on the site of the now-demolished Riverfront State Prison on the Camden waterfront. The developer, who originally wanted to build in Philadelphia, envisions an international trade center on 16 acres, with technology development, retail and housing. At the moment, the site is still owned by the Department of Treasury and would have to be transferred to the NJ Economic Development Authority before a developer could begin work on it. NJ EDA currently has a memorandum of understanding with the Treasury Department to identify a buyer via paid consultants. If it were built, the Camden development would be the third-largest World Trade Center in North America, after New York and Boston. Waterfront Renaissance Associates claims the project would bring 11,000 jobs to Camden.


NATIONAL | September 5, 2013
July Construction Spending Reaches Four-Year High

Nationwide, construction spending in July rose 0.6% compared to June, and was 5.2% higher than in July 2012. The hike reflects a four-year high, with private nonresidential spending up 1.3% for the month and up 2% for the year. By segment, year-over-year, spending on lodging construction was up 33%, warehouses up 11% and power up 5%. Spending on new multifamily housing increased only 0.1% for the month, but was a significant 39% higher than a year ago. Private healthcare construction and communication dropped, down 3% and 12 respectively. Public construction spending across the country also dropped, down 0.3% for the month and down 3.7% for the year. Highway and street construction spending was down 1.1% for the month, down 3.8% for the year, and educational construction spending fell 1.5% for the month, down 12% for the year.


NATIONAL | September 4, 2013
July Construction Employment Up in Most Metro Areas

The construction employment picture in July was better for 201 of 339 metropolitan areas (59%) compared to July 2012, but only 19 metro areas – 5% – exceeded their pre-recession employment records over the same period. In 90 metro areas, construction employment fell from July 2012 to July 2013, and of those 90, 28 lost at least half of their construction employees. Construction employment remained unchanged in 48 metro areas. Overall, construction employment levels are still 25% below peak levels from 2006. In New Jersey, five of seven metro areas gained construction jobs. Atlantic City-Hammonton gained 1,100 jobs, a whopping 26% jump; Bergen-Hudson-Passaic gained 2,400 jobs, a 9% boost; Newark-Union gained 2,300 jobs, a 7% increase; Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton gained 100 jobs, a 4% increase; and Trenton-Ewing also gained 100 jobs, a 2% increase. Camden lost 900 jobs, a 4% decline, and Edison-New Brunswick lost 1,000 jobs, a 3% drop.

August 2013

NATIONAL | August 23, 2013
Private Construction Worker Fatalities Up 5% in 2012

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its preliminary report of fatalities that occurred on the job for 2012 (final statistics will be released in Spring 2014). The report notes fatalities in private construction increased 5% in 2012 for a total of 775 workers, up from 738 fatalities in 2011. That marks the first increase in fatal construction-site injuries in five years. Total hours worked in private construction increased 1% in 2012. For details, visit www.bls.gov.


LOCAL | August 21, 2013
Pulaski Skyway Closes Friday Evening for Reconstruction

New Jersey drivers don’t like to hear about road closings, but the Association is pleased to report that the closure of the Pulaski Skyway (Routes 1 & 9 in Jersey City) this weekend begins reconstruction as specified on the first of three contracts awarded to ACCNJ members. The work will replace a floor beam over the Tonnelle Circle; the Skyway will be closed from 9 pm Friday, August 23, until approximately 5 am Monday, August 26. The Routes 1 & 9 northbound highway will be closed at the Skyway entrance near Newark Liberty Airport, and the southbound will be closed at the ramp from Route 139 westbound to the Tonnelle Circle. Also in place long-term is a detour for all large-truck traffic from Tonnelle Avenue headed from Route 139 eastbound lower level (the Holland Tunnel approach).


LOCAL | August 16, 2013
Affordable Housing Grants Come to Sandy-Affected Counties

Announced yesterday from the former Clarion Hotel in Egg Harbor Township, the State will commit more than $135 million in federal funds for the development of affordable housing units in nine counties hit hard by Superstorm Sandy. The Clarion, which will be converted to 83 affordable rental units, is one site that will receive funding, which will come in the form of low-cost loans and financial assistance to developers. State officials said ultimately 2,250 affordable residences will be created in Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union counties. The funding comes from two programs in the State’s recovery plan, the Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing and the Sandy Special Needs Housing Fund.


NATIONAL | August 8, 2013
US Senate Confirms NLRB Appointees

The National Labor Relations Board now has a full slate following the US Senate confirmation of four new appointees on July 30, marking the first time in a decade the Board has five confirmed members. Along with Chairman Mark Pearce, a Democrat, who had been the only confirmed member since December, the Board now includes two other Democrats – former AFL-CIO associate general counsel Nancy Schiffer and Mark Pearce’s chief counsel Kent Hirowaza – and two Republicans, Philip Miscimarra and Harry Johnson III, both management-side labor lawyers from large law firms. Two other sitting members, whose appointments during a Senate recess last December were called into question, have officially been replaced.


NATIONAL | August 8, 2013
New Labor Secretary Seeks Comments, Ideas

In a message from new US Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, emailed last week, the Secretary announced the update of the Department of Labor’s Strategic Plan and asked “all DOL stakeholders” to participate in crafting the plan. Perez seeks feedback and directs visitors to the Strategic Plan Outreach webpage, http://www.dol.gov/_sec/stratplan/2014outreach/. He also invites visitors to join a series of webchats in which DOL leaders discuss strategies and priorities; the schedule is posted on the outreach webpage.


LOCAL | August 2, 2013
Premium Outlets Coming to Gloucester Township

A partnership between Simon Property Group and PREIT-Rubin Inc. will develop a 55-acre site west of Cooper Road into Gloucester Premium Outlets, a retail center of approximately 450,000 sq.ft. that will include a “town square” with outdoor dining and seating, a play area and a “water feature.” Construction is expected to create 300 jobs. On the east side of Cooper Road, five commercial buildings comprising 35,000 sq.ft. of floor space will also be built. PREIT-Rubin, part of the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust of Philadelphia, owns malls in Cherry Hill and Moorestown, and the Voorhees Town Center. Simon operates premium outlets across the country.


NATIONAL | August 1, 2013
Metro Area Construction Employment Gained in June

Construction employment rose in 191 of 339 metropolitan areas in June compared to a year ago. It fell in 97 metro areas and remained unchanged in 51. June marked the fifth straight month of gains. All New Jersey metro areas gained construction jobs this June compared to last except Camden, which lost 500 jobs, a 3% decline. Atlantic City-Hammonton was up 13% with a gain of 600 jobs; Newark-Union was up 9% with a gain of 3,000 jobs; Trenton-Ewing was up 6% with an increase of 300 jobs; Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton was up 4% with a gain of 100 jobs; Bergen-Hudson-Passaic was up 3% with a gain of 700 jobs; and Edison-New Brunswick was up 1% with a gain of 400 jobs. Overall, the state gained 7,500 jobs from June 2012 to June 2013, a 6% jump.


NATIONAL | August 1, 2013
Mobile App for Infrastructure Woes

Building America’s Future, the transportation infrastructure advocacy group headed by former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, released an app for iPhone and Android that lets commuters – or Sunday drivers – report a problem on the roads, bridges and transit systems. Called “I’m Stuck,” the free mobile app alerts members of Congress that the American public is frustrated with the state of transportation infrastructure. Building America’s Future hopes the app will repeatedly signal Congress it’s “OK” to vote for infrastructure funding.

July 2013

LOCAL | July 30, 2013
Delaware Valley Transportation Projects Approved

Transportation and sustainability projects totaling $116 billion and extending over a 27-year period were approved last week by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. The transportation plans include 14 new rail and bus lines; however, funding availability for the approved projects remains uncertain. To view the plan, visit DVRPC.org/connections 2040.


LOCAL | July 29, 2013
Next Move for NextGen…State Funding?

NextGen Aviation Research and Technology Park, still struggling to overcome financial and partnership issues, may ask for funding through the NJ Economic Development Authority. Park officials met with EDA’s CEO Michele Brown last week to present a case for state backing based on funding of comparable aviation projects in other states.


NATIONAL | July 25, 2013
US Senate Makes Bridge Repair a Priority

Yesterday the US Senate passed an amendment to the $54 billion Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill that would make repair or replacement a priority for bridges declared “structurally obsolete” or “deficient.” The amendment adds $500 million to the bridge repair funds. The Senate is expected to vote on the total bill soon. However, the US House version of the THUD bill is $44 billion, a $10 billion difference and a cut of $7 billion from last year’s appropriations.


LOCAL | July 25, 2013
$1.8 Million in Grants for NJ Airport Upgrades

Announced yesterday, five New Jersey airports will receive $1.8 million in grants from NJDOT for safety and improvements. The five include Sky Manor Airport in Pittstown (Hunterdon County), Eagles Nest Airport in Eagleswood Township (Ocean County), Lakewood Airport in Lakewood (also Ocean County), Essex County Airport in Fairfield, and Lincoln Park Airport in Lincoln Park (Morris County). The grants from the state will be augmented by $112,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration and $113,000 from the airport owners.


LOCAL | July 25, 2013
Bayonne’s Cape Liberty Approved for Redevelopment

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has approved the redevelopment of Cape Liberty Cruise Port, allowing Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines to accommodate its new Quantum of the Seas ship. The 167,800-ton, 4,180-passenger cruise ship is scheduled to debut in 2014 and, if Royal Caribbean gets the project financing approved by the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority, the cruise line expects to invest $50 million in a new terminal and two parking facilities that will be ready for the debut.


NATIONAL | July 24, 2013
Two Bills in Congress Focus on Small Business

US House members introduced two construction-related bills designed to protect small businesses in the construction industry. The Commonsense Construction Contracting Act of 2013 would ban reverse auctions if the contract is suitable for award to a small business entity. The Association has long-opposed reverse auctions. A companion bill, the Design-Build Efficiency and Jobs Act of 2013, encourages a two-phase selection process for design-build contract values of $750,000 or more. The contracting agency is responsible in the first phase for assessing the technical qualifications of the bidders and then restricting the second phase to a short list of no more than five firms, thus protecting small businesses from expending funds to create formal proposals at the initial stages of procurement.


LOCAL | July 23, 2013
AC Luxury-Tax Revenues Up

The NJ Treasury Department reports Atlantic City luxury-tax revenues rose 13% in 2012 to $35.5 million, an all-time high, and were also up for three of the first four months of 2013. April revenues weighed in at $2.9 million, and marked the biggest monthly increase since Superstorm Sandy. Luxury-tax revenues reflect consumer spending on non-gambling attractions. The upward trend, attributed to a host of new venues in AC, is expected to continue this year.


NATIONAL | July 23, 2013
State-by-State, June Construction Employment a Mixed Bag

Half the states lost construction jobs in June compared to May, and half gained, while more than two-thirds gained compared to June 2012. For the month, 23 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs, and 24 states shed jobs. New Jersey gained 400 jobs for the month, a 0.3% increase, and was up 6,700 jobs over June 2012, a 5.2% increase. Connecticut had the sharpest percentage drop in the nation from May to June, losing 1,900 construction jobs, a 3.4% decline. Pennsylvania also appeared in the top five losers, down 3,600 jobs, a 1.6% drop.


LOCAL | July 22, 2013
Offshore Wind Farm Rebuffed by NJ Regulators

The Fishermen’s Energy Atlantic City wind farm was rejected on Friday by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, which accepted its staff report that found project costs would not be offset by environmental benefits, added jobs and investment in the region. The first offshore energy project considered by the BPU, the decision is not yet final and Fishermen’s Energy could request more hearings and present more information. The project was previously approved by the NJ DEP and Army Corps of Engineers, and could have qualified for clean-energy tax breaks.


LOCAL | July 19, 2013
New Jersey Adds 4,200 Construction Jobs for Year

In the first six months of 2013, New Jersey’s construction industry has added 4,200 jobs, according to a state-issued report yesterday based on employer surveys. Across all industries, the state added 37,600 jobs in the first six months of the year. Rutgers University economist Joseph J. Seneca notes New Jersey has recovered approximately 60% of the private-sector jobs lost in the recession, compared to 82% for the nation.


NATIONAL | July 19, 2013
Gina McCarthy Confirmed as EPA Head

In addition to confirming Thomas Perez as Labor Secretary, the US Senate yesterday approved Gina McCarthy as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in a 59-40 vote. Most recently, McCarthy headed the EPA’s air and radiation office during President Obama’s first term. A 25-year public servant, McCarthy had previously served in Republican administrations in Massachusetts and Connecticut. She earned her BA in Social Anthropology in 1976 from the University of Massachusetts Boston and a joint MS in Environmental Health Engineering and Planning and Policy in 1981 from Tufts University.


NATIONAL | July 18, 2013
Thomas Perez Confirmed as Labor Secretary

In a 54-46 vote today, the US Senate confirmed Thomas E. Perez as President Obama’s Secretary of Labor. He replaces Hilda Solis, who resigned in January.


LOCAL | July 17, 2013
Conference to Address Diesel Emission Reduction

The Northeast Diesel Collaborative (NEDC), a regionally coordinated initiative to reduce diesel emissions and promote clean diesel technology, has announced a September conference for stakeholders in the sectors of construction, maritime, transportation, railroad and government. The conference will focus on technologies and strategies used in the Northeast to reduce diesel emissions, best business practices, clean air solutions, and the advancement of environmental and efficiency goals. The Collaborative extends an invitation to any interested ACCNJ members to attend the conference on September 11-13, 2013, at the Mystic Marriott Hotel and Spa in Groton, CT. Registration is free. For additional information, please go to: http://northeastdiesel.org/pdf/NEDCPartnersMeetingSaveTheDate.pdf


NATIONAL | July 17, 2013
Construction Materials Prices Down for June, Up for Year

The June Producer Price Index for construction – the average cost of materials plus those materials consumed by contractors during the construction process, such as diesel fuel – dropped a tenth of a percentage point in June and was up only 1.5% for the year. Segmented, materials costs in nonresidential construction remained flat from May to June, up 1.2% for the year. By product, steel mill products were down 0.7% for the month, down 8.1% for the year; copper and brass mill shapes were down 0.5% in June, down 3.8% for the year; and aluminum mill shapes were down 0.1% for the month, down 2.5% for the year. Other products, while down for the month, were higher than June of 2012: diesel fuel was down 0.6% for the month but up 3.6% for the year; concrete products were down 0.1% for the month but up 3.1% for the year; gypsum products were down 0.2% for the month but rose a sharp 16% for the year; and lumber and plywood dropped 3.3% for the month but were up 9.9% for the year. However, a more granular review of lumber prices show they climbed in April to nine-year highs, and then fell farther in three months than they had the previous 10 months – a freefall caused by overly optimistic speculators, according to AGC of America’s Ken Simonson.


NATIONAL | July 17, 2013
Real-Time Storm-Tracking for Energy Infrastructure

The US Energy Information Administration within the US Dept. of Energy released last week an interactive map for tracking major storms in real-time to help monitor the effects those storms could have on energy infrastructure. The map, available at www.eia.gov, pinpoints every petroleum refinery and import site, every natural gas processing plant or underground storage facility, every wind farm and nuclear power plant, and all the oil and gas fields and pipelines in the US and off-shore. The map layers storm paths, wind patterns on the energy infrastructure to display what might impact a particular area.


NATIONAL | July 16, 2013
BIM Ranks as “Most Exciting Trend” in Construction Owners Survey

In a survey at the 2013 Construction Owners Association of America (COAA) Spring Owners Leadership Conference, Building Information Modeling and Virtual Design and Construction (BIM/VDC) ranked highest as the “most exciting trend” in facilities management, chosen by 42% of the participants. In addition, 28%, the highest percentage of participants, said BIM was the area in which they were most interested in networking with peers to learn best practices. For more than half the respondents, BIM allows them to identify design and construction issues before they occur, and also improves the efficiency of the design and construction process. And while only 13% reported use of BIM was “significant” in their businesses, 30% expected significant use of BIM in three years.


LOCAL | July 16, 2013
OSHA’s Heat Wave Safety Tips

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued an “excessive heat warning” for eleven New Jersey counties – Sussex, Warren, Morris, Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex, Western Monmouth, Camden, Mercer, Gloucester and Northwestern Burlington – and several counties in eastern Pennsylvania. The warning started today and lasts through Monday, and cites “heat index values” (a combination of high humidity and very high temperatures) that are expected to reach or exceed 100 degrees. OSHA reminds employers they are responsible for the safety of their workers as well as providing training on heat-related illness and symptoms. Key tips: Drink water every 15 minutes, regardless of thirst…Rest in the shade to cool down…Wear a hat and light-colored clothing…Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency…Keep an eye on fellow workers…Gradually increase the workload for new workers to build a tolerance for working in the heat (called “acclimatizing”). For details on heat illnesses and symptoms and OSHA’s “Water, Rest, Shade” campaign, visit www.osha.gov.


LOCAL | July 15, 2013
Meadowlands Developer Sues Giants & Jets

In the latest legal wrangling over the stalled American Dream Meadowlands project, developer Triple Five has filed a lawsuit for breach of contract in state Superior Court against the National Football League’s New York Giants and Jets. The lawsuit claims the football teams are attempting to keep the former Xanadu project from ever being completed, in conflict with a 2006 contract in which the Giants and Jets received $15 million in exchange for allowing the project to be built. As you know, the Giants and Jets filed their own lawsuit last year to try to block Triple Five’s plans to add an indoor water park and amusement park to the American Dream project. The court had put a delay on that lawsuit pending final approvals from the NJ Sports and Exposition Authority. While filing the new lawsuit on July 9, 2013, Triple Five also asked the court to dismiss the teams’ lawsuit.


NATIONAL | July 10, 2013
Annual Highway Report Gives Jersey Roads Poor Ranking

New Jersey ranks 46 out of 50 in the condition of its state-owned highways, according to the Reason Foundation’s 20th Annual Report on the Performance of State Highway Systems – about the same as it ranked in the two previous reports (45th and 47th). In the region, Rhode Island also showed up in the bottom five, ranked at 49. New Jersey spends 8.4 times more than the national per-mile average on its 3,333 miles of state highway – more than any other state. It also spends the most on maintenance per mile and on capital and bridge disbursements per mile. It ranks 34th in deficient bridges, 45th in urban interstate congestion and 48th in urban interstate pavement condition. On the other end of the spectrum: New Jersey’s rural interstate pavement condition ranks No. 1, and in highway fatality rates the state ranks 4th.


NATIONAL | July 10, 2013
Construction Industry Adds 13,600 Jobs in June

Residential building and specialty trade contractors added 5,200 jobs in June, reflecting a growth of 90,200 jobs compared to a year ago, while nonresidential building, nonresidential specialty trade and heavy and civil engineering sectors added 8,400 jobs in June and 99,800 for the year. Correspondingly, the unemployment rate dropped to 9.8%, but AGC of America Chief Economist Ken Simonson warns that construction employment is still down 25% from its peak in 2006. An optimistic measure of future growth in construction employment was the 2.6% increase from June 2012 to June 2013 in architectural and engineering services employment.


July 2013

NATIONAL | July 5, 2013
May Construction Spending Up Slightly

Total construction spending recorded a slight uptick in May, due to a surprising rise in public construction and a less-surprising increase in private residential spending. The 0.5% rise in spending from April to May, for a total of $875 billion, complemented a 5.4% increase over May 2012. Private residential spending was up 1.2% for the month and 23% for the year, while private non-residential spending dropped 1.4% for the month, down 0.9% for the year. Public construction spending rose 1.8% for the month but was down 4.7% over last May. The biggest increase in spending was in new multi-family construction, up 2.5% for the month and an impressive 52% for the year. Power construction spending was again the largest private nonresidential category, up 2.1% in May but down 1.5% from May 2012. Manufacturing spending dropped 8.1% for the month and was also down 3.4% from May 2012, although the manufacturing sector spending for January-May 2013 combined is up 5.4% over the same five months in 2012. Private lodging construction and renovation spending rose 1.6% for the month and 22% over 12 months. Highway and street construction, the largest public category, edged up 0.8% in May over April, but fell 7.3% from May 2012. Education construction also inched up a bit, 0.4%, for the month, but dropped 11% for the year. Finally, federal construction spending also climbed slightly, 0.6% for the month, but plunged 16% for the year and was down 29% from its peak in August 2011.


NATIONAL | July 1, 2013
Year-Over-Year, Construction Employment Up In Metro Areas

Just as the majority of states saw a rise in construction employment from May of 2012 to May 2013, so too did just over half the metro areas, 185 of 339, while 119 experienced a decline and 39 remained the same. In New Jersey, Atlantic City-Hammonton saw a significant 22% rise from a year ago, with an increase of 1,000 jobs. Also up for the year:  construction employment in Newark-Union rose 9%, adding 3,000 jobs; in Trenton-Ewing it rose 2%, adding 100 jobs; and in Edison-New Brunswick it rose 0.3%, adding 100 jobs. Camden dropped 1% for the year, losing 100 jobs, and Bergen-Hudson-Passaic dropped 2%, down 400 jobs. Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton remained unchanged, registering 2,400 jobs for May of last year and this.


NATIONAL | July 1, 2013
IRS Ends Special Provision in Misclassification Amnesty

June 30, 2013, was the deadline for a special provision of the IRS amnesty program known as the Voluntary Classification Settlement Program. The regular VCSP allows employers to correct classifications from “independent contractor” to “employee” and avoid payroll or employee audits for the past three years – if they have filed 1099-MISCs for the employees for those three years. Employers are subject only to a modest tax liability (10% of the taxes they would have owed) with no penalty. However, the recently retired special provision, called a Temporary Eligibility Expansion (TEE), also gave a break to employers who had not filed 1099-MISCs – they could pay 25% of the employment tax liability, and still not pay interest and penalties. The TEE deadline has passed, but employers who have been filing 1099-MISCs can apply for the regular VCSP any time. For those who have not been filing those 1099s, if they start this year and file for the next two years after this, they can apply for VCSP in 2016.


June 2013

NATIONAL | June 24, 2013
State Construction Employment Up for Month and Year

Construction employment rose in 27 states from April to May, and in 32 states from May of 2012 to May of 2013. AGC of America reported that strong gains were made in states with oil and gas-related projects and that construction demand remains “very uneven.” For the month, 20 states and DC lost jobs, while for the year, 17 states and DC lost jobs, with one state (Idaho) reflecting no change. In the region, Rhode Island was hit hardest for the year-over-year, losing 1,000 jobs, a 6.3% drop. New Jersey gained 1,500 jobs from April to May, a 1.1% gain, and was also up for the year with an increase of 6,200 jobs, a 4.8% gain.


NATIONAL | June 19, 2013
Law Would Allow Contractors Leeway in Meeting Small Business Goals

With the passage of the “Make Every Small Business Count Act of 2013,” prime contractors are now closer to being allowed to count lower-tier small business subcontractors toward their small business goals in federal projects, rather than only first-tier subs. The Act was included in the National Defense Authorization Action of 2014, which passed the House on June 14 by a 315-108 vote. The Act is strongly supported by BCANJ and AGC of America, and we will continue to track it as the action moves to the Senate’s National Defense Authorization bill.


LOCAL | June 13, 2013
New $13.2 Million City Hall Proposed for Sea Isle City

A new four-story city hall replacing the public safety building and encompassing city offices, the police department and the fire department in Sea Isle City would cost $13.2 million, according to an engineers’ presentation this week. The current public safety complex was severely damaged during Superstorm Sandy, but was already outdated, and engineers had started planning for a new facility before the storm. The city administrator hopes to have approval to proceed with construction specs at the next council meeting, and then put the project out for bid in the fall.


LOCAL | June 11, 2013
Millville Plans $5 Million in Upgrades to Subsidized Housing Complex

Holly Berry Court, seven buildings that hold 49 units of subsidized housing, will get a $5 million upgrade from the Millville Housing Authority, which will apply to finance the project through the NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. Renovations include heating and air conditioning, electrical systems, new floors and improvements to bathrooms and kitchens.


NATIONAL | June 11, 2013
May Construction Unemployment Falls to 10.8%

Marking its lowest point for the month of May in five years, the construction unemployment rate fell to 10.8% with an increase of 7,000 jobs from April and a gain of 189,000 jobs (3.4%) since May 2012, when the unemployment rate registered 14.2%. Aggregate weekly hours of all construction employees expanded by 5.2% from last year, and the number of unemployed construction workers dropped by 259,000 to 891,000. Nonresidential building, specialty trade and heavy and civil engineering construction firms added 1,700 jobs in May, up 95,500 jobs (3.7%) from May 2012. Architectural and engineering firms also added jobs, a positive indicator for future construction growth.


LOCAL | June 11, 2013
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst to Receive $46.2 Million for Construction

Through the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2014, the Joint Bases will receive $46.2 million to fund various projects, including $9.5 million for the machine gun range; $7.9 million for a central issue facility; $13.4 million for a consolidated dining facility; $5.4 million for a modified record fire range; and $10 million to replace fuel distribution components.


LOCAL | June 11, 2013
Choose NJ Web Tool Helps Search for Commercial Space

Choose New Jersey is making it easy for people to find commercial and industrial real estate in the state with a new web tool. The searchable database allows users to search for space by size, view, create and print maps, and find information about available labor, education levels, consumer spending and other demographics in the area. To see how the site works, visit www.choosenjsites.com.


NATIONAL | June 6, 2013
Private Spending Rises as Public Spending Drops in April

Across the nation, construction spending rose slightly in April, up 0.4% over March and up 4.3% over April 2012. Private nonresidential spending was up 2.2% for the month and 0.6% for the year, while public construction spending fell 1.2% for the month, down 5.1% for the year. The upward trend for multifamily construction continued, up 3.4% for the month and 49% for the year. Among the private nonresidential sectors, power construction jumped 10.8% in April over March, though the March figures had been revised downward, and the year-over-year spending was down 2.8%. Manufacturing construction fell 2.6% for the month but was up 2.2% for the year. In the public sectors, highway and street construction rose 0.5% for the month but was down 3.4% for the year, while educational construction plummeted 4.4% for the month and 13% for the year.


LOCAL | June 4, 2013
North Brunswick Transit Village Finally in the Works

NJ Transit announced it will build a train station in North Brunswick on the site of the old Johnson & Johnson complex on Route 1 – and from that a long-planned transit hub village will finally emerge on the 200-acre site. North Brunswick TOD Associates, the developer, will create a central business district with nearly 1,900 residential units and a variety of commercial and retail entities that will connect with two big-box stores, Target and Costco.


NATIONAL | June 4, 2013
ConsensusDOCS Online Prequalification App

The ConsensusDOCS online prequalification application launched in October 2012 to more efficiently allow contractors and subs to both prequalify and manage the prequalification data. The app, created by iSqFt, uses the ConsensusDOCS 721 Subcontractor Prequalification Statement, and lets the sub enter prequalification information one time for distribution to multiple general contractors and multiple projects. For details, visit www.ConsensusDocs.org.


LOCAL | June 4, 2013
EDA Begins Process to Find Redeveloper for Camden Prison

On May 29, 2013, the NJ Economic Development Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Division of Property Management and Construction to begin the process of hiring consultants who will ultimately help find a buyer/redeveloper for the site of the former Riverfront State Prison in Camden, which was demolished in 2009. The 16-acre site north of the Ben Franklin Bridge was sold as state surplus for $1 to the EDA, which will in turn sell it to a developer. Proceeds from that sale will reimburse the Delaware River Port Authority, which paid for the demolition, and an amount equal to the value of the property before demolition will go to the state. In the meantime, the Memorandum of Understanding clears the way for hiring contractors and consultants to conduct environmental testing, remediation, engineering and infrastructure improvements.

May 2013

NATIONAL | May 30, 2013
April Construction Employment Up in Half of US Metro Areas

Construction employment rose in 170 of 339 metro areas across the country between April 2012 and April 2013, attributed to increasing demand in the private sector, reported AGC of America. At the same time, 123 metro areas lost jobs and 46 reported no change. In New Jersey, three metro areas lost jobs, touching North and South Jersey: Camden lost 800 jobs, down 4%; Bergen-Hudson-Passaic lost 700 jobs, down 3%; and Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton lost 100 jobs, down 4%. The rest gained jobs: Trenton-Ewing added 100 jobs, a 2% increase; Atlantic City-Hammonton added 300 jobs, a 6% rise; Edison-New Brunswick added 1,100 jobs, a 3% rise; and Newark-Union added 2,800 jobs, a 9% increase.


LOCAL | May 20, 2013
NJSEA Votes YES on American Dream Project

In a vote Friday afternoon, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority approved four resolutions that cleared the way for the American Dream project at the Meadowlands. Despite the objections of the Jets and the Giants, along with some environmental groups, the NJSEA approved 1) transfer of the property leases and development rights to Triple Five, the developers; 2) Triple Five’s access to the site to begin preliminary construction work; 3) declaration of the site as an area in need of development, which will allow the Bergen County Improvement Authority and the East Rutherford Development Agency to provide $250 million in tax-exempt bond financing; and 4) Triple Five’s modifications to the master plan, including the addition of indoor amusement and water parks.


NATIONAL | May 20, 2013
State-by-State, Construction Employment Uneven for Month & Year

More than half the states in the US lost construction jobs from March to April of this year, while more than half gained jobs compared to April of last year. Using the latest available data from BLS, AGC of America has determined that construction employment dropped in 32 states and DC and rose in only 17 for the month, but grew in 29 states, fell in 21 plus DC from April of 2012 to April of 2013. In the region from March to April, New York had the second-largest decline in employment, losing 6,600 jobs (down 2%), while Connecticut had the highest percentage increase, up 3.9% on a gain of 2,100 jobs. In the region for the year, Rhode Island measured the third-largest percentage drop, down 8.6% with a loss of 1,400 jobs. New Jersey’s construction jobs had increased in February and March of this year, but dropped by 300 (down 0.2%) in April. For the year, New Jersey gained 3,200 jobs, a 2.5% increase.


LOCAL | May 14, 2013
AC’s South Inlet – Update on Development

We’ve been following the progress of Atlantic City’s redevelopment of South Inlet, and in January announced the original plan had been scaled back because of the lack of revenue from Revel, which was expected to fund the projects. Now, AC and Shaquille O’Neal partner Boraie Development have finalized an agreement for a $75 million development featuring a Shaq Cityplex-branded movie theater. Other highlights planned for the Southern Inlet Village Community Project include an entertainment complex, residential, commercial, office and retail space, a supermarket and parking. Groundbreaking is slated for later this year, with the residential high-rise scheduled as a first phase, followed by commercial development.


LOCAL | May 14, 2013
Egg Harbor’s Clarion Hotel to Become Affordable Housing

The Clarion Hotel and Convention Center, located at 6821 Black Horse Pike in Egg Harbor Township, will be converted into 144 units of affordable housing, now that the Township Committee has ok’d the use of existing approvals for the conversion. Renewable New Jersey at Egg Harbor will conduct the conversion of the 213-room hotel in two phases, the first 84 units to be followed by a 60-unit phase. Ultimately the complex will offer 28 one-bedroom, 650 sq.ft. apartments; 76 two-bedroom, 850 sq.ft. apartments; and 40 three-bedroom, 1,150 sq.ft. apartments. Rents will range from $690 to $945. The hotel is on approximately 14 acres, close to the township’s border with Pleasantville with access to public transportation. No estimate has been given for the conversion. In lieu of taxes, the property will pay 10% of revenue, roughly $117,000 per year.


NATIONAL | May 8, 2013
US Interior Department Releasing $475 Million for Sandy Repairs

Yesterday the US Department of the Interior announced it is releasing more than $475 million for Superstorm Sandy repair. Among the 234 projects slated to receive funds is the Statue of Liberty, whose island and surrounding facilities were damaged during the storm. BCANJ’s BUILDING CONTRACTOR Magazine, Vol. I-13, distributed this week, reports on the extent of the damages on Liberty Island and the repair work performed by BCANJ member Joseph A. Natoli Construction Corp. of Pine Brook. With these funds, the national monument will open by Independence Day this year. The other projects include repair and rebuilding of parks, wildlife refuges, beaches and other agency facilities and public lands.


NATIONAL | May 7, 2013
Construction Adds More Than 150,000 Jobs Since Last April

From April 2012 to April 2013, the construction industry nationwide added 154,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate dropped to 13.2%, the lowest April level in five years. To compare, the unemployment rate in April 2012 was 14.5%, and in April 2010 was 21.8%. Despite a loss of 6,000 jobs from March of this year, AGC of America’s Chief Economist Ken Simonson predicts the industry will continue to add jobs throughout the rest of the year. Nonresidential building, specialty trades, heavy and civil engineering segments took a big hit for the month, losing 19,700 jobs, but over 12 months those segments gained 70,100 jobs, a 2% increase.


LOCAL | May 7, 2013
EDA is Open…for Business Recovery Grants Up to $50,000

Beginning May 1, New Jersey companies that sustained at least $5,000 in damages during Superstorm Sandy can apply for a business recovery grant or forgivable loan of up to $50,000 from the NJ Economic Development Authority. For more information and to apply for a grant, visit http://application.njeda.com/strongernjbusinessgrant/default.aspx.


NATIONAL | May 2, 2013
March Metro Area Construction Employment & Spending Remain Uneven

In 152 of 339 metro areas, construction employment increased in March compared to a year ago, but decreased in 126 and remained the same in 61. Construction spending nationally was 4.8% higher this March than last – up $38.9 billion – but dropped 1.7% from February, showing again that industry recovery is fragile and uneven, according to AGC of America’s Chief Economist Ken Simonson. In New Jersey, construction employment dropped for the year in all but two metro areas. It remained unchanged in Newark-Union, and rose 2% with a gain of 100 jobs in Trenton-Ewing. From March 2012 to March 2013, Atlantic City-Hammonton saw the biggest percentage decline, down 14% (a loss of 700 jobs). Camden realized the largest number of job losses, down 1,000 (a 5% drop). Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton dropped 4%, losing 100 jobs. Bergen-Hudson-Passaic and Edison-New Brunswick each lost 200 jobs, a 1% decline for each. Overall, the state lost 500 jobs, a 0.4% drop for the year.

April 2013

LOCAL | April 29, 2013
Cumberland Country Proposes $60 Million Development Plan

Cumberland County has proposed spending $60 million to attract new business. The development plan calls for $45 million for a full-time technical high school alongside the Cumberland Community College campus located in both Vineland and Millville. In addition, the proposal includes a new building for the county’s Workforce Investment Board (WIB), which would save the county about $1.4 million in lease payments, and a new, three-story building on Laurel Street in downtown Bridgeton, estimated at $14 million, to house the county’s social services operations. The county hopes the emphasis on education and job-training will bring in businesses looking for a strong labor force.


LOCAL | April 25, 2013
New Labor-Management Partnership for Carpenters

The New Jersey Carpenter Contractor Trust, the labor-management cooperative of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters and its signatory contractors, has announced a joint venture with the Empire State Carpenters Labor Management Funds. The new agreement will allow the organizations to share resources for marketing and promoting union carpenters and contractors throughout New Jersey, New York State and Long Island. Together, they will operate as The Carpenter Contractor Trust of New York and New Jersey: The Construction Network.


NATIONAL | April 23, 2013
New Owner & Consultant Agreement from ConsensusDOCS

ConsensusDOCS 247 Owner & Consultant Agreement, published this week, provides an industry standard contract for an owner who wants to retain a consultant on a construction project – whether for interior design, inspection, industrial hygiene, retrofits, procurement or other consulting arrangements. For more information, visit www.consensusdocs.org. BCANJ members are eligible for a 20% discount on all ConsensusDOCS purchases.


NATIONAL | April 22, 2013
State-by-State, Construction Employment Grew Slowly in March

The number of construction jobs grew in 30 states in March compared to February, while 20 states and DC lost jobs. For the month, New York gained the highest number of jobs, up 6,000 (1.9%) and Connecticut gained the highest percentage, up 5.7% on an increase of 2,900 jobs. For the year from March 2012 to March 2013, 31 states and DC added construction jobs, while 19 lost jobs. Rhode Island was the biggest percentage loser for the year, down 9.6% with a loss of 1,600 jobs. New Jersey gained 900 jobs for the month, up 0.7%, and 700 for the year, up 0.5%.


NATIONAL | April 19, 2013
International Building Code Changes for Assisted Living Facilities

Proposed new changes to the International Building Code will provide for the first time a consistent building code specifically for assisted living facilities, separating them out from nursing homes and hospitals and applying rules that should help such facilities save money in development and building costs. The new rules won’t be published until the 2015 International Building Code is issued, but in the meantime some states have already begun to adopt the rules to bring “greater alignment” among existing state building codes, fire safety codes and assisted living regulations. The Assisted Living Federation of America led the initiative to make the changes and is publishing a guidebook on the revisions, which generally mirror the most recent National Fire Protection Association’s 101 Life Safety Code for Residential Board & Care.


NATIONAL | April 19, 2013
Immigration Bill Filed in Senate

At 1:30 Wednesday morning, the “Gang of Eight,” a bipartisan group of US Senators, filed an 844-page proposed immigration bill. The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to review it. Divided into four sections – border security, immigrant visas, interior enforcement and nonimmigrant visas (the so-called workplace visas), the bill is expected to spawn considerable debate in the coming months.


LOCAL | April 10, 2013
Operating Engineers, Local 825 Endorses Christie for Governor

On Monday, Greg Lalevee, Business Manager of the Operating Engineers, Local 825, announced the Local was endorsing Governor Christie in his bid for reelection. Local 825, representing 6,500 members in New Jersey and parts of New York State, joins the New Jersey Laborers’ International Union of North America (20,000 members) and the New Jersey State Association of Pipe Trades (10,000 members) in supporting Christie.


NATIONAL | April 9, 2013
Construction Employment Still Uneven Across Metro Areas

From February of 2012 to February of 2013, construction employment increased in 158 of 339 metro areas, fell in 132 and remained unchanged in 49. AGC of America’s Chief Economist Ken Simonson notes that construction employment continues to decline in many regions, but the number of metro areas experiencing gains in construction employment continues to rise. Contributing to the employment rosters, February’s construction spending in both private nonresidential and public segments made gains over January’s depressed levels. Private nonresidential spending rose 0.4% for the month, up 6.1% over February 2012, while public spending increased 0.9% for the month, although it fell 1.5% from a year ago. In New Jersey, Atlantic City-Hammonton suffered the biggest hit, a 20% drop in construction employment, losing 1,000 jobs from last February to this. Camden lost 1,900 jobs, down 10%; Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton lost 100 jobs, down 4%; Bergen-Hudson-Passaic lost 400 jobs, down 2%; and Trenton-Ewing lost 100 jobs, also down 2%. Edison-New Brunswick gained 600 jobs, up 2%, and Newark-Union gained 200 jobs, up 1%. Statewide, New Jersey lost 3,100 construction jobs year-over-year, a 3% drop.


LOCAL | April 8, 2013
AC Non-Gambling Numbers Show Promise

Year-end figures released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show modest growth in non-gambling revenues such as hotel rooms, food and beverage, and entertainment, validating Atlantic City’s pursuit of the non-gambling tourist trade. Non-gambling attractions generated $1.26 billion in 2012, 29% of the casino industry’s $4.3 billion and an increase of nearly 3% over 2011. Despite its revenue problems, Revel helped boost hotel business; casinos set a record in 2012 with more than 5.2 million occupied room nights. The average stay also increased, to between two and two-and-a-half nights, up from one night in previous years. Going forward, officials will continue to add to the numbers they track, including restaurant, retail and concert visits.


NATIONAL | April 8, 2013
Construction Adds 18,000 Jobs in March

March marked the 10th consecutive month of increases in construction jobs. The industry added 18,000 jobs in March, surpassing 5.8 million employees for the first time since September 2009. Of those 18,000, most were in the residential and specialty trade sectors (14,800), up 77,800 jobs (3.8%) since March 2012. Nonresidential building jobs increased by 3,000 for the month, up 84,400 (2.3%) since March 2012. Public project construction employment, measured through February, showed a decrease of 3,500 jobs (down 1.5%) in highway, street and bridge construction compared to February 2012 and an increase of only 1,000 jobs (up 0.7%) for the year in water and sewer system construction. And there were two extreme segments – oil and gas pipeline construction employment jumped 14.5% for the year with an increase of 16,300 jobs, and power and communication system construction employment also sharply increased, up 13% with a gain of 14,400 jobs for the year.


LOCAL | April 4, 2013
AC Casino Operating Profits Plunged in 2012

Gross operating profits in Atlantic City casinos dropped almost 28% in 2012 compared to 2011, falling from $497.6 million to $360.7 million. In the fourth quarter of 2012, after a week’s shutdown following Superstorm Sandy, the casinos suffered an $18.5 million gross operating loss, compared to an $81.4 million operating profit the year before. Gross operating profit, also known as cash flow, includes earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and other charges.


LOCAL | April 4, 2013
Wildwood’s Splash Zone Water Park to Expand

The Splash Zone Water Park at Schellenger Avenue and the Boardwalk in Wildwood will get a new $1.9 million wave simulator complex known as Flow House. Flow House will feature the FlowRider Double, endless waves generated by thousands of gallons of water pumped across a 40-foot inclined plane with a tensioned composite membrane surface that absorbs wipeouts. The attraction will also offer music, entertainment, food and beverages. Wildwood’s Flow House, projected to open Memorial Day weekend, is one of only five in the world. Another of the five is also in New Jersey – Beach Haven’s Flow House Thundering Surf.


LOCAL | April 4, 2013
Stockton College Could Partner With NextGen Park Board

As the South Jersey Economic Development District prepares to transfer its lease for the NextGen Aviation Park land over to a newly formed park board, Stockton College is reportedly in negotiations with the board to partner in the land lease. The park board meets later this month, when more details may be forthcoming. Stockton holds a seat on the board, along with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, the South Jersey Transportation Authority, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, and Atlantic County, which recently bailed out the SJEED by satisfying more than $530,000 in contractor debt incurred by the park.


NATIONAL | April 4, 2013
ConsensusDOCS Releases New Design-Build Teaming Contract

The new ConsensusDOCS 498 Design-Build Teaming Agreement provides a standard contract among parties forming a team to submit a design-build bid. The contract can accommodate design professionals, contractors and others as needed, with one team member serving as team leader responsible for compiling and submitting the bid proposal and, if awarded the project, negotiating the owner agreement. ConsensusDOCS 498 covers confidentiality, withdrawal from the team and document ownership, and addresses post-award considerations, including a requirement for team members to enter good faith negotiations for a subsequent agreement that covers the work, such as the ConsensusDOCS 298 Joint Venture Agreement or 299 Joint Venture LLC Operating Agreement. AGC of America members receive a 20% discount on all ConsensusDOCS purchases.

March 2013

LOCAL | March 27, 2013
Hackensack Redevelopment Progresses

In January, we posted in Hot Topics news of an apartment building planned for a rundown section of Hackensack. On March 19, the Hackensack City Council officially named the developer of the apartments: Meridia Metro Urban Renewal will handle the project, estimated at $19.2 million, expected to have 86 one-bedroom units and 136 two-bedroom units on five floors over a parking garage. Construction start is anticipated for June with completion in January 2015. The apartment development is the first construction project in the Hackensack Main Street Rehabilitation Plan.


NATIONAL | March 26, 2013
January Construction Employment Up in Metro Areas

For the first time in a long time, construction employment rose in more metro areas than fell. The January 2013 numbers show employment up in 145 of 339 metro areas compared to January 2012. Construction employment dropped in 141 metro areas and remained the same in 53 for the same time period. Most New Jersey metro areas showed up in the “loss” column. Atlantic City-Hammonton lost the highest percentage of jobs among all metro areas in the country, down 19% with a decrease of 1,000 jobs. Within the state, Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton lost the next highest percentage, down 8% with a loss of 200 jobs. Camden, Newark-Union and Trenton each lost 4%, for a loss of 700, 1,200 and 200 jobs respectively. Bergen-Hudson-Passaic showed up in the “gain” column, up 3% over last January with an increase of 700 jobs. Edison-New Brunswick was up 1%, gaining 200 jobs.


NATIONAL | March 20, 2013
Obama Chooses New Labor Secretary

On Monday, President Obama announced he has selected Tom Perez, Assistant US Attorney General in charge of the US Justice Department’s civil rights division, as the new Secretary of Labor to replace Hilda Solis, who resigned in January. Perez had been Maryland’s secretary of labor before heading the civil rights division. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 1983, a Master’s of Public Policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1987 and his law degree from Harvard Law, also in 1987. He lives in Maryland with his wife and three children.


NATIONAL | March 19, 2013
Construction Employment Up in 34 States, Down in 14

From December to January, construction employment rose in two-thirds of the states, fell in 14 and remained the same in two. For the year from January 2012 to January 2013, 24 states gained construction jobs, 25 lost jobs and one didn’t change. New York added the largest number of construction jobs for the month – 13,000, a 4.2% increase – attributed to Sandy recovery work. New Jersey added 2,600 jobs for the month, a 2% increase, but lost 1,200 over the year, a 0.9% drop.


NATIONAL | March 19, 2013
Construction Materials Prices Still Rising

Construction materials prices rose 1.3% in February over January prices, up 2% over February 2012. Prices were up for diesel (up 7.2% for month, 3.8% for year), gypsum (up 4.4% for month, 17.8% for year), lumber and plywood (up 2.3% for month, 15.8% for year), insulation (up 2.1% for month, 5.9% for year), and concrete (up 0.3% for month, 2.3% for year). Some materials costs rose in February but remained below the levels of last year, including copper and brass mill shapes (up 0.7% for month but down 2.1% for year) and aluminum mill shapes (up 0.6% for month but down 1.5% for year). Steel mill products dropped 0.9% for month and were down 9.7% for the year. Asphalt paving dropped 0.1% for the month but rose 1.1% for the year. In contrast to the rise in materials prices, the index for new office construction rose only about 1% in the past year; new school buildings rose only 1.2%; new industrial construction rose 1.3%; and new warehouses rose 2.6%.


LOCAL | March 15, 2013
Pipe Trades Endorse Christie for Governor

Yesterday, the New Jersey State Association of Pipe Trades, representing 10,000 workers, announced it was backing Gov. Christie in his bid for a second term. The union’s eight locals include plumbers, steamfitters, sprinklerfitters, pipefitters, and heating and cooling technicians, all affiliated with the New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council. According to Eric Boyce, the union’s legislative chair, Christie is the first Republican gubernatorial candidate endorsed by the Pipe Trades since Gov. Tom Kean in the 1980s. The Laborers International has also endorsed Christie.


LOCAL | March 14, 2013
AC Indoor Market Plan Approved

In January, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority allocated $99,825 to a Portland, ME, company for a feasibility study of an indoor marketplace. Now the CRDA has approved a $9.5 million donation for the marketplace from the Showboat casino, and because of that donation has determined the marketplace location will be on a Caesars-owned site across from Bally’s, bordered by Ohio, Indiana, Atlantic and Pacific avenues, between the edge of The Walk and the Boardwalk. Caesars, which owns Showboat, Bally’s, Caesars and Harrah’s casinos, reportedly will convey the lot to the CRDA.


LOCAL | March 14, 2013
Fort Monmouth Deadline Extended

The deadline for developers interested in purchasing a 36-acre site at Fort Monmouth has been extended to April 1, 2013. The Oceanport site, which was used to house officers, has a mix of more than 50 single-family and multi-story buildings. The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority would like the site to continue to be used as a residential area.


LOCAL | March 14, 2013
New Hoboken Hotel Planned for Waterfront

A new 200-room, 140,000 sq.ft. hotel is planned adjacent to the post office at River and First streets in Hoboken. The post office, which will continue operations, will be reconfigured to accommodate the hotel.


NATIONAL | March 11, 2013
Construction Employment Rises in February

Construction firms added 48,000 in February, the ninth consecutive month of job growth, bringing the unemployment rate to 15.7%, down from 17.1% a year ago. Nonresidential construction – including building, specialty trade, and heavy and civil engineering – added 29,000 employees in February and 75,700 for the year, a 2.1% increase.


NATIONAL | March 7, 2013
AGC Representative Testifies at House Hearing on MEPP

The president of an Indiana construction company represented AGC of America members at a hearing before the House Education and Workforce’s Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions. The hearing was titled Challenges Facing Multiemployer Pension Plans: Reviewing the Latest Findings by PBGC and GAO, and the contractor was the sole employer witness at the hearing. For more information about the hearing and an archived webcast, visit http://edworkforce.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=321804.


NATIONAL | March 7, 2013
Construction Spending Slumps in January

After a nine-month gaining streak, January construction spending tumbled 2.1% from December’s total. AGC of America’s Chief Economist Ken Simonson remains cautiously optimistic about the January drop, however, because both November and December totals were revised upward, and January 2013 spending was 7.1% higher than January 2012’s level. By segment, private nonresidential spending dropped 5.1% for the month but was up 4% over last year. Public construction spending declined 1% for the month and 3% for the year.

February 2013

NATIONAL | February 22, 2013
Construction Materials Prices Increase in January

For both the month and the year, construction materials prices rose, up 0.7% from December to January, and up 1.3% from January 2012. Gypsum products, including wallboard and plaster, soared 11.8% in January and 20.4% for the year, helping push up the producer price index for construction inputs overall. Lumber and plywood increased 4.2% for the month, 15.1% for the year; insulation prices rose 2% for the month, 5.4% for the year; architectural coatings rose 1.1% for the month, 0.5% for the year; asphalt paving prices climbed 6% for the month, 3.7% for the year; concrete prices rose 0.5% for the month, 2.2% for the year; and copper and brass mill prices rose 0.6% for the month, 2.9% for the year. Countering those increases, diesel fuel rose 0.7% for the month but fell 1% for the year, aluminum mill shapes rose 0.3% for the month but were down 0.1% for the year, and steel mill products dropped 0.1% for the month and were down 8.3% for the year. The good news is that, compared to last January, bid levels for finished structures rose at comparable rates to the price of materials: the index for new school buildings rose 0.9% for the year; new industrial construction prices were up 1.4%; new office construction prices increased 1% and new warehouse prices rose 2.9%.


LOCAL | February 22, 2013
Revel Files Chapter 11

Revel Casino in Atlantic City, built with much fanfare and a large financial package from NJ EDA, announced it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March. The casino had recorded monthly revenues lower than most of the other 11 AC casinos since it opened, and posted its second-worst month in January. The bankruptcy is a voluntary, “prepackaged” filing that will eliminate about two-thirds of Revel’s $1.5 billion debt, converting more than $1 billion of it into equity for lenders. According to Revel’s CEO, Kevin DeSanctis, the current management will remain, no layoffs are planned, and employees and vendors will continue to be paid. The restructuring is expected to be completed by early summer.


LOCAL | February 7, 2013
The Wave Parking Garage Arts Project Fast-Tracked

The bid documents for the arts hub in AC’s “The Wave” parking garage indicate a fast track for the project. Intent on developing an Arts District in the city, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority is now looking for more than just retail space. The bid docs seek companies to construct the inside of the 17,000 sq.ft. space for studios, galleries, a museum shop and a small café. Bids are due February 20, work must be completed within 100 days of commencement, no time extensions will be given, and the CRDA may be looking at an August 1 opening date.


NATIONAL | February 4, 2013
Construction Adds 28,000 Jobs in January

The construction industry added 28,000 jobs in January, up 1.8% from January 2012. And while the unemployment rate for the year dropped – from 17.7% in January 2012 to 16.1% in January 2013 – it actually rose for the month, up 13.5% over December 2012. All construction sectors gained jobs except non-residential building, which lost 2,700 jobs in January.

January 2013

LOCAL | January 31, 2013
County Reviews Development Plans Around Trenton Airport

Approximately 1,300 acres surround Trenton-Mercer Airport, and last week Mercer County freeholders for the first time looked at possibilities for commercial development of those acres, presented in a study commissioned by the county in 2010. The study divided the land into four quadrants, slated for highway, medical-technology, State Police and National Guard use, and town center development, all designed to complement Ewing’s planned town center on the site of the former GM plant and Naval Air Warfare station. The plans for the airport are considered very preliminary and had no costs listed.


NATIONAL | January 30, 2013
Construction Employment Up for Year in 41% of Metro Areas

Compared to December 2011, construction employment in December 2012 was up in 139 out of 337 metro areas, 41% of the areas tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It declined in 133 (39%) and remained unchanged in 65 (19%). New Jersey’s metro areas did not fare well this December compared to last, with construction employment down in every area except Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton, which remained unchanged. Percentage-wise, Atlantic City-Hammonton was the hardest hit in the state, with a 5% drop in a loss of 300 jobs. Also down: Edison-New Brunswick lost 900 jobs, a 3% drop; Newark-Union lost 700 jobs, a 2% drop; Bergen-Hudson-Passaic and Camden each lost 600 jobs, a 2% and 3% drop respectively; and Trenton-Ewing lost 100 jobs, a 2% drop.


NATIONAL | January 25, 2013
Deputy Secretary Appointed Acting Secretary of Labor

With the resignation of US Labor Secretary Hilda Solis this week, Deputy Secretary Seth D. Harris has been appointed acting secretary until a new secretary is selected and confirmed. Harris joined the DOL in May 2009, leaving his position as a professor of law at New York Law School, where he was also director of its Labor & Employment Law Programs. His previous public service encompassed seven years at the DOL in various positions during Clinton’s presidency, including counselor to the secretary of labor. He holds a BS from Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and a JD from NYU School of Law, and has written extensively about the National Labor Relations Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, worker organizing and employment discrimination laws.


NATIONAL | January 23, 2013
State-by-State, Construction Employment Up in December

December looked much more promising than November, as 33 states added construction jobs, up from 20 in November. Numbers for the year weren’t quite as rosy, with 24 states adding construction jobs compared to December 2011, 24 states shedding jobs, and two states showing no change for the year. New Jersey ranked third in the nation for adding construction jobs in December, up 3.6% with an increase of 4,300 jobs. But compared to December 2011, New Jersey lost 3,600 jobs, a 2.8% decrease.


LOCAL | January 23, 2013
AC’s South Inlet Redevelopment Scaled Back

Atlantic City’s South Inlet redevelopment was originally planned as upscale shops, restaurants, housing and a park, funded by a $50 million investment – loans via the NJ EDA leveraged through Revel revenue. Since that revenue has not materialized, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has decided to scale back plans and yesterday agreed to allocate $8.6 million for land acquisition, site preparation, relocation stipends for residents, legal services, demolition and environmental remediation. The site is bordered by Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Oriental and Pacific avenues, and also includes a few parcels of land on Oriental north to Vermont Avenue. The CRDA plans to send offer letters to property owners in February, followed by notices to vacate soon after. However, the CRDA also said it will accommodate residents who need more than a 90-day notice period because the funding for the new project doesn’t yet exist.


NATIONAL | January 22, 2013
Defense Authorization Bill Helpful to Small Business

The Defense Authorization Bill was signed into law this month with a bonus for smaller contractors: The value cap on a project eligible for the Small Business Administration’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program has been increased from $2 million to $6.5 million. The revised provision expands the ability of smaller construction firms to obtain bonds through the SBA program for federal, state, local and private contracts. By using the SBA bond guarantee program, those firms can secure financial credit to establish relationships with bond producers and surety insurers, grow their businesses and even graduate from the SBA program entirely.


LOCAL | January 21, 2013
Atlantic City Visitor Count Rises for Month and Year

Compared to November, the first month following Hurricane Sandy, the number of conventions, trade shows and meetings in AC increased 20%, the number of room nights and attendees rose 5% and attendee spending rose 2%. For the year, the number of rooms generated jumped 31%, the number of events rose 24% and the number of attendees leaped 43%. The number of new website visitors in December increased 6% for the month, 19% for the year, totaling more than 3.2 million. And on Facebook, AC’s page posted 41,667 new “likes” in December, a whopping 917% growth over December 2011.


LOCAL | January 21, 2013
Camden Renaissance School In Planning Stage

The KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy submitted an application in December for its first privately run, publicly financed Renaissance School, planned for a site at 525 Clinton Street in Camden that the state had reserved for the Lanning Square Elementary School. The academy wants to acquire the site, currently owned jointly by the SDA and the Camden Board of Education, and develop a five-school campus next to the Cooper University Medical School of Rowan University. The first charter-like school, with an anticipated opening of Fall 2014, will hold pre-K and kindergarten, and add a grade each year of approximately 100 students per grade. A middle school in the same building is planned for opening in Fall 2017, with a second elementary school, a discrete middle school and a high school also in the plans, projected to educate 2,800 Camden students. The academy team must submit land acquisition plans and a construction schedule to the state by February 26, 2013. The Cooper Foundation of Cooper University Hospital is headed by CEO Susan Bass Levin, formerly Deputy Director of the Port Authority, DCA Commissioner, Chairman of the Board of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency and the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, and Mayor of Cherry Hill.


NATIONAL | January 18, 2013
Construction Materials Prices Down for Month, Up for Year

Prices for construction materials dipped slightly at year’s end, but were up 1.3% for the year. That’s better than the 5% hike in 2010 and 2011, but contractors predict continued increases in 2013. Some prices were more favorable: steel mill products fell 7.9% in 2012 after two years of 12%+ increases; aluminum mill shapes dropped 1.6% for the year; copper and brass rose 1%; diesel prices rose 1.8%, the smallest increase since 2008; concrete products rose 2.4%; and asphalt paving mixtures and blocks rose 4.4%. By comparison, gypsum products leaped 14% in 2012; lumber and plywood jumped 10.8%; architectural coatings, including paint, jumped 10.1%; insulation materials climbed 5.1%; and plastic construction products rose 4.7%. Overall, the producer price index on new construction also rose for the year: new schools buildings up 1.1%; new industrial and office construction up 1.4%; and new warehouses up 2.6%. On the plus side, 29% of contractors responding to the AGC of America 2013 Construction Outlook survey report they plan to raise bid prices in 2013, compared to only 15% who raised prices in 2012.


LOCAL | January 16, 2013
OSHA OKs Worker Exposure to Hurricane Sandy Contaminants

OSHA monitors Hurricane Sandy recovery workers for their exposure to contaminants following the storm, including carbon monoxide, asbestos and silica. After its first round of testing last week, OSHA reports that exposure levels so far have not exceeded the Permissible Exposure Limits. We will cover this topic more extensively in the January Update.


LOCAL | January 14, 2013
Saddle Brook to Build Low-Income Senior Housing

The town of Saddle Brook will purchase the site of a former nursing home to build low-income housing for seniors age 62 and older who meet certain income requirements. The project, planned as a two-story building with 30 rooms, will be overseen by the Bergen County Housing Authority. Saddle Brook will use approximately $850,000 in existing COAH funds toward the project.


LOCAL | January 14, 2013
Walmart to Build in Mount Laurel

Following approval from the Mount Laurel Planning Board last week, Walmart plans to build a 93,944 sq.ft. retail store, open 24 hours a day, with an outdoor garden center and 518 parking spaces. The store will be located on a 23-acre site at Fellowship Road and Beaver Avenue that is part of a designated redevelopment zone. The plan was amended to address resident concerns, limiting grocery operations to 25% of the floor space, controlling traffic flow from the parking lot to protect residential streets, and protecting and expanding the wetlands adjacent to the building.


LOCAL | January 14, 2013
Hackensack Approves Mixed-Use Redevelopment

Hackensack has approved redevelopment of a decaying block on State Street, transforming the empty lots and vacant buildings into high-density mixed-use between Warren and Bergen streets. The plans call for up to 230 residential units for a variety of income levels, and is part of a larger downtown rehabilitation vision for the city. The State Street Redevelopment Plan was created by DMR Architects.


LOCAL | January 10, 2013
NJ Laborers Endorse Christie for Governor

Back on December 18, 2012, the New Jersey Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), one of the state’s largest labor unions, endorsed Chris Christie for a second term as governor. LIUNA Vice President Ray Pocino delivered the endorsement at Laborers Local No. 472 Training Center in Aberdeen, putting the weight of 20,000 members behind the election campaign.


LOCAL | January 10, 2013
Atlantic County to Pay Contractor Debt for NextGen Park

Atlantic County has agreed to help pay off contractor debt incurred by the South Jersey Economic Development District for the NextGen Aviation Research and Technology Park. In an agreement entered into Tuesday with the SJEDD and Cape May, Cumberland and Salem counties, Atlantic County will pay off an amount to be negotiated that falls between $257,000 and $474,000. The county will receive a $250,000 reimbursement from the US Economic Development Administration, and will use leftover bond monies to pay off the remaining contractor debt. Aside from that debt, nearly a million in operation expenses and two loans still need to be paid, but the county agreement allows the park to move forward in the hopes it will create a large number of jobs.


NATIONAL | January 10, 2013
Hilda Solis Resigns as Secretary of Labor

Hilda L. Solis, the first and only Hispanic woman to serve in a top Cabinet post, resigned yesterday as Secretary of Labor after serving through President Obama’s first term as President. It is rumored she will run for office in Los Angeles.


NATIONAL | January 10, 2013
November Construction Employment Down in Nearly Half of Metro Areas

Compared to November 2011, construction employment dropped in November in 151 of 337 metro areas (45%), rose in 126 and remained the same in 60. AGC of America notes metro areas in New York and New Jersey were hit particularly hard in November, the first full month following Hurricane Sandy. Edison-New Brunswick lost 3,800 jobs – 10% – more than all but five other metro areas in the country. Newark-Union lost 3,100 jobs – 9% – coming in ninth in the top 10 hardest-hit metro areas nationwide. All other New Jersey metro areas lost jobs during the period: Atlantic City-Hammonton lost 400 construction jobs, down 7%; Bergen-Hudson-Passaic lost 1,200 jobs, down 4%; Camden lost 1,700 jobs, down 8%; Trenton-Ewing lost 100 jobs, down 2%; and Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton also lost 100 jobs, down 3%. Statewide we lost 8,900 construction jobs in the year from November to November, a 7% drop. New York’s Nassau-Suffolk metro area lost the most in the US – down 6,900 jobs, an 11% drop. Putnam-Rockland-Westchester ranked fourth in the top 10 worst, losing 4,300 jobs, a 13% hit.


NATIONAL | January 7, 2013
President Signs $633 Billion Defense Bill

In the overnight hours of January 3, 2013, President Obama signed into law the $633 billion defense bill. The bill authorizes $528 billion for the Defense Department’s base budget and $17 billion for defense and nuclear programs in the Energy Department.


NATIONAL | January 7, 2013
Construction Industry Adds Jobs, But Unemployment Rises

The construction industry nationwide added 30,000 jobs in December, but the unemployment rate rose for the month from 12.2% to 13.5%. Compared to December 2011, construction employment in total rose only 0.3%. And while the non-residential sector added 11,900 jobs in December, a 0.3% increase over November, the sector lost 12,400 jobs for the year, down 0.4% compared to December 2011. Of those 11,900 jobs created in December, 5,600 were in the non-residential specialty trades, and 7,000 were added by non-residential building contractors. Heavy and civil construction firms lost 700 jobs from November to December.


NATIONAL | January 4, 2013
First Hurricane Sandy Aid Bill Passes, Giving $9.7 Billion to Fund Insurance

Today the US House of Representatives passed the first hurricane relief bill, $9.7 billion that will help pay flood insurance claims filed by homeowners and businesses hurt by the superstorm. The US Senate is expected to follow suit this afternoon. The bipartisan majority vote followed three days of outraged complaints from states most affected by the storm after the House decided not to vote on the original bill, which slated $60.4 billion for hurricane relief. Particularly pointed was a comment from New Jersey Governor Christie, who said the House inaction was another reason “why the American people hate Congress.” House Speaker John Boehner, whose re-election as Speaker was targeted in the outrage, announced the House would vote on aid in two packages. The second, $51 billion, will be voted on by January 15.


LOCAL | January 3, 2013
Burlington County Approves $60 Million in New Capital Improvements

Burlington County has approved a $60 million bond issue, part of which will cover redesign and rebuild of the county’s administration building to improve security in 2013 and 2014. The bond issue is part of $90 million slated for capital improvements to county government buildings, roads, bridges and other operations. The upgrades to the county administration building, estimated at $4.8 million, include elimination of multiple entrances to the administration building and the adjacent county courthouse, creating instead a single main entrance at the front of the administration building and redirecting access, both underground and through the courtyard, to the courthouse. As part of the security measures, the courtyard will be enclosed. Other projects in the budget include $9.6 million for masonry and window replacement at the county human services building in Westhampton, $1.8 million for roof replacement at the county detention center, $2.7 million to buy highway department trucks and other equipment, $3 million to overlay roads, and millions in road-widening and bridge work. All the plans are still in the design stage and will move forward when the planning board agrees to initiate the construction phase. At least $17 million of the $90 million total will be provided through state and federal grants.


LOCAL | January 2, 2013
Princeton Arts & Transit Project Moves Toward February Start Date

The two Princetons have voted to merge, and the planning board has approved by a vote of 9-1 Princeton University’s $300 million arts and transit project, making it possible for construction to begin as early as next month. Opponents vow to continue the fight against the project, which calls for moving the Dinky commuter rail station 460 feet south of its current location to make room for theaters and other buildings at University Place and Alexander Road.


NATIONAL | January 2, 2013
November Construction Spending Down for Month, Up for Year

Overall construction spending dropped 0.3% from October to November 2012, but was up 7.7% from November 2011. Multi-family housing spending was up 0.5% for the month, and up a strong 46% for the year. In other private sectors, lodging construction declined 1.3% for the month but was up 26% for the year; office construction dropped 0.9% for the month, up 17% for the year; private transportation construction was up 3.4% for the month, gaining 16% for the year; and power and energy construction dropped 1.4% for the month, up 14% for the year. Public construction spending didn’t fare as well, dropping 0.4% for the month and down 2.6% for the year. The two biggest public construction categories were up for the month, down for the year: highway and street construction (up 0.5% for the month, down 6% for the year); and educational construction (up 0.1% for the month, down 3.4% for the year).

December 2012

NATIONAL | December 28, 2012
November Construction Employment Drops in Most States

Only 20 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs in November compared to November 2011. AGC of America attributed the lack of hiring to the threatened fiscal cliff spending cuts and tax increases that will occur if Congress takes no action before the new year. The region was hit hard, with Delaware (a loss of 1,700 jobs, down 8.9%), New York (a loss of 16,100 jobs, down 5.2%) and Pennsylvania (a loss of 10,700 jobs, down 4.7%) among the top five states in numbers and percentages of jobs lost. New Jersey just missed landing in the top five worst states, losing 7,400 construction jobs in the year, a 5.7% drop, which ranked it #46 out of 50 states and DC.


NATIONAL | December 18, 2012
EPA Finalizes Particle Pollution Standard

When the EPA didn’t meet the deadline for its mandated five-year standards review under the Clean Air Act, a federal court ordered it to issue a final update to its national air-quality standards by December 14. Thus, the standard for harmful fine particle pollution (PM2.5), including soot, is now set at 12 micrograms per cubic meter, down from 15. The EPA predicts that all but about 10 counties in the US, out of more than 3,000, will be able to meet the new standard by 2020, as required by the Clean Air Act, by relying on air-quality improvements already mandated by the feds.


LOCAL | December 18, 2012
EDA Approves Grant for Proposed Harrah’s Conference Center

NJ EDA has approved a $24.1 million, 20-year Economic Redevelopment and Growth grant for Harrah’s proposed conference center in Atlantic City, a project yet to be approved by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, although the CRDA has already agreed to finance approximately $45 million of the $144.6 million estimated cost. Based on another EDA-backed project in AC, EDA calculated the grant based on Harrah’s securing a $54 million loan at 13%, to be repaid over 15 years. If the 243,000 sq.ft. conference and meeting facility is a go, construction is scheduled to begin mid-2013, with completion by the end of 2014.


NATIONAL | December 13, 2012
ConsensusDOCS Contract Makes Federal Work Easier

ConsensusDOCS has updated its 752 Federal Subcontract Agreement to address recent changes in federal contracting, thus making it easier for general contractors and subcontractors to perform federal work. The revised contract includes requirements for certifying small business entities and reporting executive compensation. AGC of America, a founding member of ConsensusDOCS, offers member pricing (at least a 20% discount) on all ConsensusDOCS purchases. Members should use Discount Code "AGC100" when ordering at www.consensusdocs.org.


NATIONAL | December 10, 2012
Fall Construction Employment Down, Spending Up

Construction spending went up in October for the seventh consecutive month, but construction employment dropped in October and November. Total construction spending rose, up 1.4% from September’s upwardly revised total and 9.6% above the October 2011 number, making it the highest total since September 2009. Private nonresidential construction was up 3% from September and 21% above last October. Public construction edged up 0.8% over the previous month, but slipped a percentage point from last year. Within the private nonresidential sector, power construction carried most of the gain, up 1.6% for the month and 19% for the year. Manufacturing construction dropped 2.5% for the month but was up 3.6% for the year. Commercial construction rose 1.2% in October and 9.5% for the year. In the public sector, education rose only 0.9% for the month and dropped 2.8% for the year. Construction lost 20,000 jobs in November, with the biggest chunk coming from nonresidential building contractors, which lost 15,900 for the month. The construction unemployment rate rose from 11.4% in October to 12.2% in November. And construction employment in October declined in 156 out of 337 metro areas, with the largest job losses hitting this region: Nassau-Suffolk, NY, down 5,600 jobs (a 9% loss); Philadelphia, down 5,400 jobs (an 8% loss); and Newark-Union, down 4,000 jobs (an 11% loss).


LOCAL | December 4, 2012
Skate Park in Atlantic City?

At its December 18 meeting, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority could vote to hire a builder for a skate park in Atlantic City, after two months of advertising the job. Estimated at $850,000, the park would be built on a vacant third-acre lot owned by the CRDA on Arctic Avenue next to The Walk, with opening anticipated next summer. The park would accommodate both skateboards and BMX bikes.


LOCAL | December 4, 2012
Belmar Boardwalk Replacement Out for Bid

Belmar has officially put out a bid to build a new boardwalk, replacing the 1.3-mile boardwalk destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. The bid includes a bond, financial penalties for missing deadlines and incentives for completing construction ahead of schedule. Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty introduced a $20 million bond ordinance in November to pay for the boardwalk, and has emphatically stated the Belmar boardwalk will be open in time for the summer tourism season, continuing the tradition that began in 1875.


LOCAL | December 3, 2012
Mount Laurel Funplex Seeks Expansion

The Mount Laurel Funplex in Burlington County wants to expand, with a hotel and two restaurants on its 30-acre property, and have met with a positive response from the town’s planning board. Currently the Funplex has miniature golf, go-karts, a Splashin’ Speedway water course, an arcade and other attractions. The plans call for a 131-room hotel and two 5,000 sq.ft. restaurants, plus a 5,000 sq. ft. addition to the Funplex buildings, a new wastewater pumping station and a stormwater management center.

November 2012

NATIONAL | November 28, 2012
Construction Employment Down for Year, Up for Month

Construction employment declined in 28 states in the year from October 2011 to October 2012, but increased in 31 states during the past month. States in the region were hit hard for the year, with New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey losing the most construction jobs among all 50 states. From October to October, New York lost 12,800 (down 4.1%), Pennsylvania lost 10,400 jobs (down 4.6%) and New Jersey lost 7,400 jobs (down 5.7%). But compared to the previous month, September 2012, New Jersey looks better, ranking second in number of construction jobs gained (up 4,500) among all states and third in percentage of jobs gained (up 3.8%). The Bureau of Labor Statistics data was collected before Hurricane Sandy, and doesn’t reflect changes in construction employment caused by the storm.


LOCAL | November 28, 2012
ShopRite Coming to Wyckoff

On Monday, the Wyckoff Planning Board approved Inserra Supermarkets’ plan to develop a 62,042 sq.ft. ShopRite at the corner of Greenwood and Wyckoff avenues. The approval came after two-and-a-half years of public comment and expert testimony, during which Inserra addressed numerous issues on traffic, safety, architecture, landscaping, drainage and parking regulations. The existing structure on the site, vacant for more than a decade, will be demolished.


LOCAL | November 26, 2012
Harrah’s Conference Center Progresses With CRDA Approval

Last Tuesday, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority approved financing a third of the proposed $134 million conference center at Harrah’s. The CRDA unanimously agreed to contribute $45 million toward the 200,000 sq.ft. facility. The rest of the financing is due to come from loans, as yet unsecured. If all goes according to Caesars Entertainment plans, construction will begin in January and be completed by July 2014.


NATIONAL | November 15, 2012
October Construction Materials Prices Down Slightly

For the year, materials prices continue to squeeze contractors, even though October saw a 0.4% decrease in the producer price index for inputs to construction. The index rose 2% in the 12 months ending in October, while the prices contractors charge for work were largely unchanged. By product index, diesel fuel rose 2.3% in October and 12.6% for the year; copper and brass mill shapes climbed 2.8% in October, up 4.7% for the year; steel mill products dropped 1.9% for the month, down 8.5% for the year; lumber and plywood decreased 1.8% for the month, but were up 6.2% for the year; gypsum and insulation products fell 0.7% for October but rose 14.1% and 5.5% respectively for the year. AGC of America Chief Economist Ken Simonson warns that short-term declines in diesel and copper futures will be offset by hikes in steel, gypsum and concrete prices, announced by suppliers for December or January.


LOCAL | November 15, 2012
Atlantic County Considers Paying Debt to Advance NextGen Park

The South Jersey Economic Development District owes contractors $595,000 for work done on the NextGen Aviation Research and Technology Park, and now Atlantic County is considering paying off the debt in order to advance the project. Using existing bond money, the county could pay the debt and receive a reimbursement of $250,000 from the US Economic Development Administration. Three other counties in the District – Cape May, Cumberland and Salem – must agree to back a loan to cover the District’s remaining debt, which totals $750,000. In theory, the District would be able to pay back the loan over time, but the counties would be responsible should the District default. Atlantic County would like the project to proceed based on its potential to diversify the region and bring in 2,000 high-paying engineering jobs.


NATIONAL | November 8, 2012
Construction Employment Continues to Suffer; NJ Losses Prominent

Even as construction spending hit a three-year high, construction employment continued to stagnate in September. It declined in 28 states compared to last September, but rose in 30 states for the month from August to September of this year. And 160 out of 337 metro areas lost construction jobs from last September to this. From September to October 2012, nationally the sector added 17,000 jobs and the unemployment rate dropped to 11.4%. Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, New Jersey lost the most jobs in the year, down 13,400, a 10.2% loss, the second-highest percentage drop after Alaska. And New Jersey also lost the biggest percentage of jobs from August to September 2012, dropping 3.4% on a loss of 4,200 jobs. Edison-New Brunswick lost the fourth-highest number of jobs among metro areas compared to September 2011, down 4,800 jobs, a 13% drop. Year-over-year, the other New Jersey metro areas all lost jobs, as follows: Atlantic City-Hammonton lost 500 jobs, an 8% decline; Bergen-Hudson-Passaic lost 1,900 jobs, a 7% drop; Camden lost 1,700 jobs, also a 7% drop; Newark-Union lost 3,100 jobs, a 9% drop; Trenton-Ewing lost 300 jobs, a 6% drop; and Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton lost 200 jobs, another 7% drop.


NATIONAL | November 8, 2012
Private Construction Spending Offsets Public for September High

Construction spending hit a three-year high in September, buoyed by projects in private residential and non-residential categories even while public spending dropped. Total construction spending rose 0.6% for the month, up 7.8% over September of last year. At $852 billion, the total was the highest since October 2009. By segment, overall private non-residential construction slid down 0.1% for the month but was up 8.8% for the year; new multi-family construction rose 1.3% for the month, up 49% over last year; power construction rose 1.1% for the month, 20% for the year; manufacturing rose 3.8% for the month, 1.3% for the year; commercial construction (retail, warehouse and farm structures) dropped 3.8% in September but was up 4.4% for the year. Public construction spending dropped for the third straight month, down 0.8% for the month and 4.2% below September 2011.

October 2012

LOCAL | October 26, 2012
Magic Sports Tries for Vineland Complex

Developer Ronald Nametko had tried for years to build a Magic Sports & Health Complex in Mays Landing, but finally gave up his efforts in 2010, in part because of resident opposition. Yesterday, Nametko presented his plans for a $350 million Magic Sports complex on 289 acres near Route 55 and Lincoln and Sheridan avenues in Vineland. The land is currently owned by South Jersey Industries’ Energy and Minerals Inc. Plans call for a 500-room hotel, an indoor and outdoor water park, a conference center, three restaurants, a 10,500-seat domed structure for basketball, a fitness center, fields for softball, baseball, soccer and lacrosse, and housing for visiting athletes. Greg Filipek, president of Sora Northeast Development in Gloucester County, will serve as the project’s master developer. The complex is expected to create at least 1,000 jobs, including short-term construction employment, and will be privately financed. Next step in the approval process is a presentation to the Vineland Zoning Board November 28, 2012.


NATIONAL | October 25, 2012
OSHA Halts Work on Silica Dust Regulation

The current OSHA silica dust regulation allows workers to inhale too much dust – as much as five times more than what OSHA proposes for the new regulation under development. But fracking, it turns out, exposes workers to high levels of crystalline silica dust, which could lead to lung cancer and other health issues. NIOSH released a report in May on the respiratory dangers of fracking, finding that silica exposure on a third of the sites tested was at least 10 times higher than NIOSH recommendations. Because of that information – and because of lobbyist opposition – OSHA has halted development of a new standard until it can study the silica in fracking.


LOCAL | October 25, 2012
NextGen Progresses Slowly Toward Construction

The NextGen Aviation Research and Technology Park would like to see construction begin this year on its first building in Egg Harbor Township – but probably won’t. Working on a contract with New Vistas Corp. of Northfield to develop the site is taking longer than anticipated. And then there are the financial difficulties of the South Jersey Economic Development District, which holds the land lease for the park and wants to turn it over to the NextGen Park board. That transfer is complex, and includes modification of financial and legal arrangements, further stalling the contract with the developer. The SJEDD is also refinancing its debt. In the meantime, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority agreed to use some of its funding for architectural plans, also part of the transfer process. The NextGen Park board hasn’t set any new deadlines for contract completion, but hope to have it in hand soon…and maybe even have a shovel in the ground before the year is out.


LOCAL | October 23, 2012
NJ Tourism Now Under NJSEA

New Jersey’s Division of Travel and Tourism is now under the direction of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which has a redefined mission to promote tourism, entertainment and sports in the state. Wayne Hasenbalg, president and CEO of NJSEA, told the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce membership on October 18, 2012, of the new alignment, explaining that NJSEA will phase out of operating sports venues and become “the driving force” that attracts major sports events such as the Superbowl. Another initiative will promote the golf courses in Atlantic County, aided by funding from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. The goal is to boost the status of tourism, which has long been a strong revenue source, to an authority level under the State Department of State, headed by Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno.


LOCAL | October 22, 2012
Camden and Newark to Get $300,000 Federal Housing Grants

Camden and Newark were the only two New Jersey cities, along with 17 others across the country, to receive a Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant from the US Housing and Urban Development. Camden will use the $300,000 to develop a revitalization plan for the Clement T. Branch Village public housing complex in the city’s Centerville section.


NATIONAL | October 22, 2012
Construction Employment Drops, NJ Sees Steepest Decline

Throughout the recession, New Jersey stayed in the top third among the 50 states in terms of construction employment. But lately, the picture has gotten worse for the state, and in September, New Jersey had the steepest percentage decline in construction jobs (down 3.4%, a loss of 4,200 jobs) among the 19 states that lost construction jobs for the month, and the second largest number of job losses after New York, which lost 4,700 jobs for the month. From last September to this, 28 states lost construction jobs, and New Jersey lost the second-highest percentage of jobs, down 10.2%, and the highest number of jobs, down 13,400.


LOCAL | October 22, 2012
New York City Construction Spending Projected to Rise 9% This Year

By year’s end, New York City’s construction spending will be up 9%, to $30.7 billion, according to a study by the New York Building Congress. It’s the first time construction spending has broken through the $30 billion mark in the city since 2008. The rise is attributed to higher demand for luxury housing, work at the World Trade Center and ongoing public infrastructure investment. Non-residential construction spending is projected to reach an all-time high of $12.6 billion in 2012, up from $10.5 billion in 2011. But the high won’t last – the study predicts spending in the sector will fall by $1.5 billion in 2013, to $11.1 billion, and plummet to $8.8 billion in 2014. Long-term projections are rosier, with 20 million sq.ft. of new office towers ready to go when the economy improves, and a building boom in higher education, particularly at Columbia, New York University and Cornell. On the public side, New York City’s Office of Management and Budget projects that construction commitments will be cut in half between the current fiscal year and fiscal 2015.


LOCAL | October 18, 2012
New York City Accelerates $1 Billion in Infrastructure Projects

The projects are “unglamorous,” and had been slated for later dates in the city’s four-year Capital Commitment Plan, but now New York City will borrow $1 billion at low interest rates to fund projects that are already in progress or ready to go and will immediately create thousands of construction jobs. The projects include nearly $300 million in investments such as lighting and fire safety for 100 public schools; $59.8 million for resurfacing an additional 300 lane-miles of roads, increasing the total lane-miles per year from 700 to 1,000; $37.7 million for street reconstruction; more than $21 million in sewer and water main projects; nearly $20 million for protective bridge coatings; $20 million to improve living conditions in public housing developments; and $13.2 million for waterfront infrastructure improvements. By borrowing now, the city will save more than $200 million because of the low interest rates.


LOCAL | October 18, 2012
Grand-style Convention Center Planned for Harrah’s AC

Harrah’s Casino in Atlantic City could get a $134 million meeting and convention center if owner Caesars Entertainment gets its way. The plans were announced at a meeting of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority on Tuesday. If approved, the addition would be modeled after Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, with 100,000 sq.ft. over two floors and large glass windows overlooking the bay. It would be large enough to host concerts for as many as 4,000 attendees, banquets for 2,500 to 3,000, and business conferences of various sizes. The two floors would offer 58 possible configurations of meeting spaces. The project could break ground in January, creating approximately 340 construction jobs and between 60 and 140 permanent jobs, with completion by July 2014. Caesars would provide $89 million for the projects and would like the CRDA to provide $45 million – one-third of the funding.


LOCAL | October 15, 2012
SDA Announces Advertisement of Phillipsburg High School Project

It’s one of the largest construction projects in the state this year, and the Schools Development Authority recently announced the advertisement of the project after completing site work. DIGroup Architecture of New Brunswick is the architect; Heery International of Neward is the construction manager. The plans call for a 330,021 sq.ft. facility to accommodate 1,846 students in grades 9-12 on a 122-acre hilltop site in Lopatcong, scheduled for completion in August 2016. The building will house 50 general classrooms, six special ed classrooms, 12 Small Group Instruction rooms, three health classrooms, 12 science-related classrooms, three business labs, three computer labs, vocal and instrument music rooms, a media center, an auditorium, a cafeteria and a gym. Additional vocational spaces will be devoted to instruction in agriculture, materials, child development, foods, textiles, electronics, and energy/transportation.


LOCAL | October 15, 2012
Merck Leaving Whitehouse Station for Summit

Pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. announced late last week it is moving its global headquarters from Whitehouse Station in Readington Township to Summit, and will close the Whitehouse Station HQ by mid-2015. Approximately 1,100 employees and contractors will make the move to Summit, while another 900 will be split between Merck’s Branchburg and Cokesbury (Tewksbury Township) locations. The Summit facility currently houses 1,800 in research, manufacturing, animal health, consumer care and administration, and was formerly the Schering-Plough operation that merged with Merck in November 2009.


NATIONAL | October 15, 2012
Study Shows High Rate of Industry Firms Using BIM

McGraw-Hill Construction released a study indicating that use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) among architects, engineers, contractors and owners increased from 17% in 2007 to 49% in 2009 to 71% in 2012. Also in the 2012 findings, more contractors (74%) are using BIM than architects (70%); nearly 40% of BIM users do more than 60% of their work in BIM, up 44% since 2009; and almost half of BIM users (49%) have five or more years of experience using BIM.


NATIONAL | October 15, 2012
Construction Materials Costs Rise Again in September

Diesel fuel and copper and brass mill shape prices rose again in September, pushing up the index overall for construction materials costs by nearly a percentage point (0.9%) while the price indexes for finished nonresidential buildings mostly fell or remained unchanged from the previous month. Diesel fuel rose 5.7% in September after an 8.7% spike in August. Also in September, copper and brass mill shape prices rose 3.6%; aluminum mill shapes, lumber and plywood each rose 1.1%; and steel mill products rose 1%. In contrast, prices for new industrial buildings dropped 0.2% from August to September; new school construction prices dropped 0.1%; and new office and warehouse construction prices remained the same.


LOCAL | October 11, 2012
Princeton Township Approves New Campus Center at Hun School

The Princeton Township Planning Board has approved construction of a 30,000 sq.ft. campus center at the Hun School of Princeton. The Global Commons project, estimated at $8.5 million, will include a multi-purpose center, dorm space for 56 students, four faculty apartments, two global studies classrooms, a campus bookstore, snack bar and mailroom. It is the first project in a series of planned campus additions and renovations at the school, a private co-ed prep school. Scott Landis of The Landis Group will chair the real estate committee overseeing the project, and architects H2L2 of Philadelphia will design the center.


LOCAL | October 11, 2012
New Chief for New York District of Army Corps of Engineers

The US Army Corps of Engineers’ New York District has a new commander, Col. Paul E. Owen, who replaced Col. John R. Boule II. Owen has a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering, a master’s in engineering management and a second master’s in nuclear engineering. New Jersey is covered by the Corps’ New York District, North Atlantic Division.


LOCAL | October 11, 2012
“Building Our Future” Kicks Off Bond Issue Campaign

On Monday, the Building Our Future coalition officially launched a campaign to garner public support for a $750 million bond issue that will appear on the ballot in New Jersey on November 6. The bond would help fund higher-education capital construction at the state’s colleges and universities, and could create as many as 7,000 construction jobs and 3,000 indirect jobs, generating a half-billion dollars in additional wages. Because the academic institutions would have to ante up 25% of the construction costs to receive the funding, and taking into consideration possible public-private partnerships that could leverage the funding, the $750 million could represent closer to $1 billion in real investment. The coalition is chaired by former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean, who was joined at the kickoff by Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, New Jersey Building & Construction Trades Council President Bill Mullen and PSEG Chairman Ralph Izzo, who also serves as president of Rutgers’ governing board. Also in attendance were business executives, higher-education officials, labor leaders and students, all urging the public to vote YES on Public Question 1.


LOCAL | October 11, 2012
Townhomes Planned for Old Ventnor Hotel

The Monaco, a dilapidated and empty hotel on the Ventnor Boardwalk, is slated for demolition, with 27 high-end townhomes planned for the site. Residential Development Corp. of Spring House, PA, envisions “The Waves” as townhomes with prices that start at $700,000 and rise to $1.2 million. The Ventnor Planning Board has started the process to change the zoning in the area so that the project can apply for state environmental approvals, the first step before the Monaco can be torn down.


LOCAL | October 3, 2012
National Park Service Gives Final Approval to High-Power Line

PSE&G announced yesterday that its super-powered Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line, planned to cut across Northern New Jersey, got final approval from the National Park Service. The line would double the capacity of the existing infrastructure from 230 to 500 kilovolts and raise the heights of the transformer towers, currently 65 to 80 feet, to as high as 190 feet. It will run 45 miles through 16 municipalities in Essex, Morris, Warren and Sussex counties before crossing into Pennsylvania, where it will run another 101 miles, constructed by PPL Electric Utilities of Allentown, PA. National Park Service approval was necessary because the line travels through the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, all protected federal parks. The project is expected to be completed in 2015.


LOCAL | October 3, 2012
Developers Present Plans for Flemington’s Union Hotel

The Union Hotel on Main Street in Flemington was built in 1878, became famous worldwide in 1935 during the Lindbergh baby kidnapping trial, and closed down in 2008. The Borough Council, which took it over in 2010 as “an area in need of redevelopment,” announced yesterday that proposals from four developers to revitalize the historic, four-story hotel would be available for public review at Borough Hall by next Tuesday, October 9. The proposals were submitted by RPM Development Group of Montclair; Cirquell LLC, owned by Joe LoPiccolo and his wife, a group that had submitted a previous proposal; Flemington Union Hotel LLC, headed by Matt McPherson who owns Matt’s Red Rooster Grill in town and who was formerly part of Cirquell; and Phoenix Realty Resources LLC, which had also submitted a previous proposal.


NATIONAL | October 3, 2012
Bill Introduced to Encourage Energy-Efficient Retrofits

The Commercial Building Modernization Act (S. 3591), recently introduced bipartisan legislation, proposes to extend and improve a current federal tax deduction by leveraging private-sector investment for technology-neutral, performance-based retrofits. The goal is to make it easier for building owners to apply for the tax deduction for comprehensive energy retrofits – and thereby generate as many as 80,000 jobs in construction, manufacturing and other related service jobs. Introducing co-sponsors are Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), Jeff Bingaman (D-New Mexico) and Dianne Feinstein (D-California).


NATIONAL | October 2, 2012
August Construction Spending Down for Month, Up for Year

August construction spending was down 0.6% from July’s figure, but was up 6.5% over August 2011. By segment, private nonresidential construction dropped 1.7% for the month, up 7.2% for the year. Public construction declined 0.8% for the month and was down 3.5% for the year. Multi-family construction had the largest gains, up 3.7% for the month and 44.8% for the year. Lodging dropped 0.1% in August but was up 33.7% for year, and education, which dropped 0.9% for the month, was up 22% for the year. Power and energy construction fell for the sixth consecutive month, down 3.7% in August, but was still up 12.3% over last year. Manufacturing construction was down 0.7% for the month, up 6.1% for the year.


NATIONAL | October 2, 2012
New Jersey Gets $2 Million Grant to Improve UI Program

New Jersey is one of 30 states to receive a grant for “Unemployment Insurance program integrity, performance and system improvement projects” from the US Department of Labor. The goal is to prevent, detect and recover UI payments made improperly by the states and help them determine the causes of the bad payments. New Jersey’s “Program Integrity Award,” $2,076,685, may be used to update information technology, expand the use of re-employment and eligibility assessments, and implement the US Department of the Treasury’s “Treasury Offset Program,” which allows state residents to offset their UI overpayments with federal income tax returns.


NATIONAL | October 2, 2012
Sharp Crackdown in Enforcement of Federal Contracting Rules

A Government Accountability Officer report released in August 2011 noted six of 10 executive-branch agencies weren’t strongly enforcing federal contracting rules. But for a two-year period, suspensions and debarments were up 73%, from 1,918 contractors in 2009 to 3,326 in 2011, an increase of 1,408 contractors. Agencies with the most suspensions and debarments in 2011 include the Defense Department (859), Department of Housing and Urban Development (554), Department of Homeland Security (235), and Environmental Protection Agency (231).

September 2012

LOCAL | September 28, 2012
Mixed-Use Project Planned Around NJPAC

Newark’s Rittenhouse Square section around the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Military Park is slated for a $110 million mixed-use development called One Theater Square, developed by Dranoff Properties. The project, expected to break ground next year, will include a 25-story, 250-unit rental apartment building with 20,000 sq.ft. of retail, constructed on a parking lot across from NJPAC’s public plaza. The design, by Bower Lewis Thrower of Philadelphia, mirrors NJPAC’s steel, brick and glass.


LOCAL | September 28, 2012
Irvington Authorizes Sale of Former Hospital Site

Irvington’s hospital, closed in 2006 and vacant since 2007 when the community health center shut down, may finally have a buyer. Kapwood LLC of Irvington, a developer that has rescued other abandoned properties in the city, offered $1 million for the 6-acre site, a third of the price city officials had hoped to get but a price they agreed to accept in a town council meeting this week. Kapwood’s mixed-use plan for the site calls for 171 units of multi-family housing and 60,000 sq.ft. of commercial and retail space, including a daycare center. Adenah Bayoh, a Kapwood principal, redeveloped a vacant building at Stuyvesant and Clinton, and a second property on Springfield Avenue that she converted into an IHOP restaurant.


LOCAL | September 28, 2012
“Do AC” Morphs to “Do Change”

With the seasons, Atlantic City’s ad campaign is changing from “Do AC” to “Do Change,” a slogan that can be seen and heard through December in ads on TV, radio, in print and online. It’s part of the “Do Anything, Do Everything, Do AC” campaign that highlights non-gambling amenities. Along with the campaign, the Atlantic City Boardwalk Operations Center at Indiana Avenue will hand out free coffee on the weekends, 7 a.m. to noon, through November 18 (weather permitting). The Center will also offer free air for bicyclists to pump up their tires.


LOCAL | September 25, 2012
Hackensack’s Main Street Rehabilitation Plan Reviewed

Hackensack officials met with developers yesterday to review a proposed rehabilitation plan for the city that is designed to streamline the application process, ease parking requirements and change traffic patterns on Main Street to encourage development. During the application process, developers will be able to meet with a technical review committee of city officials for advice on what to expect when they meet with the planning board. In addition, the city will lower the number of parking spaces developers must currently allow, a move that could save more than $2 million. And Main Street might change from a one-way to a two-way street.


LOCAL | September 25, 2012
New Brunswick School Finally Scheduled for Construction

Another school is on-schedule for construction – and this one has been waiting a long time. The A. Chester Redshaw Elementary School in New Brunswick, demolished in 2006, will finally be replaced by a new one on the same site at 216 Livingston Avenue. On Monday, the Schools Development Authority awarded a $34.8 million contract to BCANJ member Hall Construction Co. of Howell to design and build a 135,000 sq.ft. school to accommodate 906 students from pre-K through fifth grade. The Redshaw school was part of Governor Christie’s plan, announced last year, to spend $584 million on 10 schools.


LOCAL | September 24, 2012
NJ DOT Names Two More Transit Villages

In the past month, East Orange and Dunellen have become the latest New Jersey towns to be designated “Transit Villages” by the state Department of Transportation. The state now has 26. All are eligible for development funds because of the designation. Developer Blackstone 360 in East Orange, which already turned two rundown buildings on South Harrison Street near the town’s Brick Church station into luxury apartment complexes, now plans two more buildings on the street. Evergreen Crossings, a project slated for a vacant lot facing Brick Church Station that stalled more than five years ago, could get a fresh start in the new Transit Village, as the city council reviews proposals from three redevelopers. In Dunellen, three parcels of land totaling 23.5 acres near the train station are targeted for redevelopment as housing and mixed-use sites.


NATIONAL | September 24, 2012
Construction Employment Down in 30 States for Year, 26 for Month

Nearly a third of the states lost construction jobs in the year from August 2011 to August 2012, and half lost construction jobs from July to August 2012. Regionally, Connecticut and Pennsylvania had steep declines for the month, down 1,300 jobs (a 2.7% drop) and 3,300 jobs (a 1.5% drop) respectively. New Jersey lost 600 jobs for the month, a 0.5% drop, and was down 7,700 jobs for the year, a 5.9% decline, ranking the state 41 out of 50.


LOCAL | September 24, 2012
Ewing Affordable Housing Gets Federal Tax Credits

The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency awarded Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits to the Gardens at Birmingham, a 48-unit affordable housing community located on the site of the former Naval Air Warfare Center in Ewing. The monies will generate more than $9 million in equity for the project, a joint venture of Community Investment Strategies Inc. of Lawrenceville and W. Barry Rank, an attorney and developer in Pennington. The project, adjacent to a shopping center and near NJ Transit routes, is expected to break ground this year and be ready for occupancy by late summer next year. It will include a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units with energy-efficient appliances, washers and dryers, and dishwashers.


LOCAL | September 24, 2012
New Arts Center in Millville Extends Cumberland County College Program

Last week, Cumberland County College announced it will extend its arts program into Millville with a new arts center, to be built in the arts district on the corner of High and Vine streets. The three-story, 30,000 sq.ft. structure, a partnership between the college and the Millville Urban Redevelopment Corporation, will house Clay College, a ceramics studio currently located on Sassafras Street, as well as the Cumberland and Salem Workforce Education Alliance, the non-credit portion of the college, classrooms, a college art gallery, computer labs, a café and other art studios. It is expected to accommodate 500 students and could create as many as 30 new downtown businesses. Cost is estimated at $7 million, with $2.5 million coming from the Redevelopment Corporation, $1.5 million from the college and the rest through grants, bonding and other partnerships.


LOCAL | September 24, 2012
Governor Announces $500 Million in SDA Construction Projects

Governor Christie announced today another $500 million in new school construction projects to commence within the next six months. The governor said the SDA school facilities projects will either start construction or be advertised for construction throughout the state. According to the Governor’s Office, the SDA’s list of active projects is valued at more than $2 billion, a total that includes the 2011 and 2012 capital projects valued at more than $1 billion, other projects under construction worth $86 million, “emergent” projects worth $43 million and Regular Operating District grants of $743 million from the state.


LOCAL | September 21, 2012
No Hard Rock “Boutique” Casino in AC

In March we posted on Hot Topics that the Hard Rock, which had planned to build the first “boutique” casino in Atlantic City under legislation passed last year, had asked for a six-month extension on a licensing deadline. Now the Casino Control Commission has announced Hard Rock has walked away from the project, at least for now.


LOCAL | September 20, 2012
CRDA Approves More “Eyesore” Demolition Funding

As we told you in the latest issue of BUILDING CONTRACTOR Magazine, Vol. II-12, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority had originally seeded $1.5 million into an Atlantic City fund to demolish or repair a targeted 88 “eyesore” buildings. The city spent $1 million on 29 of the sites, and asked the CRDA for additional monies. This week, the CRDA allocated another $1.5 million for the fund.


LOCAL | September 20, 2012
AC Studying Feasibility of Permanent Indoor Marketplace

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority will spend $100,000 on a feasibility study to explore the possibility of building a permanent indoor marketplace of 20,000 to 40,000 sq.ft. that would offer bistros, flower shops and other stores on perhaps an acre of land. The CRDA is considering three locations, two of which it owns – a parking lot on Fairmount Avenue now leased by the South Jersey Transportation Authority, a site next to Boardwalk Hall and a site between Indiana and Ohio avenues now owned by Caesars.


LOCAL | September 20, 2012
Bass Pro Shop Gets Construction Loan for AC “The Walk”

Bass Pro Shop, slated for Phase 4 of “The Walk” in Atlantic City, received approval for a $12.3 million construction loan this week from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. The low-interest, 20-year loan will cover more than two-thirds of the $18 million construction cost. The Cordish Company, the original developer of The Walk and still the developer for Phase 4, also received a tax-abatement plan providing $11 million over 11 years. Construction could begin by spring 2013, with completion expected by late 2013 or spring 2014.


LOCAL | September 18, 2012
Vineland Warehouse to Undergo Major Renovation

A major renovation on a 215,508 sq.ft. manufacturing and cross-deck warehouse recently purchased by Townsend Farms is expected to bid soon. The multi-million dollar project at 3501 South East Boulevard, about a mile from Exit 27 of Route 55, will include raising the ceiling height and adding space for freezer and processing equipment. General Mills leases a portion of the building.


NATIONAL | September 17, 2012
Construction Materials Prices Rise in August

Some materials prices fell, but diesel prices, among others, rose dramatically in August, kicking up the year-to-year costs as well. Overall, the producer price index for inputs to construction increased 0.9% in August and 1% from August 2011. Diesel fuel jumped 8.7% in August, up 5.2% from a year ago. Gypsum rose 0.3% for the month, a leap of 17.8% over last year. Architectural coatings didn’t rise from July but are up 11.7% over last year. Lumber and plywood rose 2.3% in August, up 6.9% over August 2011. On the other side, prices for copper and brass mill shapes dropped 1% for the month, down 14% for the year; steel mill products fell 2.5% for the month, down 8.2% for the year; and aluminum mill shapes fell 0.7% for the month, down 9.8% for the year. In contrast, the prices for finished nonresidential buildings were more-or-less flat for the month, up slightly from a year ago. New industrial buildings remained the same month-over-month, up 1.9% for the year. New office construction was also the same for the month, up 2.4% for the year. New school construction dropped 0.1% for the month, up 3.1% for the year. And new warehouse construction rose 0.3% in August, up 3.8% for the year.


LOCAL | September 17, 2012
Moorestown to Build New Town Hall and Library Complex

Moorestown will borrow nearly $14 million to construct a new town hall and library complex and make other recreation improvements following the Township Council’s approval of four separate bond measures last week. The new town hall comes five years after a fire damaged the old one. In the new complex, 26,000 sq.ft. will house the library, and 19,000 sq.ft. will be dedicated to municipal offices; a $11.9 million bond will cover that construction. The rest of the monies, which total $13.07 million, will go for installation of new lights at Jeff Young Park and Maple Dawson Park ($432,250); improvements to the North Church Street Recreation Center ($655,000); and construction of a second artificial turf field and other improvements at Wesley Bishop Park on Church Street ($1.43 million).


LOCAL | September 12, 2012
Margaritaville at Resorts Gets DEP Permits

The Margaritaville Landshark Bar and Grill, slated for the old Steeplechase Pier as part of the Resorts Casino expansion, received its permits yesterday from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The permits, which ensure beaches and dunes disturbed by construction are returned to their original condition, were required before work could begin. Construction is now scheduled to start in the next few weeks, with a grand opening set for Memorial Day weekend 2013. The project is expected to generate 250 construction jobs and 162 permanent positions. Mohegan Sun, the Connecticut casino, which also features a Margaritaville restaurant, will take over operations at Resorts when the New Jersey Casino Control Commission approves the Resorts-Mohegan management agreement, expected at a special Commission meeting this Friday.


LOCAL | September 11, 2012
AC Non-Gaming Revenues Strong in August

As we alerted you in BUILDING CONTRACTOR Magazine, Vol. III-12, the Division of Gaming Enforcement yesterday released its report of non-gaming business in Atlantic City in August. More than 19,500 visitors stopped by for information at the Visitor Information Centers, a 24% jump from last August and a 10% year-to-date increase over the first eight months of 2011. The doatlanticcity.com website measured more than 441,000 unique hits, a 20% increase from last August. Nearly 67% of those visitors were new to the site. A total of 16 events were held in the Atlantic City Convention Center this August, up from six last year, attracting almost 5,000 attendees who used more than 7,100 room nights and generated more than $2.4 million in spending outside of the room cost. Boardwalk Hall’s three August events attracted more than 27,500 visitors, a 31% hike over last August. Deplanements at Atlantic City International Airport were up 15% in August and up 4.1% year-to-date, while toll traffic at the Pleasantville toll plaza on the AC Expressway increased 11.7% over last August, up 2.9% year-to-date. Many AC attractions reported double-digit percentage increases, including the Aquarium, Absecon Lighthouse and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum. Dolphin-watching cruises also did well. As for the big events in AC in August, Nik Wallenda’s high-wire walk over the beach drew about 150,000 spectators and the annual Atlantic City Airshow, “Thunder Over the Boardwalk,” drew 800,000. Access these stats and more in the monthly Tourism Barometer online at www.doatlanticcity.com/about/stats.aspx.


LOCAL | September 11, 2012
Revel Revenue Hits $20 Million in August

Revel Casino broke through the $20 million mark in August, bringing in its highest monthly revenues yet, more than 14% above July. In total, AC casinos brought in nearly $314 million in August, up 12.6% compared to August 2011, a month hit hard by Hurricane Irene.


NATIONAL | September 10, 2012
Construction Adds Only 1,000 Jobs in August, Workforce Shrinks

Construction employers added 1,000 jobs in August, the industry’s unemployment rate dropped to 11.3%, and AGC of America noted that more than 214,000 workers have left the industry in the past year. Currently, 5.5 million construction workers are employed across the country, down from the peak of 7.7 million in 2006. Job gains were mostly in the residential sector, which added 23,900 jobs since August 2011, and 7,100 between July and August 2012. Nonresidential construction employment dropped 6,000 jobs in August and is down 6,400 for the year. Nonresidential specialty trades lost 6,400 jobs for the month and 18,900 for the year.


LOCAL | September 6, 2012
New York City Carpenters, Contractors Reach Agreement

The New York City District Council of Carpenters approved a five-year collective bargaining agreement with the Association of Wall-Ceiling and Carpentry Industries of New York that provides for full mobility, allowing a contractor to hire a union carpenter and assign that carpenter to any job at any time, regardless of the union out-of-work list. The agreement covers between 7,000 and 8,000 members out of the District Council’s 25,000 total. Other provisions favorable to contractors state the first carpenter on a particular job will be the foreman, who may be selected by the employer, and the second carpenter on the job will be a shop steward selected by the union; if a job has only two carpenters, no shop steward is required. All other carpenters on the job will be selected by the employer, and any employees who are not members of the District Council will be matched one-to-one from the Council’s Job Referral List. The total compensation package will rise from $85.03 per hour to $99.16 per hour at the end of the five years, with an initial increase of $2.13 per hour and $2.40 per hour increases in each of the following years. The agreement also eliminated half-day holiday pay on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, making both days full-day holidays with work on those days to be paid double time, and eliminated a premium paid on second-shift work. The US District Court for the Southern District of New York must approve the contract before it can take effect, a move expected to occur within 30 to 60 days.


NATIONAL | September 5, 2012
July Construction Employment Down in Nearly Half of Metro Areas

Construction employment dropped in July 2012 compared to July 2011 in 165 of 337 metro areas. In the region, Nassau-Suffolk, NY, had the third-highest job losses, down 5,100 jobs, an 8% decline. New Jersey statewide lost 8,200 construction jobs year-over-year, a 6% drop. Atlantic City-Hammonton and Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton each lost 7% of its construction jobs, down 400 and 200 jobs respectively. Newark-Union and Trenton-Ewing each lost 6%, down 2,200 and 300 respectively. Edison-New Brunswick was down 5%, losing 1,900 jobs, and Camden was down 3% with a loss of 600 jobs. Only Bergen-Hudson-Passaic registered no loss of construction jobs from July 2011 to July 2012.


LOCAL | September 5, 2012
Fort Monmouth Revitalization Progresses

As we posted on Hot Topics, in June the NJ EDA approved loans totaling $4.5 million to help cover construction costs, legal fees, and architectural and engineering expenses for the revitalization of the former Fort Monmouth Army Base. The Board of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority has now moved the process further by selecting Cushman & Wakefield/Continental Realty as the primary broker to market, sell and lease the 1,000-acre property. Jones Lang LaSalle was selected as alternate broker.


LOCAL | September 5, 2012
Newark’s Prudential Tower Gains Planning Board Approval

In June, the planned Prudential Tower received approval from NJ EDA for a 10-year tax credit worth up to $210.8 million. Now the Newark Planning Board has unanimously approved plans for the $444 million, 20-story office tower on a two-block area bordered by Broad, Halsey New and Cedar streets, with a block between Cedar and West Park streets slated as a parking lot with open space and retail. Construction is expected to begin this fall. The board also approved future plans for a second, larger complex in the same area.


LOCAL | September 5, 2012
Rutgers, UNDNJ and Rowan Restructuring Signed Into Law

The New Jersey Medical and Health Science Education Restructuring Act was signed into law by Governor Christie in August and now awaits approval by Rutgers University’s governing boards. The act merges most of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey into Rutgers, giving it Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the UMDNJ School of Public Health, which would become part of Rutgers’ New Brunswick campus effective July 1, 2013, if approved. UMDNJ’s teaching hospital in Newark would become an autonomous, state-funded entity. Rutgers-Camden, originally proposed to merge into Rowan University in Glassboro, would retain its identity and partner with Rowan for health programs.


LOCAL | September 5, 2012
Governor Puts $750 Million Higher Ed Bond Issue on Ballot

In late August, Governor Christie signed legislation that puts a $750 million bond issue on the November 6, 2012, ballot. Voters will decide to support or oppose the “Building Our Future” Act that would authorize borrowing to fund higher education capital projects. If the act passes, the money would be divided among both public and private academic institutions in the state, as follows: $300 million for public research universities (including Rutgers); $247.5 million for state colleges and universities; $150 million for county colleges; and $52.5 million for private institutions of higher education with endowments of $1 million or less (excludes Princeton). For more details, see BUILDING CONTRACTOR Magazine, Vol. II-12, distributed early this month.


LOCAL | September 5, 2012
Ambulatory Health Center Proposed for Wildwood

CompleteCare Health Centers, based in Bridgeton, has proposed an ambulatory health center to be located at 3700 New Jersey Avenue in Wildwood. The existing building will be completely renovated to offer multiple healthcare services to approximately 6,000 to 7,000 people, with amenities that include a bistro and fitness center.


NATIONAL | September 4, 2012
July Construction Spending Down from June, Up from July 2011

Construction spending dipped 0.9% in July compared to June, but climbed 9.3% from July of last year. Private nonresidential construction spending also dropped 0.9% month-over-month, but was up 12% over July 2011. Public construction continued to trend downward, dropping 0.4% from June to July and 0.7% year-over-year. Within the nonresidential sector, power and energy construction fell for the fifth consecutive month, down 1.4% from June, but was still 21% higher than a year ago. Manufacturing construction spending was also down for the month by 2.1%, but up 17% over a year ago.

August 2012

LOCAL | August 23, 2012
Bass Pro Shop May Complete AC’s The Walk

Atlantic City’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority approved a proposal to build a Bass Pro Shop on the four-acre parcel of land designated for the fourth and final phase of The Walk. The Cordish Company holds the rights to the final phase and made the proposal, which was approved Tuesday.


NATIONAL | August 20, 2012
July Construction Employment Declines in 31 States

Year-over-year, construction employment declined in 31 states, and in 28 states for the month. From July 2011 to July 2012, 18 states and the District of Columbia added jobs, while construction employment remained unchanged in Hawaii. From June to July 2012, 20 states plus DC added construction jobs, while employment remained unchanged in Utah and Alaska. New Jersey lost 6.3% of its construction jobs, 8,200, from last July to this, and also lost 2.2% (2,700) from June to July of this year. In the month-to-month tallies, New Jersey tied with Missouri for the second-highest number of jobs lost. Only Ohio lost more. In the region, New York added the highest number of jobs, 2,700 (up 0.9%), from June to July, while Rhode Island realized the highest percentage gain, up 3.8% (600 jobs).


LOCAL | August 20, 2012
Construction Workers Meet at Planned Gathering Before Giants/Jets Game

Just before the NFL Giants and Jets were scheduled to play a pre-season game at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands, members of the New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council met outside the stadium in a planned gathering calling for work on the American Dream project to move forward. The Giants and Jets teams had filed a lawsuit, recently dismissed, against the American Dream developers, attempting to halt an expanded proposal of the project. William T. Mullen, President of the Council, said the project was expected to create 9,000 construction jobs.


LOCAL | August 17, 2012
Credit Not Coming Easy to Construction Firms

The New York Federal Reserve reports construction companies have the hardest time getting banks to extend credit – and small construction firms fare the worst. Construction firms are most likely to hear banks won’t lend to their type of business. In addition, the denial rate for loans of less than $100,000 is twice as high as for larger loans. The Federal Reserve report is based on a survey of 544 companies in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York earlier this year.


NATIONAL | August 15, 2012
Construction Employment Down 1,000 in July

Construction employment dropped by 1,000 jobs in July while the construction industry unemployment rate dropped to 12.3%, the lowest July rate since 2008. AGC of America Chief Economist Ken Simonson continues to attribute the drop in the unemployment rate to “hundreds of thousands” of out-of-work construction workers leaving the industry – an estimate of nearly 700,000 since 2009. Year-over-year, industry employment was up only 5,000 jobs, 0.1%. Nonresidential construction employment was down 3,800, 0.1%, in the month from June to July of 2012, and dropped 6,900, 0.2%, over 12 months.


NATIONAL | August 15, 2012
Construction Materials Prices Drop in July Compared to Year Ago

Calling it a “rare dip,” AGC of America reported the cost of key construction materials dropped this July compared to last, the first decline in year-over-year prices since November 2009. The Producer Price Index decreased 0.7% in July compared to June and 0.6% compared to July 2011. Notable declines came in steel mill products, down 2.8% for the month, 5.9% from a year ago; diesel fuel, down 0.2% for the month, 9.3% for the year; copper and brass mill shapes, up 0.5% for the month but down 16% for the year; aluminum mill products, down 1.3% for the month, 9.4% for the year. The price index for finished nonresidential buildings rose modestly for both the month and the year, with industrial building prices rising 0.1% in July and 1.9% for the year; new office construction increasing 0.1% for the month, 2.5% for the year; new school construction up 0.2% for the month, 3.5% for the year; and new warehouse construction up 0.5% for the month, 3.5% for the year.


LOCAL | August 13, 2012
NFL Teams’ Lawsuit Against American Dream Project Dismissed

A judge last Thursday dismissed the New York Jets’ and Giants’ lawsuit against the American Dream project. As we had posted in a Hot Topic on July 3, 2012, the National Football League teams brought the lawsuit after American Dream developer Triple Five announced plans to expand the site to include an amusement park and water park. In the dismissal, the judge noted that the teams could bring suit again at a later time if Triple Five’s proposal is approved by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.


LOCAL | August 10, 2012
Burlington Coat Factory Plans New Headquarters in Florence

Burlington Coat Factory has announced plans to build a new $41 million, 180,000 sq.ft. headquarters in Florence on 50 undeveloped acres. The company anticipates 120 new full-time jobs to complement its current workforce of 626.


NATIONAL | August 2, 2012
Construction Spending Rises Again in June

The US Commerce Department announced construction spending in June rose 0.4%, and revised May’s increase to 1.6%, calling it the biggest one-month increase since December. The biggest gainer in June was housing construction. Private nonresidential building increased only 0.1% from May to June. Office and hotel construction spending rose, shopping center construction declined. In the public sector, state and local construction spending rose 0.2% while federal spending fell 1.6%.


NATIONAL | August 2, 2012
Construction Materials Prices Generally Lower in June

Just like May, June saw construction materials prices decrease or measure smaller increases, primarily due to a decline in energy prices. Again, prices for steel mill products, extruded aluminum rod and copper products fell. On the other hand, cement prices rose 0.5% in June, the seventh increase in eight months, and were up 2.1% from June 2011. However, cement prices were down a significant 7.6% from June 2009. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Producer Price Index remained virtually unchanged from May to June of this year. Compared to June 2011, the PPI was up 2.2%, and up 8.2% since June 2009.


LOCAL | August 2, 2012
Jersey City’s Greenville Hospital Reopening as Outpatient Center

Greenville Hospital, at 1825 Kennedy Blvd. in Jersey City, closed in 2008 due to financial losses as high as $3 million a year. But owner LibertyHealth Systems, which also owns Jersey City Medical Center, said it will renovate and reposition Greenville as an outpatient medical center with several specialty services, including an HIV treatment and prevention program and programs for children with special needs. LibertyHealth will sell the hospital to Community Healthcare Associates, which will renovate the property, and will then lease the building back and provide the medical services. Renovation, including 60 new parking spaces, will take 12 to 18 months, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.


NATIONAL | August 2, 2012
June Construction Employment Declines in Nearly Half of Metro Areas

From June 2011 to June 2012, construction employment declined in 162 out of 337 metro areas, increased in 127 and remained the same in 48. AGC of America said public-sector cutbacks are primarily to blame. In New Jersey, state construction employment during the same period declined 4%, a loss of 5,300 jobs. Edison-New Brunswick posted a 6% loss, down 2,200 jobs; Atlantic City-Hammonton reported a 5% drop, down 300 jobs; Bergen-Hudson-Passaic noted a 3% decline, down 900 jobs; Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton also experienced a 3% decline, losing 100 jobs; Newark-Union dropped 2%, losing 800 jobs; and Trenton-Ewing also dropped 2%, losing 100 jobs. Only Camden remained the same year-over-year. In other employment news, Rutgers’ Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy noted that New Jersey has been slow to regain private-sector jobs in general, including construction. Across the nation, nearly 50% of jobs lost during the recession have been recovered, but the number in New Jersey is just over 36%, ranking the state 30th out of 50 states.

July 2012

NATIONAL | July 12, 2012
Public Construction Spending Plummets in May

As private construction makes a gradual comeback, public construction drops drastically. The Commerce Department’s May data shows public spending on construction in total dropped to less than $269.6 billion. State and local construction spending, which makes up most of that total, fell to $242.6 billion, the lowest total since November 2006. In 2010, government projects comprised 39% of all construction spending, a share that has now dropped to less than 33%. By segment, education-related construction projects saw the biggest descent, dropping 29% from 2009 to 2012. AGC of America Chief Economist Ken Simonson predicts public spending will decline 1 to 5% annually in the years to come.


NATIONAL | July 9, 2012
June Construction Unemployment Drops Sharply With Loss of Workers

A lack of jobs has construction workers leaving the industry, opening the potential for skilled-labor shortages. June job growth was as stagnant as much of the past two years, with the nonresidential construction segment losing 600 jobs for the month from May to June and gaining only 4,300 jobs (0.1%) for the year since June 2011. However, the unemployment rate fell to 12.8%, far lower than the job losses would indicate. It’s also the lowest June rate since 2008, down from 15.6% in June 2011 and 20.1% in June 2010. According to AGC of America, in the past two years nearly 750,000 experienced construction workers have found jobs in other industries, returned to school, retired or otherwise left the workforce.


LOCAL | July 9, 2012
Trenton Low-Income Housing Project Ahead of Schedule

Originally planned to include 182 units on the eight acres of the former Miller Homes site, the new HOPE VI Miller Homes will now offer 22 additional low- and mixed-income units on adjacent property on Monmouth Street in Trenton. The project is due to open in late 2013, ahead of schedule. Total cost is $61.2 million, with $40 million earmarked for new construction (the balance was spent on demolition of the old Miller Homes last year). A $22 million HUD grant was supplemented by $17.7 million in tax credits from NJ EDA, with the rest of the funding coming from state and local governments and commercial banks. The Trenton Housing Authority is lining up local community involvement under HUD Section 3 requirements.


LOCAL | July 3, 2012
New Jersey’s Money Chief Has New Website

New Jersey’s Office of the Chief Economist/Office of Revenue and Economic Analysis has a new webpage: www.state.nj.us/treasury/economics. The site offers economic analysis and reams of data from state, regional and national sources, useful for tracking the current state of the New Jersey economy.


NATIONAL | July 3, 2012
Construction Spending Up in May to Highest Level Since December ’09

Construction spending rose 0.9% in May, reaching its highest level since December 2009. Gains were marked in private nonresidential construction and single-family and multifamily homebuilding, offsetting the downturn in public construction spending. Private nonresidential spending climbed for the third consecutive month, and was 19% higher than May of last year, with 12-month spending increases of more than 25% in power and energy construction (up 35%), hotels (up 29%), educational (up 27%) and manufacturing (27%). Multifamily housing construction was 50% higher than May 2011.

June 2012

NATIONAL | June 28, 2012
BCTD Elects Brent Booker as New Secretary-Treasurer

On June 7, the Governing Board of the AFL-CIO’s Building and Construction Trades Department unanimously elected Brent Booker as Secretary-Treasurer, a position vacated by Sean McGarvey when McGarvey became President after Mark Ayers’ untimely death in April. Booker had been serving as Director of the Construction Department at LIUNA. He is a member of Laborers’ Local 795 in New Albany, IN.


NATIONAL | June 28, 2012
US Supreme Court Upholds Healthcare Reform Act

The Court today issued its ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, stating it is constitutional, including the mandate that virtually all Americans purchase health insurance. A majority of the Justices (five of nine) decided the constitutionality of that mandate not on its merits but on the penalty the Act requires a person to pay if he or she refuses to buy insurance per the mandate. The Justices said the penalty, paid to the IRS, is a kind of tax, and that Congress is within its power to impose such a tax. The Court also addressed the provision that requires states to comply with new rules expanding eligibility for Medicaid or risk losing Medicaid funding, saying the provision is constitutional only if the government holds back for non-compliance those Medicaid funds that would cover the expanded eligibility rules, not all Medicaid funds.


NATIONAL | June 28, 2012
Metro Construction Employment Continues Decline

Nationally, construction employment continued its downward trend in May 2012 compared to May 2011, with 164 metro areas losing jobs out of the 337 areas measured. Employment increased in 126 and remained the same in 47. Regionally, New York City came in at #3 in terms of jobs lost, down 5,100 (5%), and Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) took #5, losing 4,700 jobs, an 8% decline. From last May to this, New Jersey statewide lost 7,600 jobs, a 6% loss. By metro area, Edison-New Brunswick took the biggest hit, losing 4,200 jobs, a 12% drop. Bergen-Hudson-Passaic lost 1,500 jobs, a 6% decline; Newark-Union lost 1,100 jobs, down 3%; Trenton-Ewing lost 200 jobs, down 4%; Atlantic City-Hammonton also lost 200 jobs, a 3% drop; and Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton lost 100 jobs, a 4% drop. Only Camden gained jobs, adding 1,400 (7%).


LOCAL | June 21, 2012
EDA Loans $4.5 Million Toward Fort Monmouth Revitalization

The NJ EDA has approved three loans totaling $4.5 million for the revitalization of the former Fort Monmouth Army Base. The loans will help cover construction costs, legal fees, and architectural and engineering expenses.


NATIONAL | June 18, 2012
May Construction Materials Prices Drop

From April to May, construction materials prices slid 0.3%, and were up only 2.3% compared to May 2011. However, the amount contractors charge to construct projects remained flat for the month and rose only between 3.1% and 4.3% for the year. Prices for diesel fuel dropped 3.6% in May, down 0.2% for the year. Copper and brass mill shapes were down 1.6% for the month and 8.3% for the year. Aluminum mill products dropped 1.9% for the month, down 9% for the year. Gypsum and lumber prices rose: gypsum was up 1.2% in May, 13.6% for the year; lumber was up 2.2% for the month, 7% for the year. The good news is price indexes for finished nonresidential buildings mostly rose slightly for the month and began to outpace increases in construction materials costs.


NATIONAL | June 18, 2012
May Construction Employment Down

Both year-over-year and month-to-month, construction employment in May declined. In fact, more states – 30 in all – lost construction jobs in May than at any point since June 2011. From this April to May, 27 states and the District of Columbia lost jobs, 21 states gained jobs and two states – Delaware and Maine – remained the same. New Jersey lost 3,900 jobs in the last month, a 3.1% drop, and 4,700 since last May, a 3.7% drop.


NATIONAL | June 12, 2012
ConsensusDOCS Releases Three New Contract Docs

Yesterday the ConsensusDOCS Coalition released three new standard contract documents to address specific situations in the evolving construction marketplace. ConsensusDOCS 246, Owner and Geotechnical Consultant Agreement, addresses the specialized services of such a consultant, a role more and more in demand as owners navigate environmental regulations. ConsensusDOCS 298, Joint Venture Agreement Between Constructors for a Project, is the first and only document of its kind, making it easier for multiple construction companies to combine efforts and expertise, increase capacity and share risks on a project. And the updated ConsensusDOCS 421, Design-Builder Statement of Qualifications, is part of the series focused exclusively on design-build projects. BCANJ members receive a 20% discount on all ConsensusDOCS purchases, using Discount Code “AGC100” at www.ConsensusDOCS.org.


NATIONAL | June 7, 2012
Construction Materials Prices Barely Rise in April

Making up for recent price spikes, April’s Producer Price Index showed construction materials prices rose only 0.1% in April, up 2.5% over April 2011 and the smallest year-over-year increase since early 2009. Diesel fuel dropped 0.9% for the month and 0.1% for the year; gypsum products, which had climbed 14% in the first quarter of 2012, fell 1.9% in April but were still up 11.5% over April 2011. The biggest decreases occurred in copper and brass mill shapes, which fell 2.7% and 11.4% respectively. However, by market segment, price indexes for new nonresidential buildings rose a bit: new school construction rose 0.5% for the month, 4.3% for the year; new warehouse construction also rose 0.5% for the month and 4% for the year; new industrial building construction rose 0.6% for the month, 3.2% for the year; and new office building construction rose 0.1% for the month, 3.2% for the year.


NATIONAL | June 6, 2012
Construction Employment Down in May, Spending Up in April

With a loss of 28,000 jobs across the country, the largest monthly drop in two years, construction employment in May dropped for the fourth straight month, bringing the share of construction workers in the total US nonfarm workforce down to 4.14%, the lowest level since July 1946. The unemployment rate for construction workers was 14.2%, down from 16.3% in May 2011 and 20.1% in May 2010, but still more than 6% above the all-industry rate. April saw a slight rise in construction spending over March and was up 6.8% from April 2011. By segment, private nonresidential spending dropped 0.2% in April but rose 17% over last April; public construction spending fell for the fifth straight month, down 1.4% for the month and 3.2% compared to last April; and multifamily construction rose 4.1% for the month, up 31% over 12 months.


LOCAL | June 1, 2012
Amazon Plans Distribution Centers in NJ

Governor Christie and Amazon officials announced on Wednesday a plan to start construction on two state-of-the-art fulfillment distribution facilities in New Jersey in 2013. The facilities are expected to generate $130 million in capital investment and 1,500 full-time jobs plus “thousands” of temporary, seasonal and construction jobs.


NATIONAL | June 1, 2012
April Construction Employment Declines in Nearly Half of Metro Areas

Construction employment in April compared to a year ago declined in 157 of 337 metro areas, increased in 120 and remained the same in 60. AGC of America says weak demand, particularly in public-sector investments, led to the decline in such a large percentage of the metro areas. In New Jersey, Atlantic City-Hammonton and Camden increased construction employment by 6% (adding 300 jobs) and 5% (adding 1,000 jobs) respectively from April 2011 to April 2012. Edison-New Brunswick lost 1,800 jobs (down 5%), Bergen-Hudson-Passaic lost 400 jobs (down 2%) and Newark-Union lost 700 jobs (down 2%). Trenton-Ewing and Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton remained unchanged from a year ago.

May 2012

NATIONAL | May 24, 2012
NLRB’s “Quickie Election” Rule Invalidated

A federal judge last week invalidated the National Labor Relations Board’s so-called “quickie election” rule that would have simplified the process for workplace unionization elections. The judge’s decision is the second recent hit for the NLRB, which also saw its new poster about employee rights and the unionization process struck down in court. AGC of America lobbied against the rule and the poster.


NATIONAL | May 24, 2012
New ConsensusDOCS Technology Platform

ConsensusDOCS users who purchased the full package of contract documents can now register for immediate access to a new technology platform that allows 24/7 access via a secure cloud-based system. The platform has some new features, including the use of Microsoft Word to customize contracts and have the sections automatically renumbered as they are added or deleted. Users can now collaborate with other users for free while controlling editing rights, make quick comparisons between versions, and get free guidance with embedded instructions. Going forward, users will only be able to access new and revised contracts on the new platform. For more information, visit www.consensusdocs.org or call 866.925.DOCS (3627).


NATIONAL | May 22, 2012
Construction Employment “Seesaws” in April

State by state from March to April, construction employment “remained on a seesaw,” reports AGC of America, noting that it declined in 28 states and the District of Columbia, rose in 19 states and remained the same in three. Compared to April 2011, the picture is slightly brighter, with 22 states adding construction jobs in April 2012 while 27 lost jobs and Rhode Island construction employment remained unchanged. However, New Jersey lost 600 jobs from March to April, down half a percentage point, and also lost 2,300 jobs year-over-year, a 1.8% drop.


LOCAL | May 17, 2012
Cinnaminson Home to Become Affordable Senior Housing

Lutheran Social Ministries plans to demolish most of the old Cinnaminson Home on Riverton Road, leaving only the historic brick section standing and building 55 units of affordable senior citizen housing. The town zoning board approved the final plans earlier this month, and the project now awaits final approvals from the county.


LOCAL | May 16, 2012
Tropicana Makeover to Begin After Labor Day

After the summer season, the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City will get a $25 million renovation, the first phase of a multiphase plan expected to take as long as five years. The makeover on the 31-year-old resort will span 16 floors of the north tower, encompassing 437 rooms and suites – including new furniture and carpeting, textured wall coverings and modernized bathrooms – as well as the creation of a new Italian restaurant and trattoria, and expansion of Tango’s Lounge to allow 30 additional seats and a larger dance floor. The project is expected to generate 25 to 30 permanent jobs and more than 100 temporary construction jobs. Tropicana management hopes to commence similar renovation projects in each of the next four years following phase one, eventually renovating all four hotel towers and the rest of the property.


LOCAL | May 16, 2012
Marlboro Commons to Break Ground This Month

On a 17-acre site at Routes 9 and 520 in Marlboro Township, the 100,000 sq.ft. retail shopping center Marlboro Commons is scheduled to break ground in May. Pagano Development Co., Inc., acquired the property from The Marlboro Partnership and has leased 60% of it, including a 40,000 sq.ft. Whole Foods supermarket, a freestanding 14,700 sq.ft. Walgreens and a 2,800 sq.ft. Verizon store. The project is expected to be completed in Spring 2013.


LOCAL | May 16, 2012
Plans Announced for New AC Hotel and Waterpark

The developers of the Diving Horse Gentleman’s Club today announced plans to build a 31-story resort hotel and year-round children’s waterpark in Atlantic City’s Marina District. Tom Sherwood and Tim Behr, brothers and business partners, presented renderings of the Diving Horse Resort and Water Park’s $123 million complex at a press conference with AC Mayor Lorenzo Langford. The drawings show a 350-foot-tall, 183-room hotel built to resemble a ship’s sail and serve as a gateway to the Marina District. Because the developers' property at Huron Avenue and Marina Boulevard is outside the Atlantic City Tourism District, the City Planning Board, not the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, will handle the approvals.


NATIONAL | May 16, 2012
Construction Materials Prices Increase Slightly in April

Construction materials prices rose overall only 0.1% in April, and were up 2.5% over April 2011. By segment, the prices of nonresidential construction materials overall remained unchanged for the month, up 2.4% over last April. Nonferrous wire and cable prices rose 0.7% for the month, down 5.2% from April 2011. Fabricated structural metal products were up 0.5% for the month, up 2% for the year. Concrete products prices were up 0.2% for the month, up 2% for the year, and steel mill products were up 0.2% for the month, down 1.9% for the year. Prepared asphalt, tar roofing and siding fell 2.6% for the month, down 3.3% for the year. Plumbing fixtures and fittings were down 0.7% for the month, up 2.5% for the year. Softwood lumber prices fell 0.4% compared to March’s prices, but were 3% higher than last year. Iron and steel prices slipped 0.2% in April and were down 1.8% from last April. And crude energy materials prices dropped 6.8% in April, down 16.3% from April 2011. AGC of America’s Chief Economist, Ken Simonson, predicts less volatility in construction materials prices in 2012 compared to 2011, but bad economic news from Europe and decreasing demand could change that optimistic forecast.


LOCAL | May 4, 2012
First Major Development at Fort Monmouth Site

CommVault, a data management company currently headquartered in Oceanport, will purchase a 55-acre site on the former Fort Monmouth site in Tinton Falls to build a new HQ. In an agreement with the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority, CommVault must complete the first phase of development within five years and create at least 225 new jobs within three years. CommVault, which employs 500 in Oceanport, plans a total of 650,000 sq.ft of office and R&D space and projects 2,500 jobs at full build-out, including 700 in the first three years. Phase one, 250,000 sq.ft., will cost an estimated $80 million.


NATIONAL | May 4, 2012
Metro Area Construction Employment Up in March’s Warm Weather

Construction employment increased in 155 out of 337 metro areas in March compared to March of last year, with the increase attributed primarily to contractors getting a jump on spring hiring because of the warm weather. Employment dropped in 134 metro areas and stayed the same in 48. Statewide, construction employment dropped 1%, with a loss of 1,200 jobs overall. Edison-New Brunswick took the biggest hit, losing 1,300 jobs in March 2012 over March 2011, a 4% drop. Trenton-Ewing was also hit hard, losing 300 jobs, a 6% drop. The other New Jersey metro areas reflected the national gain: Atlantic City-Hammonton gained 900 jobs, a 20% increase; Bergen-Hudson-Passaic gained 100 jobs, up 0.4%; Camden gained 1,000 jobs, up 5%; Newark-Union gained 1,000 jobs, up 3%; and Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton gained 100 jobs, up 4%.


LOCAL | May 1, 2012
UPDATE: Park Service Selects Alternative Route for PSE&G Power Line

The latest news in the ongoing discussion about PSE&G’s high-powered electric transmission line proposed for a 145-mile route from Roseland, New Jersey, to Susquehanna, Pennsylvania: The National Park Service has selected a “preferred alternative” route that follows about 95% of the existing route of the line that needs replacing. Next steps: Public release of the Environmental Impact Statement (expected in September), followed in 30 days by a final decision from the Park Service on construction and right-of-way permits. Pending final approval by the Park Service, the power line should be in service by Summer 2015.

April 2012

LOCAL | April 24, 2012
Construction Loan Arranged for Philly Mixed-Use Project

A $66.25 million construction loan for The Granary, a luxury mixed-use project in Philadelphia’s Logan Square neighborhood (20th and Callowhill streets), has been arranged by HFF on behalf of the developer, Pearl Properties. The three-year loan will finance construction of 227 one- and two-bedroom apartments averaging 842 sq.ft. each in a mid-rise building with 20,654 sq.ft. of ground-level retail space and underground parking. Amenities will include a lobby lounge, fitness center, library/music room, club room with terrace, business center and pet daycare center. The Granary is adjacent to a Whole Foods and close to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the historic Granary Building, the Philadelphia Sports Club, the Barnes Museum and the Philadelphia Free Library. The project is scheduled for completion in 2013.


NATIONAL | April 24, 2012
March Construction Starts Up 23%

McGraw-Hill Construction reports new construction starts in March climbed 23% to $482.4 billion, primarily because of demand for electric utility construction that focused on an $8.5 billion project at a nuclear power plant in Georgia. Taking the power plant work out of the numbers, March construction starts actually declined by 3%. However, specific segments grew, including alternative energy, public works (up 4%), residential building (up 2%), multifamily housing (up 5%), education building (up 10%, in part because of a $105 million renovation at West Point), office construction (up 9%), warehouse construction (up 19% due to Amazon.com distribution centers), and hotel construction (up 91% because of large projects in Louisiana and Florida). Non-residential building overall fell 4% in March, with institutional building dropping 7%, healthcare facilities down 30%, amusement-related building (convention centers, theaters and sports arenas) and churches both down 21%, manufacturing plant construction falling 61% and retail store construction down 18% despite big shopping mall renovations in New York and Indianapolis.


NATIONAL | April 17, 2012
BCTD’s Sean McGarvey Elected to Succeed Mark Ayers

Yesterday the AFL-CIO Building & Construction Trades Department’s Governing Board elected Secretary-Treasurer Sean McGarvey as President to succeed Mark Ayers, who died suddenly on Easter Sunday. The Board also voted to confer the title of President Emeritus on Mr. Ayers, and deferred the decision to fill the position of Secretary-Treasurer.


LOCAL | April 13, 2012
AC Construction Employment Gain Ranks #1 for Second Month

In AGC of America’s latest comparison of metro area construction employment, Atlantic City-Hammonton ranked #1 for the second consecutive month in percentage of job increases in February 2012 over February 2011, gaining 33%, 1,300 jobs. Across the country, construction employment increased in 171 of 337 metro areas, decreased in 119 and remained the same in 47. In other New Jersey metro areas, Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton ranked #10 nationwide, up 19% (from 2,100 to 2,500 jobs, a gain of 400); Camden and Newark each rose 8%, with Camden gaining 1,300 jobs and Newark-Union gaining 2,300 jobs; and the Bergen-Hudson-Passaic area was up 4% with a gain of 900 jobs. Edison-New Brunswick took a loss of 3%, 800 jobs, as did Trenton-Ewing, dropping 2% with a loss of 100 jobs. Statewide, construction employment was up 3% in February with a total of 2,900 jobs gained.


LOCAL | April 13, 2012
Unions Set Up Picket Lines at Bordentown Sports Complex

Union members from the Mercer/Burlington Building Trades, including Bricklayers Local #5 and Ironworkers Local #68, have been picketing the construction site of Team Campus Bordentown, a sports, fitness and medical complex encompassing 32 acres on Route 130 in Bordentown. The unions are protesting the developer, K. Johnson Enterprises, and contractor, V.J. Scozzari and Sons, who chose not to hire union labor and thus not pay prevailing wage and health and retirement benefits. Union officials say the project could have provided as many as 100 jobs for Mercer and Burlington County craftworkers. The development company owner, Kevin Johnson, is a former professional football player who, during his playing career, was represented by a union, the NFL Players Association. Part of the complex will be an 80,000 sq.ft. outpatient clinic owned by St. Francis Medical Center, which reportedly will use union labor to construct the clinic.


LOCAL | April 13, 2012
EDA Approves TCNJ Mixed-Use, Public-Private Development

The College of New Jersey in Ewing can look forward to a $56 million “Campus Town” development that will combine student apartments and retail shops, financed by a public-private partnership between the college and PRC Group, designer and owner of the project. EDA will review and approve all project plans because the state transferred land to the university for the development. Planned on 12.5 acres between Route 31 (Pennington Road) and Metzger Driver, the development will include 137 new apartments ranging from 412 (efficiency) to 1,242 (four-bedroom) square feet and a combined total of 410 beds. It will offer a health food store, sandwich shop, cell phone retailer, drug store, bookstore, bank, ice cream shop, fitness center and a sushi restaurant, along with other retailers. PRC Group estimates the project will net 325 construction jobs and 150 permanent jobs. Completion is scheduled for August 2013.


NATIONAL | April 9, 2012
March Construction Employment Drops, Still Up Over Last Year

Like the statistics from February, March construction employment registered a drop from the previous month but was still higher than March 2011. Nationally, the construction industry lost 7,000 between February and March, but was still up 1% (55,000 jobs) over March of last year. Construction unemployment across the country stands at 17.2%, twice the overall rate. Most of those laid off from construction jobs over the last two years have found jobs in other industries, as the total number of construction jobs remained approximately the same from March of 2010 to March of 2011 to March of 2012, about 5.55 million.


NATIONAL | April 9, 2012
BCTD President Mark H. Ayers Dies Suddenly

Mark H. Ayers, President of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department, died suddenly Sunday, April 8. No cause of death was announced. He had served as president since 2007, and was a 39-year veteran of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.


LOCAL | April 3, 2012
CRDA Approves Mixed-Use High-Rise Next to Revel

In March, AC’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority approved a land-use application for a 124-unit condo/retail high-rise submitted by privately owned Lazocean Development of Cherry Hill. The project, called the Metropolitan, faces the beach between Metropolitan and Rhode Island avenues on the South Inlet next to the new Revel casino. It would include retail shops, swimming and lounge areas, and a robotic parking system for 249 vehicles.


NATIONAL | April 3, 2012
Construction Spending Drops in February, But Up Over Last Year

Construction spending dropped 1.1% in February over January, but was up 5.8% over February 2011. The month-to-month drop meant construction spending hit its lowest level since October, and followed a revised 0.8% drop in January. Spending in the nonresidential segment fell 1.6% in February, but was up 14% over February 2011. The gain is attributed primarily to spending increases in two segments: power construction (shale, traditional and renewable electric power), down 2.1% for the month but up 24% for the year, and manufacturing, up 1.7% for the month and up 40% for the year.

March 2012

LOCAL | March 27, 2012
Fort Monmouth Authority Seeks Approval for Amended Revitalization Plan

The Fort Monmouth revitalization plan, approved in 2008, allots 55 acres for 126 units of housing. But now the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority wants an amendment approved that would allow a software company to build a new headquarters on that 55 acres in the Tinton Falls section of the site, and move the planned housing elsewhere in the Tinton Falls area. The amendment must be approved by the three municipalities – Tinton Falls, Oceanport and Eatontown – whose land comprised the former Fort Monmouth base.


LOCAL | March 27, 2012
SDA Announces $100 Million for Emergent School Projects

Marc Larkins, CEO of the Schools Development Authority, announced the Christie Administration has committed an additional $100 million to cover the cost of 76 emergent projects in 68 schools in 21 school districts. Most of the work, which ranges from structural repairs to new boilers to fortifying masonry, will be concentrated on 31 projects in 24 Newark schools. Other projects include six in Jersey City and Camden, five in Irvington and three in Trenton.


NATIONAL | March 21, 2012
Mixed News for Metro Area Construction Employment

Comparing metro area construction employment in January 2011 and January 2012, AGC of America reports declines in 111 of 337 metro areas, increases in 169 and status quo in 57. AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson noted private demand is rising while public projects are decreasing, resulting in little change overall in construction employment. In New Jersey, the January 2012 picture was improved. The Atlantic City-Hammonton area ranked #1 in the country, with a 45% gain in jobs from January 2011 to January 2012 (1,700 jobs gained for a total of 5,500, up from 3,800). Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton ranked #4 nationwide, up 24% (from 2,100 to 2,600 jobs, a gain of 500). Camden was up 10%, gaining 1,700 jobs; Newark-Union was up 7%, gaining 2,100 jobs; the Bergen-Hudson-Passaic area was up 3% with a gain of 600 jobs; and Edison-New Brunswick saw a slight increase of 0.3%, 100 jobs. Only Trenton-Ewing lost jobs year-over-year, dropping 2% with a loss of 100 jobs. Statewide, construction employment was up 3% with a total of 3,900 jobs gained. The building construction employment segment statewide, according to the NJDOL, fell from 26,100 workers in January 2011 to 25,500 in January 2012.


LOCAL | March 19, 2012
New Jersey’s Tourism Dollars Rise

New Jersey generated $38 billion in tourism in 2011, up 7.1% from 2010 and only $1.5 billion short of 2007, the year that produced the record high. Number of visitors climbed from 68 million in 2010 to 80 million in 2011, a 14.6% increase. Out-of-state tourists accounted for 64% of the revenue in 2011. The state’s Division of Travel and Tourism website traffic rose 300%, and Facebook fans leaped from 70 to 15,000. Even this summer’s expected higher gas prices are good for tourism, as more travelers stay closer to home.


NATIONAL | March 15, 2012
Construction Employment State-by-State Most Positive Since 2007

AGC of America reports construction employment increased in 28 states and the District of Columbia in January 2012 compared to January 2011, the best numbers for state construction employment since 2007. Two states held construction employment steady, while 20 states lost construction jobs. January to January, New Jersey gained 3,200 jobs, a 2.5% increase. From December 2011 to January 2012, New Jersey gained 1,100 construction jobs, a 0.9% increase.


LOCAL | March 12, 2012
Quest for Regulatory Approvals Delays Hard Rock Casino

The Hard Rock “boutique” casino, planned for the Atlantic City Boardwalk, has been delayed because Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida, has asked the Casino Control Commission for more time to obtain approvals from the NJDEP. An initial $1 million payment and an application for a casino license were due this Thursday, March 15, and work was expected to begin by July 15 on the first, 208-room phase of the casino.


NATIONAL | March 10, 2012
February Sees Loss of 13,000 Construction Jobs

The US construction industry lost 13,000 jobs in February, the biggest drop since January 2011, at the same time overall payrolls nationally increased by 227,000 jobs.


LOCAL | March 8, 2012
COAH Decision Overturned in Court

In June 2011, Gov. Christie effectively abolished the Council on Affordable Housing by transferring its functions to the Department of Community Affairs. Today, a state appeals court overturned the governor’s decision under the Reorganization Act, stating the governor exceeded his authority.


LOCAL | March 2, 2012
AC Master Plan Adopted by CRDA

The Board of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority formally adopted the Atlantic City Master Plan this week, setting in place details for the transformation of the city’s 1,700-acre tourism district, beginning with the Boardwalk, Atlantic and Pacific Avenues.

February 2012

LOCAL | February 23, 2012
Governor Looks to Atlantic City Rebound to Boost State Revenue

Governor Christie is optimistic that Atlantic City’s gambling and tourism revenues will continue the climb started in December and help boost tax revenue. In his proposed $32.1 billion budget, Christie increases spending by 7.5%. The soon-to-open Revel casino and newly improved tourism district are two projects in the making that the governor anticipates will spur new income and allow that increased spending.


NATIONAL | February 21, 2012
Congress Reaches Deal on Payroll Tax Cut

On Friday, Congress voted to extend payroll tax cuts and benefits for long-term unemployed workers. The passage continues the 2-percentage-point cut in the 6.2% Social Security payroll tax through the end of this year, and by the fall will allow unemployed workers to collect benefits for 63 weeks in most states, 73 weeks in hardest-hit states.


NATIONAL | February 10, 2012
Construction Adds Jobs But Unemployment Rate Still High

Construction companies added 21,000 workers in January, but even with some growth in recent months (31,000 construction jobs added in December 2011), the additional jobs are a small part of the 1.5 million jobs lost in the recession. The unemployment rate still clocks in high, above 17%.


NATIONAL | February 3, 2012
148 of 337 Metro Areas Add Construction Jobs in December

Construction employment picked up in 148 out of 337 metro areas from December 2010 through December 2011, decreased in 128 and stayed level in 61. In New Jersey, Atlantic City-Hammonton lost 500 construction jobs over the course of the year, an 11% drop. Camden lost 700 jobs, a 3% decrease. Bergen-Hudson-Passaic stayed steady, as did Trenton-Ewing and Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton. Edison-New Brunswick picked up 3,700 jobs, an 11% increase, while Newark-Union picked up 1,900, a 6% gain. Overall, the state gained 700 jobs, a 1% increase, moving from a total of 129,400 jobs in December 2010 to 130,100 jobs by year’s end 2011.


NATIONAL | February 3, 2012
Construction Spending Up in December

Construction spending rose in December more than in any month in the previous four. Building outlays increased 1.5%, private construction spending rose 2.1%, public construction rose 0.5% and federal construction inched up 0.3%. Economists had predicted a much smaller increase in building outlays, especially as the Commerce Department had revised November spending down from an estimated 1.2% gain to an actual 0.4% increase.

January 2012

NATIONAL | January 26, 2012
More States Add Construction Jobs in December

Analyzing Labor Department statistics, AGC of America reports more states added construction jobs year-over-year – December 2010 through December 2011 – than during any other period since November 2007. Construction employment rose in 28 states and the District of Columbia for the year. However, over the month – November to December 2011 – 24 states lost jobs and 23 added jobs, reflecting the ongoing economic stress in the industry. New Jersey gained 700 construction jobs over the year, but lost 2,800 from November to December, ranking 26th out of the 50 states and DC. In the region, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut fared better than New Jersey for the year. Delaware fared badly, ranked at 50th with a loss of 1,100 jobs representing 5.6% of the state’s construction employment for the year.


NATIONAL | January 23, 2012
Senate and House End Labor Dispute That Hampered FAA Long-Term Deal

The labor issue – changing the current rules for labor union elections in airlines – stemmed from a National Mediation Board ruling that made it easier for Delta Airlines employees to unionize. House Republicans opposed the ruling allowing unionization to be decided by a majority of those who vote, a ruling that negated a long-standing rule stating eligible voters who opted not to vote would be counted as voting against unionization. In the deal, Senate Democrats agreed to require a public hearing before the National Mediation Board makes future rulings. The deal also changes the way union elections are contested if the first ballot doesn’t show a clear winner between two unions vying to organize in the airline. Rather than a runoff between the two unions, the two top options could compete in a second ballot, with one of the options being a “no union” choice. Also, the deal requires a 50% worker representation to seek an election or decertify a union, rather than the current 35% required to seek an election. The current funding authorization for the FAA ends January 31, and the new authorization bill make not make that deadline, but it is expected to pass in the near future, extending funding for multiple years rather than four months at a time.


NATIONAL | January 23, 2012
Construction Materials Prices Drop, But Don’t Help Contractors

While construction materials prices dropped a bit in December, down 0.2%, they were up 5.3% for the year. Set against that increase, the amount contractors charge for construction projects rose only 3.3% to 4.7% for the year, reflecting the continuing squeeze on margins. And the drop for some materials was not enough to offset significant increases over the year. Diesel fuel, for example, dropped 7.8% in November, but was up 20.2% over December 2010. Copper and brass mill shapes and steel mill products also dropped in price at year’s end, but the decreases came off record-high prices posted early in 2011. Looking at project prices by market segment, the index for new industrial building declined 0.1% in December and was up only 3.3% for the year; new office construction climbed 0.2% in December and 3.9% for the year; new warehouse construction remained unchanged in December, up 3.8% for the year; and new school construction rose 0.1% for December, up 4.7% for the year. To boost demand, AGC of America calls on the federal government to “set permanent tax rates and enact long-term infrastructure and investment measures.”


NATIONAL | January 12, 2012
Construction Unemployment Rises Sharply in December

After descending over several months to 13.1% in November, construction unemployment jumped to 16% in December, despite the addition of 17,000 construction jobs. By segment, nonresidential building construction lost 3,000 jobs, offset by residential building construction, which gained 3,000. Nonresidential specialty trade contractors added 20,000 jobs in December, while residential specialty trades lost 3,000. Heavy and civil engineering construction numbers remained unchanged for the month.


NATIONAL | January 6, 2012
Construction Spending Continues Slow Upward Trend

November 2011 ended with construction spending up for the third time in four months. Spending rose 1.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $807.1 billion, still only half the $1.5 trillion economists consider healthy. Private construction spending climbed 1% from October to November, reaching $522 billion, the highest level since December 2009. Spending on public construction climbed 1.7%, and federal construction spending rose 5.3%, the biggest gain since August. State and local government spending also rose, to the highest levels since January 2011.


NATIONAL | January 6, 2012
Construction Employment Drops in 146 Metro Areas and 24 States

November construction employment dropped in 146 of 337 metro areas, including three in New Jersey. Atlantic City-Hammonton lost 500 jobs (11%) from November 2010 to November 2011; Trenton-Ewing lost 100 (2%) and Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton lost 100 (4%). The Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA, metro area, which is included in the New Jersey-Delaware-Maryland division, lost 800 jobs year-to-year (5%). On a state-by-state basis, 24 states lost construction jobs from November 2010 to November 2011. New Jersey lost 200 jobs from October to November 2011, but was up 1,400 jobs (a 1.1% gain) for the year.

December 2011

NATIONAL | December 11, 2011
Presidents Announce Green Building Investments

On December 2, 2011, current President Obama and former President Clinton announced a $4 billion investment in green building, with half coming from federal agencies over the next two years and half coming from the private sector. The $2 million from the feds will go toward hiring contractors to perform energy-efficiency and other upgrades on federal facilities, while the private monies will cover up to 1.6 billion square feet of commercial and independent property, including 300 manufacturing plants. According to the Office of Management & Budget, the investment won’t impose any cost on taxpayers. OMB also said the contracts will be awarded based on the highest return on investment, with the results publicly reported. Both the US Chamber of Commerce and the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst estimate the initiative could create 35,000 to 50,000 jobs.


NATIONAL | December 5, 2011
Unemployment Rates Drops, Construction Loses Jobs

The US unemployment rate dropped to 8.6% in November, reflecting both an increase in jobs and an increase in the number of Americans who left the labor force. Construction, on the other hand, lost 12,000 for the month.


LOCAL | December 5, 2011
Philadelphia Commits to Hiring Union Labor

Philadelphia has committed to hiring union labor on city-funded construction projects while the building trades pledged to hire more city residents and minorities on jobsites. Announced by Mayor Michael Nutter on Tuesday, the news comes after decades of battle between city management and construction unions. Union labor will be used on jobs valued at $5 million or more; 50% of the hours on those jobs will be set aside for city residents, with 32% for minority males and 7% for females.


NATIONAL | December 5, 2011
NJ Workers Fared Better Than Most From Payroll Tax Cut

A White House analysis reports New Jersey workers benefited more than workers in any other state from the temporary cut in payroll taxes implemented last year and due to expire at the end of this month. On average, workers in New Jersey saved about $872, 22% higher than the national average because New Jersey has some of the highest-paid workers in the country. President Obama is pushing Congress to extend and increase the tax cut for 2012.

November 2011

LOCAL | November 22, 2011
Construction on AC’s Hard Rock Casino Slated for July 2012

Assuming financing and regulatory approvals come through, Hard Rock International will begin construction next July on the first Atlantic City “boutique” casino, a 200-room hotel/casino/entertainment venue that is estimated at $465 million and expected to create 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs. The Hard Rock’s CEO, Jim Allen, told the state’s Casino Control Commission on Wednesday he anticipates the first phase of the Hard Rock will open in Spring 2014, and the second phase, a 650-room tower, will be under construction within two years after that. Planned for phase one is a rock-and-roll museum, a Hard Rock Café overlooking the ocean and an outdoor pool on the beach, complete with fire pits, barbecue and live entertainment.


NATIONAL | November 16, 2011
Operating Engineers President Vince Giblin Abruptly Retires

Vince Giblin, President of the International Union of Operating Engineers, unexpectedly announced his retirement at an executive board meeting yesterday morning. While his retirement is officially effective at year’s end, he immediately vacated his office and indicated his service is done. The board elected General Secretary-Treasurer Jim Callahan (originally from Local 15 in New York) to fill the remainder of his term, which ends in April 2013, while Second General Vice President Brian Hickey became general secretary-treasurer for the duration of the term.


NATIONAL | November 16, 2011
October Construction Employment Declines

Nationwide, construction lost 20,000 jobs from September to October, driving the industry's unemployment rate up 0.4% to 13.7% (compared to 8.5% for the country as a whole). AGC of America’s analysis points to a continuing decline in public-sector projects as the primary cause of the loss, exacerbated by slow growth in private-sector investments. Employment in the construction industry has only risen 0.2% since October 2010. Breaking out the employment figures, AGC’s Chief Economist Ken Simonson said the nonresidential construction sector actually lost 23,000 jobs, but the overall industry figure was reduced because the residential sector picked up 3,700 jobs.


LOCAL | November 16, 2011
SDA Posts First Phase of Design Standardization

SDA has released model systems and components to be used during construction of new facilities, including standards for roofing, HVAC systems, flooring, finishes and more. Posted on the SDA website, www.njsda.gov/Design/index.html, the “Materials and Systems Standards Manual” and “Construction Details Manual” represent the first phase of the NJSDA Model Schools Program, the Authority’s implementation of a uniform design approach to all public school facilities. The remaining two phases, “Kit of Parts” and “2011 Design Manual” are expected to be released soon.


LOCAL | November 3, 2011
New Jersey Loses 11,100 Jobs in September

New Jersey lost 5,800 jobs in the private sector and 5,300 in the public sector for a total loss of 11,100 jobs, based on a survey of employers. At the same time, the unemployment rate, based on a survey of state residents, dropped to 9.2% from August’s 9.4%, indicating some former workers reported they were not actively seeking jobs. Economists in the state point to Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee for disruption in the labor market. New Jersey lost a total of 269,000 jobs during the formal recession period, December 2007 through June 2009. Since September of last year, the state recovered 17,700 jobs. In an effort to boost further recovery, Gov. Christie proposed a “State Strategic Job Growth Plan” last week. The plan updates the 2001 state plan and features “Regional Innovation Clusters” that will foster job creation and economic development free from red tape.


NATIONAL | November 3, 2011
House Votes to Repeal 3% Withholding Tax

The House voted, by a margin of 405 to 16, to repeal the 3% tax withholding bill. It now goes to the Senate, which is expected to repeal it as well, as a majority of Senators already voted to repeal the tax measure.

October 2011

NATIONAL | October 21, 2011
Construction Statistics Reflect Slim Gains This Year

Construction employment rose by 26,000 workers, or 0.5%, in September, bringing the total number to 5,551,000, the highest level since April 2010 but up only 37,000, or 0.7%, from last September. The unemployment rate continued to drop, hitting 13.3%, again reflecting former construction workers no longer seeking work in the industry. In the 337 metropolitan areas tracked by AGC of America, construction employment rose in 146 and fell in 145 from August 2010 to August 2011, while the other 46 measured no change. Statewide, New Jersey noted a 5,500 increase in construction employment, up 4% year-over-year. Atlantic City-Hammonton, however, saw construction employment drop 10%, down 500 jobs from last August. In Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton, construction employment dropped by 100 workers, a loss of 4%. Edison-New Brunswick grew the most, adding 3,500 workers, a gain of 9% over last year. Across the country, non-residential building posted the strongest monthly and year-over-year numbers, gaining 2% in September, up 3.2% from a year ago. Construction spending in August, at $799 billion, rose 1.4% from July and 0.9% from August 2010.


NATIONAL | October 21, 2011
House Saves Fly Ash from Hazardous Designation

Long a favorite of construction managers and architects going for LEED certification on a project, fly ash was in danger of being regulated as a hazardous material by the EPA. But H.R. 2273, supported by AGC of America, passed in the House today, rescuing fly ash along with other coal combustion residuals and allowing for their continued benefit in construction. Fly ash is used in concrete to enhance performance, strength, durability and lifespan, and helps earn LEED credits as a construction practice that reduces and recycles waste.


NATIONAL | October 16, 2011
IRS Backs Off Worker Misclassification Enforcement

Last year the IRS was talking tough about employers who misclassified employees as “independent contractors,” citing the millions of dollars in tax revenues lost. Now the IRS has introduced a new initiative whereby employers can resolve misclassification issues by voluntarily reclassifying workers and paying small amounts to cover past payroll tax obligations. The Voluntary Classification Settlement Program, announced last month, requires employers to treat workers as employees and repay just over 1% of the wages paid to reclassified workers for the prior year. Employers pay neither penalties nor interest, and they won’t be audited on payroll taxes related to misclassified workers for prior years. However, for the first three years after employers join the program, they are subject to a six-year statute of limitations on payroll tax audits, rather than the usual three-year term. FAQs can be found on the IRS website, www.irs.gov.


LOCAL | October 7, 2011
Chicago Firm Chosen to Develop AC Master Plan

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority must submit a master plan for Atlantic City’s Tourism District by February 1, 2012, only four months away. So the CRDA selected a firm it knows – Jones Lang LaSalle Americas of Chicago – to develop the master plan for $799,700. The CRDA originally hired the firm in 2007 for a $350,000 fee to study development options for the former Bader Field airport.


NATIONAL | October 7, 2011
Obama Moves to Expedite New Power Lines – Including New Jersey’s Project

The Obama administration moved this week to expedite the EPA approval process for seven proposed electric transmission lines in 12 states – including the North Jersey project we’ve been tracking in Hot Topics. The 145-mile, 500 kV line would run from Roseland into Pennsylvania, crossing through federal parkland at the Delaware Water Gap. Collectively, the projects in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming are expected to create thousands of jobs and dramatically upgrade the power grid. The administration wants them to serve as pilot demonstrations of streamlined federal permitting and improved cooperation among various state and federal agencies. If the process works as planned, the New Jersey project could be approved by late next year.


NATIONAL | October 7, 2011
Construction Spending Up Slightly July to August

Construction spending went up 1.4% from July to August, which overall lifted it 0.9% over August 2010. While public-sector activity increased 3.1% for the month, it clocked in at 6.3% lower than August 2010. Private-sector spending, in contrast, increased only 0.4% month to month, but is up 5.6% over last year, a modest rise that reflected a jump in spending on power construction, offset by a decline in lodging construction.

September 2011

LOCAL | September 24, 2011
EDA Approves Financial Incentives for Newark’s Teachers Village

Estimated at $142 million, the Newark Teachers Village project can move ahead, thanks to approval from EDA on a package of financial incentives. According to EDA, approximately $5.265 million of the cost will be financed through a Redevelopment Area Bond (RAB). Also included in the financial plans is $22.75 million to be financed through a Qualified School Construction Bond (with $13 million to come from Newark and $9.75 million from the State), along with a variety of tax credits and grants. As we told you in a previous Hot Topic, Teachers Village will become a town within the city’s Central Ward, offering three charter schools, 242 housing units for teachers, a daycare center, and a retail section with businesses and restaurants. Teachers Village is scheduled for completion in 2014.


LOCAL | September 24, 2011
College of New Jersey Could Use Private Funds for Campus Project

First Montclair State University built a $211 million dorm using private funds in a public-private partnership allowed under the New Jersey Stimulus Act of 2009. Now, if the EDA approves, The College of New Jersey in Ewing will also bypass public-bidding laws and partner with a developer to build a $50 million “Campus Town.” The project would provide 216,000 sq.ft. of student housing and 80,000 sq.ft. for a bookstore, gym, restaurants and perhaps a drug store or convenience store, and would be completed by fall 2013.


LOCAL | September 24, 2011
Chemical Companies to Build $60 Million Plant in Princeton

Three chemical companies have partnered to form Natronx Technologies LLC in Princeton to produce and sell sodium-based chemicals used in pollution control. The new company plans a $60 million plant that can produce 450,000 tons of “sorbents” that help coal-fired utilities remove pollutants such as acid gases. Church & Dwight manufactures household products under the Arm & Hammer brand, FMC Corp. is an agricultural chemical company and TATA Chemicals makes industrial-use soda ash. The three partners predict the market for chemical sorbents will grow to between $200 and $400 million by 2015. The plant will be completed by the end of 2012.


NATIONAL | September 24, 2011
August Construction Starts and Employment Stats

The value of nonresidential construction starts in August rose a significant 19% above July’s starts. Broken down into segments, commercial starts were up 6.7% over the month before, and institutional starts rose 27% (primarily in healthcare facilities in Texas, California and Maine). Hotel construction surged 125% over July, warehouse construction grew 30% and store construction advanced 18%. Most of the jump is attributed to specific, large-value projects in states across the country, but none in New Jersey. However, while construction employment declined in 25 states in August and gained in 22, it remained steady in three, including New Jersey.


LOCAL | September 24, 2011
New Jersey to Get $7.7 Million National Emergency Grant

The US Department of Labor announced yesterday New Jersey will receive $7,795,700 in a National Emergency Grant to help with recovery efforts for damage caused by Hurricane Irene. Of that, $2,598,567 will be made immediately available to the New Jersey Department of Labor for distribution. The rest will be issued based on demonstrated need.


NATIONAL | September 15, 2011
House Votes to Extend FAA Funding

Yesterday, three days before deadline, the House voted to extend authorization – and therefore funding – for the Federal Aviation Administration for six months. The Senate is expected to pass its version of the bill this week. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hopes to craft a long-term, i.e., four-year, authorization bill before the January deadline.


NATIONAL | September 15, 2011
E-Verify’s Self Check Expanded, Now in New Jersey

US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that “Self Check” has been expanded to 16 additional states, including New Jersey. Self Check is a free online service of E-Verify that allows individuals to confirm their own employment eligibility – and start the correction process if they find errors. Self Check launched in March 2011 in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Virginia and Washington DC. As well as New Jersey, Self Check is now available to residents in California, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington. Self Check is also available in Spanish.


NATIONAL | September 10, 2011
Construction Employment Shows Mixed Trends In US and NJ

Construction employment totaled just over 5.5 million jobs in August, down 5,000 from July, up 4,000 over the year and 2.2 million (29%) below the April 2006 peak. In August of 2010, the unemployment rate hit 17%. A year later, it has fallen to 13.5%. But more troubling is the decline in the number of unemployed people who previously worked in construction – a drop of 329,000 – suggesting workers are leaving the industry. If they leave permanently, AGC of America Chief Economist Ken Simonson predicts future expansion will be harder to achieve. Nonresidential building and specialty trade contractors together shed 7,400 jobs in August and 5,400 jobs over the past 12 months. New Jersey added 2,600 construction jobs overall in July compared to July 2010, but the growth was uneven, with jobs added in Edison-New Brunswick and Newark-Union and lost in Atlantic City-Hammonton, Camden, Trenton-Ewing and Bergen-Hudson-Passaic over the year. Construction employment remained unchanged over the 12 months in Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton. Nationally, construction spending dropped 1.3% from June to July, and July’s total was nearly

August 2011

NATIONAL | August 12, 2011
July Construction Employment Improves

Across the country, July construction employment reached its highest level in 15 months, adding a net 8,000 jobs. The unemployment rate dropped to $13.6%, down from 17.3% in July 2010. Nonresidential building and specialty trade segments added 10,200 in July, reflecting an uptick in factory, power plant and hospital projects. The unemployment rate, which fell sharply in just two months, indicates that many construction workers have left the industry to find work elsewhere.

July 2011

NATIONAL | July 31, 2011
Update on Lead Renovation Rule

The US EPA will not expand the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rule to include lead-dust sampling and clearance testing, as the agency had originally planned. The expanded regulations would have placed undue burden on contractors to take costly steps to prove the absence of lead following completion of a project. As the rule stands, contractors are required to wipe down disturbed surfaces at the end of the job and match the result to an EPA-approved card to determine if lead dust is present.


LOCAL | July 31, 2011
FAA Shutdown Halts NJ Airport Construction Projects

The FAA was forced to furlough non-essential workers at midnight on Friday, July 22, 2011, when Congress failed to avert a funding shutdown. For New Jersey, that meant a halt to scheduled payments for construction projects at several airports in the state: Atlantic City International Airport ($171,000); airports in Hammonton, Lakewood, Ocean City and Toms River ($127,500 each); Millville Airport ($58,000); and Cape May Airport ($23,000). In total, $44.7 million in FAA funding for New Jersey projects was delayed, including work on the Next Generation Air Traffic Control System at the William J. Hughes Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township, where 639 of the state’s 651 furloughed FAA employees work.


NATIONAL | July 31, 2011
FAA Shutdown Costs 70,000 Jobs

AGC of America estimates the FAA shutdown will put 70,000 workers in construction and related fields out of work. The AGC analysis, commissioned from George Washington University, reports 24,000 construction workers and 11,000 service and supply workers immediately unemployed, with another 35,000 jobs expected to be lost in the broader economy due to the loss of construction work. Other job-loss estimates have also emerged since the shutdown last Friday at midnight, including 90,000 predicted by the Obama administration and 80,000 predicted by the Laborers’ International Union of North America. Given the impasse in Congress over the debt ceiling, construction workers are likely to be unemployed for weeks.


NATIONAL | July 14, 2011
Construction Employment Numbers Predict Disturbing Future

Nationally, construction employment totaled 5.5 million in June, down 9,000 from May and up 2,000 from June of last year. The unemployment rate, however, dropped to 15.6% from 20.1% last June, not reflected in new jobs and telling a tale of workers leaving the industry, perhaps through retirement, returning to school or finding jobs in other industries. AGC of America’s Chief Economist Ken Simonson does not see the unemployment rate drop as positive, stating “…the lack of hiring means that people are leaving construction…That will make future expansion all the more difficult.”


LOCAL | July 5, 2011
AC’s Steel Pier To Be Auctioned Off

Adding another chapter to its colorful history, the Steel Pier, directly across from the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, will be auctioned off on August 25, 2011, with a starting bid of $2.5 million. Former home to the Diving Horse, a high-wire motorcycle act, the Human Cannonball and the original Miss America Pageants in the 1920s, the Steel Pier hosted Big Band icons such as Guy Lombardo, Benny Goodman and Jimmy Dorsey, and a roster of headline entertainers that included W.C. Fields, Mae West, Charlie Chaplin, The Three Stooges, Bob Hope, Amos ’n’ Andy and Frank Sinatra. Currently it holds an amusement park with 24 rides, games, prize wheels and a food court, producing income on a lease through 2016. Because of the permits it has in place, the Steel Pier could become a mixed-use development with a hotel, casino, bar and restaurant, spa or luxury condos. CB Richard Ellis will handle the auction, scheduled for 12 Noon on that August Thursday at the Trump Taj Mahal.

June 2011

LOCAL | June 24, 2011
Hard Rock Seeks Boutique Casino Under New Law

As you know, BCANJ supported the initiative to create a pilot program for “boutique” casinos in Atlantic City, a program passed into law in January. Taking us one step closer to seeing the first such casino become reality, the Seminole Indian tribe filed documents with the state for an environmental permit to build a new “Hard Rock” casino on the Boardwalk, a $275 million project built in phases that would eventually offer 850 hotel rooms.


NATIONAL | June 24, 2011
AGC Calls Construction Job Growth “Sluggish” While Costs Rise

Across the country in May, 23 states gained construction jobs while 27 states lost construction jobs. Comparing May of last year to May 2011, nationwide construction employment remained the same. New Jersey lost 900 construction jobs in May, down 2,800 jobs compared to May 2010, a 2.1% drop. The US Department of Labor reports a total of 127,800 construction jobs in New Jersey for May 2011. AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson reports the cost of materials rose at a rate “roughly double the perceived rate of general inflation.”


LOCAL | June 18, 2011
Campbell Soup Employee Center Earns LEED Silver

Campbell’s new Employee Center, an 80,000 sq.ft. addition to its World Headquarters in Camden, has earned LEED Silver certification from the US Green Building Council. The Center opened a year ago, and anchors a revitalization effort for Camden’s Gateway District. BCANJ member Torcon, Inc., of Red Bank served as general contractor on the project.


NATIONAL | June 8, 2011
AGC Safety Director Picked for OSHA Advisory Board

AGC of America’s Director of Safety and Health Services, Kevin R. Cannon, has been appointed to the US Department of Labor’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health for a two-year term. The committee reports to OSHA head David Michaels.


LOCAL | June 7, 2011
Robert Mulcahy Joins Casino Reinvestment Development Authority

Former president of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and former Rutgers Athletic Director Robert E. Mulcahy was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee to serve on the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. Mulcahy apparently will waive the $18,000 compensation.


NATIONAL | June 7, 2011
Construction Unemployment Rate Lower But Employment Numbers Same

May’s national construction unemployment rate dropped to 16.3% from April’s 20.1%, but the number of people employed in construction remained unchanged over the period, indicating that individuals may have found work in other industries or withdrawn from the labor force due to retirement, returning to school, giving up looking for construction work or other reasons. In the meantime, construction spending in April rose 0.4% over March, but still down 9.3% from April 2010.

May 2011

LOCAL | May 24, 2011
SOLD! Trump Marina Sale Approved

A Golden Nugget has come to Atlantic City, as regulators approved the $38 million sale of Trump Marina to Landry’s, owner of Nevada’s Golden Nugget casinos. Even more golden is the $150 million Landry’s owner Tilman J. Fertitta has proposed to revive the casino, which is now officially renamed the Golden Nugget Atlantic City. In addition to extensive renovations, plans could include a second hotel tower to expand the 740-room inventory.


NATIONAL | May 16, 2011
April PPI: Construction Inputs vs. Outputs Intensify Contractor Squeeze

The April PPI for inputs to the construction industry rose 1.4% over March, and 7.1% over April of last year, while the PPI for finished buildings rose much less, causing AGC of America’s Chief Economist Ken Simonson to describe the sharp rise as “further intensifying the ongoing cost squeeze on contractors.” PPI for new industrial buildings increased 0.8% for the month, 1% for the year; offices, 0.8% and 1.5%; schools, 1.1% and 1.6%; warehouses, 0.8% and 1.7%. Commodities that contributed disproportionately to the increase in inputs include diesel fuel, up 5.7% for the month, 42% for the year; copper and brass mill shapes, up 2.6% for the month, 14% for the year; steel mill products, up 2.2% and 13%; and aluminum mill shapes, up 2.8% and 9.1%. Finally, nonresidential construction starts jumped 12% in April over March, 14% above April 2010 levels.


NATIONAL | May 10, 2011
Final Regulations Issued on 3% Withholding Law

Yesterday the IRS released final regulations for the implementation of the 3% withholding law. The final regs delay the effective date until January 1, 2013. However, payments that were excluded under existing contracts will now be included after one year, so that all payments will be subject to the 3% withholding beginning January 1, 2014. AGC of America is continuing to work with its coalition partners toward full repeal of the 3% withholding requirement. For more information, visit AGC’s Legislative Action Center at www.agc.org.


NATIONAL | May 6, 2011
April Construction Employment Up Another Notch

April construction employment rose by 5,000 jobs, marking the third straight month of gains. The rise brought the total number of construction jobs to 5,524,000, down 29% (2,200,000 jobs) since the peak in April 2006. The April unemployment rate hit 17.8%, down from 21.8% in April 2010 but still higher than any other industry and double the national overall rate of 8.7%. Stimulus, military base realignment and flood prevention projects boosted jobs in heavy and civil engineering by 12,700 jobs in April, but all other construction segments lost jobs. Nonresidential building lost 1,200 jobs in April.


NATIONAL | May 3, 2011
March Construction Spending Up After Three-Month Decline

The US Commerce Department reported March construction spending rose 1.4% after falling for three straight months. But February’s spending was so low – the steepest decline in a decade – that the increase only put March spending at about half what economists consider healthy. Private construction increased 2.2%, reflecting a 2.6% rise in residential construction and a 1.6% increase in nonresidential spending. In the nonresidential category, factory construction and expansion led the rise with a 5.5% increase, followed by hotel/motel spending, up 4.7%, and office building, up 1.4%. Federal construction spending dropped 2%, state and local spending rose 0.3%.

April 2011

NATIONAL | April 21, 2011
March Construction Employment Falls in 27 States

The March figures are out, and the AGC of America analysis is again grim. Construction employment decreased in 27 states and the District of Columbia from February to March, and in 33 states for the year, March 2010 through March 2011. New Jersey lost 300 construction jobs in March and 3,300 for the year, ranking it #31 among the 50 states and DC (#1 being the healthiest state – Tennessee – in terms of construction employment). Among New Jersey’s neighboring states, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island all lost construction jobs in March, but over the year, Connecticut, Delaware and Pennsylvania gained jobs.


NATIONAL | April 18, 2011
Cost vs. Demand Squeezes Contractors

March figures showed the costs for key construction materials continued to rise while the prices contractors charged remained flat. Diesel fuel and metals prices packed the biggest punch. Diesel prices jumped 11% in March, 42.5% for the year from March 2010 to March 2011. Copper and brass mill shape prices actually dropped 6% in March, but were still up 17% over a year ago. Steel mill product prices rose 5.3% for the month, 15% for the year, and aluminum mill shape prices rose 1.9% for the month, 12% for the year. AGC of America Chief Economist Ken Simonson noted, “Construction spending has sunk to 1999 levels, forcing contractors to keep bid prices down to win projects, despite huge price increases for key inputs. That steadily widening gulf threatens to put construction firms out of business and their employees out of work.” AGC urged federal officials to adopt a series of recovery measures outlined in AGC’s latest Blueprint for Economic Recovery, released last month.


LOCAL | April 14, 2011
More Revitalization Plans for AC

Atlantic City’s future looks even brighter following yesterday’s announcement of revitalization plans by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. The proposals include a new residential and commercial development near The Walk, housing for students and casino workers in “underused” sections of the city, consolidating government offices downtown to generate more economic activity, an arts district, and an “Eds and Meds” district of educational and medical facilities.


NATIONAL | April 11, 2011
New LEED Healthcare Standard Released

This week, the US Green Building Council announced the launch of its LEED standard for healthcare, LEED-HC. Released as a pilot in 2007, the standard is now finalized. According to the USGBC, more than 225 facilities have been certified to the standard and 1,176 are registered as LEED-HC projects. The rating system guides the design and construction of new buildings and major renovations of existing buildings, including inpatient, outpatient and long-term care facilities, medical offices, assisted living facilities and medical education and research centers.


LOCAL | April 11, 2011
NJ Construction Employment Still Bleak

AGC of America released its monthly analysis of metro area construction unemployment for February 2011 compared to February 2010 and, while New Jersey’s picture still looks grim, it improved over the January 12-month profile. The state lost 2,300 construction industry jobs this February compared to last, a 2% loss. Edison-New Brunswick lost the highest number of jobs this February, down 600 from last year, while Trenton-Ewing lost the highest percentage, 8%. Atlantic City-Hammonton and Bergen-Hudson-Passaic metro areas showed no change. Out of 347 metro areas across the country, Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton ranked lowest among the New Jersey group at 249.


NATIONAL | April 4, 2011
Construction Jobless Rate Improves, But Activity Drops

Nationally, the construction unemployment rate clocked in at 20% in March, down from February’s 21.8% and marking a third consecutive month of improvement. Building construction picked up 3,200 jobs. Also hopeful was the rise in architectural and engineering jobs, up 5,200 for March. But construction spending still continues to drop, down 1.4% in February, which put it at the lowest point since October 1999. Non-residential construction was the only sector to show an increase in spending, rising just under a percentage point.

March 2011

LOCAL | March 22, 2011
Revel Signs Labor Unions for Casino O&M

When the Revel Casino opens in 2012, operations and maintenance will be run by three labor unions. New Jersey Regional Council of Carpenters Local 623, Operating Engineers Local #825 and Painters and Allied Trades District Council 711 all signed contracts with Revel Entertainment Group


LOCAL | March 22, 2011
New Jersey Cities Get Federal Grants Totaling $7 Million

Sixteen New Jersey cities in three counties will receive $7 million from a federal “Small Cities” grant to be used to rehabilitate housing, build ramps for the disabled and improve public infrastructure. Lower Township will receive the largest slice, $700,000, which will be split between two projects. Located in Warren, Salem and Cape May counties, the other cities include Burlington City, Cape May City, Commercial Township, Dover, Egg Harbor, Gloucester City, Middle Township, Montague, Palmyra, Penns Grove, Riverside, Sea Isle City, Wildwood, Woodbine and Woodstown.


NATIONAL | March 14, 2011
Construction Unemployment Improves Slightly

Last February, construction unemployment was a skyrocketing 27.1%. Based on a March 2011 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, this February it came in at 21.8%. With a 33,000 gain in jobs, February showed a definite improvement over last year and a slight improvement over January 2011’s rate of 22.5%, when 22,000 jobs were lost. Non-residential building was the only sector to lose jobs in February, dropping 2,000. Construction industry unemployment still remains the highest by far of all US industries.


LOCAL | March 10, 2011
No School Construction Referendums This Month

The most recent school construction referendum date was set for March 8, but for the first time since the calendar of special elections was established in 2002, no school districts proposed a construction bond referendum. According to the New Jersey School Boards Association, the number of referendum proposals has been declining each year, and this month’s no-show reflects both the poor economy and a leveling-off of school enrollment.

November 2010

LOCAL | November 15, 2010
NJ Alliance for Action’s Construction Forecast Down 30%

Following its 26th Annual Construction Forecast Seminar, the New Jersey Alliance for Action released two-year public and private construction estimates totaling $25.2 billion, down $11 billion (30%) from last year’s forecast. The biggest hit was NJ Transit, which projected $4.7 billion last year, and only $320 million this year, reflecting the demise of the ARC tunnel project.


NATIONAL | November 15, 2010
FASB Postpones Release of Multi-Employer Plan Exposure Draft

FASB announced yesterday it would not release the proposed Exposure Draft on multi-employer plan disclosure until sometime in the second quarter of 2011. The Accounting Board had originally planned to release the draft by year’s end, but received “too much information to digest” in response to the draft. Bulletin #97-10 on the “Members Only” section of this website contains more details, and BCANJ will continue to keep members posted on developments.


LOCAL | November 3, 2010
AC Gambling Dollars Down But Other Spending Up

The Gaming Industry Observer, published by Atlantic City’s Spectrum Gaming Group, a casino consulting firm, reports gambling dollars spent on Atlantic City slot machines and card and roulette tables dropped 23% since 2007. But dollars spent on Atlantic City hotel rooms is up 21%, and money spent on food and drink is up 6%.


LOCAL | November 3, 2010
AC Airport Closer to Going International

Atlantic City International Airport’s planned $25 million terminal expansion can now proceed, after a three-panel judge rejected a legal challenge to the project. Under the direction of the South Jersey Transportation Authority, construction will take approximately 18 months and will expand the baggage-claim area to include a federal inspection station for US Customs Service processing.


LOCAL | November 3, 2010
Court Blocks Part of Fort Monmouth Redevelopment Plan

When Fort Monmouth closes next year, part of the proposed redevelopment plan on the 1,227-acre site called for housing. But a state appeals court struck down that part, citing three key reasons: 1) The planning authority didn’t consult with a housing authority committee as required by state law; 2) The plan doesn’t address housing needs based on such factors as the employment that would result from businesses that locate there; and 3) the plan leaves housing decisions to the three communities on which Fort Monmouth sits – Eatontown, Oceanport and Tinton Falls – rather than a regional plan as required by state law. The court’s decision could also affect similar plans in the Highlands, Meadowlands and Pinelands, covering 158 municipalities and as much as a quarter of the state.


LOCAL | November 3, 2010
NJ Community Health Centers Share $50 Million From Feds

Through the US Affordable Care Act, 20 New Jersey community health centers will share approximately $50 million for construction, renovation and expansion at federally qualified community health facilities. Three of the largest grants were awarded to Newark Community Health ($7.7 million to double the size of a Newark facility and revamp an East Orange site), Ocean Health Initiatives in Lakewood ($5.8 million) and Southern Jersey Family Medical Centers ($5.5 million). Southern Jersey Family has a mobile medical unit and eight facilities in Atlantic City, Burlington City, Pemberton, Hammonton, Pleasantville and Salem. Construction work on federally qualified community health facilities pays prevailing wage under federal Davis-Bacon Act rules.


NATIONAL | November 3, 2010
Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases Latest Construction Injury Data

On October 21, 2010, BLS reported non-fatal construction injuries and illnesses on the job were down 22% in 2009 (251,000 reported). More significant, the industry’s injury/illness rate dropped last year to 4.3 incidents per 100 workers, down from 4.7 in 2008.


LOCAL | November 3, 2010
Casino Group Invests in Aviation Tech Park

In a previous Hot Topic we told you of the South Jersey Economic Development District’s planned development of a “Next Gen” Aviation Research and Technology Park at the Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center in Pomona. Now the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has authorized $3 million toward construction of the first building on the 55-acre campus, a 5,000 sq.ft. laboratory estimated to cost $18 million. When it’s complete, the Next Gen Park will include seven buildings supporting research, testing and development of the “Next Generation Air Traffic Control System.”


LOCAL | November 3, 2010
NJ Charter Schools Can Apply for Low-Interest Bond Funding

Just like public schools, New Jersey Charter Schools can now compete for $30 million in low-interest bond funding from the state to finance new classrooms and other building construction. The deadline to apply is November 19, 2010, and NJ Economic Development Authority CEO Caren Franzini said EDA is looking for projects that are ready to build.


LOCAL | November 3, 2010
Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority Begins Work

The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority approved bylaws and a budget of $1.52 million for the last quarter of this year, kicking off its job overseeing redevelopment of the 1,126-acre Fort Monmouth site. Sitting on the Authority board are three mayors – from Oceanport, Eatontown and Tinton Falls – whose townships share the location and contribute 10 % of the Authority’s budget. The other 90% comes from the federal government.

October 2010

LOCAL | October 22, 2010
NJ Business Action Call Center Open for Business

The state has opened a new Business Action Call Center in Trenton, intended to help businesses get answers to questions about state taxes, regulations, permits, business expansion and relocation and other related issues. Part of the Christie administration’s initiative to make the state more business-friendly, the call center opening was hosted by Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. Business Action Center: 866.534.7789.


NATIONAL | October 4, 2010
President Obama Signs Small Business Jobs Act

On September 27, 2010, President Obama signed the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act (HR 5297), which immediately allows businesses large and small to write off 50% of the cost of depreciable property purchased during 2010. This provision is an extension of the bonus depreciation provision in the 2008 and 2009 economic stimulus acts. Expanding another provision of the previous stimulus acts, the new law increases the expense limitation under Section 179 expensing to $500,000 with a phase-out threshold of $2 million for 2010 and 2011.


LOCAL | October 1, 2010
Feds Award $13 Million for NJ Airport Projects

Eight New Jersey airports received more than $13 million from the Federal Aviation Administration for safety and environmental projects. Grants were awarded to Atlantic City International, Cape May County, Essex County, Millville Municipal, Newark Liberty International, Ocean City Municipal, Teterboro and Trenton Mercer airports. Trenton Mercer received the largest slice, $3.1 million to rehabilitate taxiways.


LOCAL | October 1, 2010
Stockton College Master Plan Approved

The New Jersey Pinelands Commission unanimously approved the Facilities Master Plan for Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. The plan permanently preserves more than 1,200 acres of Pinelands in Galloway Township, and allows the college to expand its physical plant.

September 2010

LOCAL | September 3, 2010
GOMES GAMING TO ACQUIRE RESORTS CASINO HOTEL IN ATLANTIC CITY

Gomes Gaming, Inc., has agreed to acquire Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City from RAC Atlantic City Holdings LLC. Resorts changed hands last year when lenders took possession from Colony Capital, LLC. Gomes, the CEO of Gomes Gaming of Margate City, has managed some 14 gaming properties across the country throughout his 30-year career in the industry, including Trump Entertainment Resorts and Steve Wynn. The current acquisition is subject to approval by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. The two hotel towers at Resorts include 942 rooms, 100,000 square-feet of gaming space, 45,000 square-feet of convention, ballroom and meeting space, 20,000 square-feet of retail space and eight restaurants. The property has some 10.5 acres available for expansion.

August 2010

LOCAL | August 23, 2010
Urban Transit Hub Act to Include Wind Mill

Governor Christie signed S2036/A2873 into law, expanding the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Program to include a wind-energy facility constructed within an eligible wind-energy zone. Specifically, the revised program allows a tax credit for construction of a wind mill in the South Jersey Port District. At $50 million, the minimum capital investment requirement for such projects remains the same as codified in the original program, but the minimum job requirement is more stringent, at 300 new full-time employees as opposed to 250 full-time employees.


NATIONAL | August 23, 2010
US Army Corps of Engineers Drops PLA Requirement

On August 18, 2010, the US Army Corps of Engineers called AGC of America to announce it was withdrawing a construction project requirement to submit an executed project labor agreement. AGC had expressed concern over the requirement and had initiated urgent appeals to the high-ranking officials in the Army Corps.


NATIONAL | August 11, 2010
July Construction Employment Drops 11,000 Jobs

Construction firms cut 11,000 jobs in July, according to the latest report from the Labor Department, setting unemployment in the industry at 17.3%, nearly double the national overall rate of 9.5%. July was the third consecutive month of job losses in construction.

July 2010

LOCAL | July 30, 2010
$270 Million in Facilities Grants Approved for Schools

In a news release on July 28, 2010, Governor Christie announced 177 school districts are eligible for $270 million in state funds to offset the cost of 740 capital maintenance and construction projects, estimated at $697 million. The grants represent about 40% of the cost of the projects, which would generate as many as 6,000 jobs during construction. A report on the allocations is posted on the NJ Department of Education website: www.nj.gov/education/facilities/projectapplication/rod/aprod.pdf


NATIONAL | July 30, 2010
AGC of America Recommends Regulations Moratorium

AGC of America CEO Stephen Sandherr called for a one- to two-year moratorium on new federal regulations. Sandherr was a participant in an “America Speaking Out” event on July 16, 2010, hosted by Republican Congressmen. He also noted that private owners finance 70% of construction projects, stating the Bush tax cut should remain to ensure available capital. Sandherr’s moratorium suggestion was later reiterated by House Republican leader Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), who said a moratorium would send “a wonderful message to the private sector that they’re going to have some breathing room.”


LOCAL | July 30, 2010
New Jersey’s Industrial Market Improving

CB Richard Ellis’ Second Quarter 2010 New Jersey Industrial MarketView reports an improvement in the state’s industrial market, marked in 2Q10 by a steady stream of new leases and lease renewals and a “dramatic” improvement in sales activity. While availability increased “slightly” during the quarter, the negative figures were offset by a 127% increase in sales of industrial space, which reached 2.82 million square feet, in lease renewals of 3.43 million square feet, and in new leases of 3.8 million square feet. That activity is significantly higher than any quarter since the first quarter of 2008.


NATIONAL | July 20, 2010
Construction Starts Continue to Climb

Construction starts for the first six months of 2010, not counting residential, were up 13% overall compared to the same period a year ago, and June starts were up 2.9% over May. Reed Construction Data reports that, although the value of construction starts is still 25% below the pre-recession peak, it has now held steady for four months. By category, the value of commercial starts in June was down 0.4%, but institutional value was up 18.6% and non-residential building value was up 11%.

June 2010

NATIONAL | June 22, 2010
May Construction Unemployment Declines in Half the States

Construction employment declined from April to May in 25 states, and from May 2009 to May 2010 in 45 states. In New Jersey, another 700 jobs were lost in the past month. More than 10% of the state’s construction jobs – 14,100 – have disappeared in the last year, ranking New Jersey at 34 out of 50 states and the District of Columbia.


NATIONAL | June 21, 2010
May Construction Starts Up

For the third month in a row, construction starts increased, both year-over-year and by month. May construction starts, excluding residential, were up 9.8% more than May 2009, and up 16.3% over April 2010. While there is usually a seasonal gain in May, the numbers were slightly more than just the usual, and have remained steady for three consecutive months even allowing for seasonality. Breaking out the segments and comparing the first six months of 2010 over the same period in 2009, commercial building was down 6.6%, institutional building was up 9.7% and other non-residential building was up 3.4%. Jim Haughey, Chief Economist for Reed Construction Data, predicts starts will remain steady for several months and begin to rise at year-end.


NATIONAL | June 8, 2010
April Construction Numbers Surprisingly Strong

Nationally, April construction spending rose 2.7%, much higher than the 0.1% expected, representing the largest increase in construction spending since August 2000. Even the slim March spending figure was adjusted upward from 0.2% to 0.4%. Comparatively, however, the picture is still grim. This April’s spending is down 10.5 % from April 2009. Nonetheless, total private construction outlays rose 2.9% and nonresidential construction rose 1.7%. Increases were seen in the construction of hotels, factories, power plants, and communications, religious, healthcare and recreation facilities. Office and commercial construction fell, as did education and transportation building, but public construction rose 2.4%. All this faint good news encouraged Morgan Stanley to revise its second-quarter Gross Domestic Product forecast from 3.5% to 3.7%.


LOCAL | June 21, 2010
59 School Districts Awarded State Grants for Facilities Projects

SDA CEO Marc Larkins announced that 142 facilities projects at 111 schools in 59 districts will receive Regular Operating District grant funding, made available from the sale of $500 million in bonds by the NJ EDA. The grants, totaling $36.9 million, will cover at least 40% of the eligible cost for these projects, which have a total estimated cost of $77.5 million. For a list of schools and estimated project costs, visit http://www.njsda.gov/Archive/2010/05/05.24.10/nr_05.24.10.pdf.">www.njsda.gov/Archive/2010/05/05.24.10/nr_05.24.10.pdf.">http://www.njsda.gov/Archive/2010/05/05.24.10/nr_05.24.10.pdf. For more specific information on each project, visit www.njsda.gov and click on “School Projects” in the left navigation bar.

May 2010

LOCAL | May 4, 2010
Governor Announces $500 Million Bond Sale for School Construction

Governor Christie announced that proceeds from the sale of $500 million in new bonds will be used for school facilities projects in SDA Districts and to fund a continuation of the SDA grant program for Regular Operating Districts. Grants for Regular Operating Districts cover at least 40% of the cost of projects in non-Abbott districts. The state will sell taxable Build America Bonds, thus receiving a federal subsidy equal to 35% of interest payments.


NATIONAL | May 4, 2010
Feds Extend COBRA (Again) and Restore Long-Term Unemployment Benefits

On April 15, Congress passed, and President Obama almost immediately signed, a bill that extends the federal COBRA premium subsidies to employees who are involuntarily terminated through May 31, 2010. The previous COBRA extension covered employees terminated through March 31, 2010, continuing the 65% federal premium subsidy for up to 15 months for eligible individuals. In addition, the $18 billion jobless benefits bill restores unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed, who can now reapply for long-term unemployment benefits and receive checks retroactively.

April 2010

LOCAL | April 14, 2010
BCA of AC Latest Labor Update – Read Bulletin #13-10

We encourage Members to read Bulletin #13-10, distributed April 14, 2010, outlining wage freezes for 2010 with the Laborers, Carpenters, Bricklayers and Dockbuilders, as well as trade-specific “market recovery” agreements for various types of projects and markets.


NATIONAL | April 8, 2010
“Green” Fly Ash Under Attack as Hazardous

Any contractor who has worked on a LEED project knows the fly ash in concrete helps garner points as a post-industrial recycled material. But the US EPA is about to publish a proposed rule that could designate fly ash as hazardous waste. The proposed rule is a response to the huge toxic sludge spill in Tennessee in late 2008, where fly ash and water spread over 300 acres, the worst spill of its kind in the US. Ironically, the use of fly ash in concrete, which increases constructability and durability, is considered environmentally responsible because it significantly reduces cement content and therefore cuts the carbon dioxide generated by cement production.


NATIONAL | April 8, 2010
New Jersey #3 in Jobless Claims at End of March

New Jersey clocked in at #3 among the 50 states with one of the largest increases in jobless claims for the week ending March 27, 2010. New Jersey’s jobless claims were up 1,715 due to layoffs in construction, transportation, warehousing and manufacturing. Only Texas and Oregon posted higher numbers.


NATIONAL | April 5, 2010
Construction Unemployment Dips In March

With construction unemployment at 27.1% and 2.4 million out of work, February 2010 marked one of the highest unemployment rates in history for the construction industry. But March figures look slightly less drastic. The most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data measures construction unemployment at 24.9%, affecting 2.25 million construction workers.

March 2010

NATIONAL | March 24, 2010
Reed Data Releases State-by-State Construction Job Losses

New Jersey ranked #22 in the list of states that suffered significant construction job losses throughout the course of the recession, reports Reed Construction Data. From its peak construction employment of 178,300 in April 2006 through January 2010 (44 months), New Jersey lost 51,700 construction jobs, a 29% decline. Regionally, Delaware fared the worst, coming in at #10 with a 35.9% decline. Rhode Island ranked #19, with a 30.7% decline. The average decline across all states is 30.5%, a statistic that does not include February’s loss of 64,000 jobs nationwide. Further job losses are expected at least through mid-year.


NATIONAL | March 17, 2010
OSHA Extends Comment Period on Proposed Recordkeeping Rule

As we told you in the February Safety Update, OSHA has proposed reinstating a column on the Form 300 to allow employers to identify work-related musculoskeletal disorders. The proposal would not change existing requirements for recording such injuries. The comment period, scheduled to close today, has been extended to March 30, 2010, to account for the workplace shutdowns that occurred due to February snowstorms. The 15-day extension ensures a full 60-day comment period. Comments may be submitted electronically at www.regulations.gov.


LOCAL | March 17, 2010
Storm Fells Tower Crane at AC Construction Site

Howling winds and driving rain wreaked havoc across New Jersey, and gusts as powerful as 59 mph were enough to topple a tower crane at the Revel Casino construction site in Atlantic City on Saturday. The winds also blew out four stories of glass on the casino, and an Atlantic City police officer was injured when debris from the construction site smashed through the window of his police cruiser.


LOCAL | March 12, 2010
NJ’s January Unemployment Rate and Housing Starts Drop

The State’s January unemployment rate dropped just below 10%, to 9.9%, but stayed higher than the national rate of 9.7%. For the month, New Jersey lost 9,700 private-sector jobs, added 600 jobs in the public sector, and released its revision of 2009 data, indicating the State lost more jobs last year than originally calculated – 114,100, up from 90,100. Construction work, as we know, took a severe hit. But, while nonresidential building dragged in New Jersey, the slump in homebuilding was the worst on record, with only 12,235 building permits issued – a third of the 38,588 permits issued in 2005.


NATIONAL | March 9, 2010
Construction Job Losses Jump in February

Nationwide, the construction industry lost 64,000 jobs in February, a loss that pushed the unemployment rate to 27.1%, nearly three times the overall unemployment rate for the country.


LOCAL | March 5, 2010
National Park Service Extends Comment Period on Proposed Power Lines

An update to the Hot Topic posted February 17, 2010: The National Park Service, which had hosted three public hearings in mid-February on PSEG’s proposed 146-mile transmission line across New Jersey and Pennsylvania, has extended the public comment period until March 12. The Park Service is gathering the comments for use in its environmental impact statement.


NATIONAL | March 4, 2010
2009 Collective Bargaining Increases Lowest In 13 Years

In data collected by the Construction Labor Research Council, almost 10% of the collective bargaining settlements in 2009 reflected a zero increase, causing the average first-year increase in wages and fringe benefits to drop to its lowest point since 1996. At $1.23 – 2.8% – the average in 2009 was closing in on half that of 2008, when it came in at $1.95 – 4.6% – which had been the highest increase since 1999. The average second-year increase negotiated for multi-year agreements was $1.55 – 3.2% – in 2009, as compared to $2.25 – 4.7% – in 2008. Also notable in the negotiations: 49¢ of the $1.23 average first-year increase was designated for pension fund contribution increases. Settlements did not vary as much region-by-region in 2009, and more than half the agreements were negotiated for only a one-year term. Typically, about 40% are for three-year terms.


LOCAL | March 4, 2010
$160 Million Cancer Treatment Center Going Up in Somerset

Proton therapy, an alternative cancer treatment to X-ray radiation, is coming to Somerset County, in the first proton treatment facility in New Jersey and the New York metro area. ProCure Treatment Centers, Inc., of Indiana, Princeton Radiation Oncology and CentraState Health System of Freehold are collaborating to build a $160 million proton therapy treatment center in Franklin Township, with groundbreaking planned for April 7, 2010. The 60,000 sq. ft. facility, to be located at 101-103 Cedar Grove Lane, is expected to be open in 2012. The project will create 400 construction jobs and 100 permanent jobs, and New Jersey-based contractors will do the construction.


LOCAL | March 3, 2010
Bricklayers’ President John Flynn Retires

John J. Flynn, President of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, announced yesterday he will retire. Flynn had served as President since 1999. James Boland, previously Secretary-Treasurer, was sworn in as the new President.


LOCAL | March 1, 2010
Governor Proposes UI Fund Solutions

New Jersey’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund is insolvent, but Governor Christie doesn’t want an increased employer payroll tax to fund it. The automatic payroll tax increase would be as much as $683 per employee, and the Governor’s proposed suspension of the tax would give New Jersey employers vital relief during the recession. Instead, the proposed plan would impose an average payroll tax increase of $130 per employee, phase in any additional increases to allow employers to prepare for them in advance, reduce the maximum weekly unemployment benefit from $600 to $550, require a one-week waiting period before benefits can be claimed, make the “extended benefit” provision dependent on the continuation of 100% federal funding of benefit costs, and further call on the federal government to continue full funding for the extended benefit.

February 2010

NATIONAL | February 22, 2010
January Construction Stats: Good News & Bad

Reed Construction Data reports January 2010 construction starts, excluding residential contracts, totaled $24.1 billion, 20.1% higher than January 2009, and 6.3% higher than December 2009. In fact, the January starts were 30% higher than the monthly average for the first half of 2009. The value of the starts might have been even higher, but for the exceptionally bad weather experienced across much of the country. Of the January starts, non-residential buildings saw a 10% increase, commercial building jumped 47%, and institutional building increased 4%, with notable gains for nursing homes, libraries and museums, educational facilities and government offices. The bad weather could also be partially to blame for the construction unemployment rate, which hit an unprecedented 25% in January, representing more than 2.19 million construction workers who have been laid off since the recession began.


LOCAL | February 4, 2010
Gov. Christie Creates Panel to Fix NJ Gaming, Sports and Entertainment

Governor Christie’s Executive Order 11, issued today, creates an advisory commission to study and address the financial and structural challenges that are hurting New Jersey’s gaming, professional sports and entertainment industries. The seven-person New Jersey Gaming, Sports and Entertainment Advisory Commission, headed by Jon F. Hanson, a former chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, will work without compensation under a June 30 deadline to fashion solutions for the issues outlined in Governor Christie’s Transition Subcommittee, including the ongoing financial viability of the NJSEA; advancing or resolving the stalled Xanadu project; improving the competitiveness of the Atlantic City gaming industry and promoting the city as a destination resort; ensuring that horseracing becomes financially self-sustaining; and proper scheduling of entertainment events at the IZOD and Prudential centers to ensure their mutual success.


LOCAL | February 2, 2010
Delaware River Dredging Finally A “Go”

After 30 years of wrangling, the Army Corps of Engineers finally got the go-ahead to start a dredging project that will deepen by five feet a 13-mile stretch of the Delaware River known as Reach C. The federal judge told opponents – Delaware, New Jersey and various environmental groups – that the rest of the proposed 102.5-mile dredging project also should proceed. New Jersey has a lawsuit to block the project pending in US District Court in Trenton.


NATIONAL | February 2, 2010
White House Calls for Army Corps Funding Cut

President Obama’s budget draft for fiscal 2011 proposes $4.81 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, $630 million less than this year’s appropriations bill. That’s a 12% cut that slashes the construction budget from $2 billion to $1.6 billion.

January 2010

NATIONAL | January 18, 2010
Construction Unemployment Keeps Climbing

After a loss of 53,000 construction jobs in December, including 7,700 in the nonresidential building sector, unemployment in the industry reached 22.7%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. That’s up sharply from 15.7% at the end of December 2008. Since the recession began two years ago, the construction industry nationally has lost 1.6 million jobs. More than 2 million workers were seeking jobs at the end of 2009.


LOCAL | January 12, 2010
AUTHORITY APPROVES $2 MILLION FOR ATLANTIC CITY RAIL

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority approved an extra $2 million to keep a weekend rail service between New York and Atlantic City running for at least two more years Harrah's Resort, Caesars Atlantic City and Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa launched the train service last February. The current schedule of 18 trips will be reduced to 11.


NATIONAL | January 7, 2010
International Green Construction Code To Be Released In March

The first international code to address sustainable design and green construction practices for all commercial building types is due to be released in March, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Authored by the Sustainable Building Technology Committee, the International Green Construction Code is designed to offer flexibility to account for varying local and regional conditions, such as energy resources. It will apply to both traditional and high-performance buildings and both new construction and renovation. The Committee, which is comprised of code officials, sustainability experts, members of the International Code Council and other representatives from the architectural, engineering and construction communities, will seek public comment through August, followed by a second review, comment period and public hearings in 2011. Final publication is scheduled for the 2012 ICC Family of Codes.


NATIONAL | January 6, 2010
EPA Construction Site Stormwater Rules In Effect Next Month

In less than a month, the EPA’s rule on controlling stormwater runoff on construction sites goes into effect. The rule marks the first time the EPA has imposed national monitoring requirements and enforceable numeric limitations on stormwater discharge from jobsites. In effect February 1, 2010, and phased in over four years, the rule requires owners, developers and contractors whose projects cover from one or more acres to use “best management practices” to ensure that soil disturbed during construction doesn’t pollute nearby streams and rivers. In the initial phase, the rule also addresses sites that impact 10 or more acres, calling for the discharges to comply with specific limits. The rule tightens regulations over the four-year phase-in. For rule specifics, visit www.epa.gov/waterscience/guide/construction/.


LOCAL | January 5, 2010
New Jersey Economic Analysis

Wells Fargo Securities Economics Group has issued a point-by-point analysis of New Jersey’s economic status as of year-end 2009. Highlights include a review of unemployment figures, the housing market decline, the state’s financial crisis and population drain. The analysis reports a 9.7% unemployment rate, the highest in three decades, with pockets of even steeper unemployment in Cumberland and Atlantic counties that rank among the highest in the nation. The high unemployment rate has correspondingly resulted in decreased tax revenues, a significant budget gap and projections for budget shortfalls well into fiscal year 2012. Housing starts seem to have bottomed out but no growth is expected until late in 2010 or early 2011. And population in the state has only increased 3.2% in the last decade, about a third of the national population growth. Most notable, the median age of New Jersey residents, 38.7, is higher than the national average, and the percent of the population 65 and older is growing, which will adversely affect employment and economic growth. Overall, the analysis concludes that New Jersey’s economic recovery will lag about a year behind the nation’s as a whole. Any good news? Job loss is slowing, economic activity is picking up, New Yorkers are relocating here and home sales are posting positive gains. For a copy of the five-page report as a PDF file, please contact BCANJ at 732.225.2265 or e-mail dteall@bcanj.com.

December 2009

NATIONAL | December 15, 2009
Construction Starts Rose in November

Nonresidential building construction starts rose 16% in November over October, which should help stop the downward trend in construction spending. At the same time, construction materials orders, production and sales all dropped, and the numbers for the months leading up to October were also revised lower. The slump is a result of both the decline this year in nonresidential construction spending and the fact that some commercial building projects were suspended after work had started.


NATIONAL | December 15, 2009
Construction Equipment Shipments Hold Steady

From June through October, construction equipment shipments from US factories have held more-or-less steady, a sign the equipment market has reached bottom. The market fell 55% in four years, since early 2006, and is expected to continue to fall another 5% through Spring 2010, with no significant pickup through all of next year. However, beginning in June, shipments have averaged 6% higher every month than the numbers of May.


NATIONAL | December 14, 2009
E-Verify “Self-Check” Option Planned

Currently only employers can screen employee information to determine employment eligibility via the federal government’s E-Verify system, but the feds plan to add a self-check system for workers to screen themselves. Thus, workers could make sure of their status before applying for new jobs, a move the government hopes will help ease tension between opposing sides in the immigration debate.


NATIONAL | December 7, 2009
Construction Unemployment Still Climbing

While the national unemployment rate – and New Jersey’s – dropped a bit in November, the jobless rate in the construction industry went up nearly a point, from 18.7% in October to 19.4%. The only positive news is the number of jobs lost in November, 27,000, is less than the national average 63,000 lost monthly from May through October, and significantly less than the average 117,000 jobs lost monthly from November 2008 to April 2009. New Jersey lost 21,700 construction jobs in the 12-month period from October 2008 through October 2009, a 13% drop. All of New Jersey’s largest metropolitan areas lost construction jobs, many in double-digit percentage points. For the most recent data, visit www.agc.org.


LOCAL | December 3, 2009
Pleasantville Redevelopment Project Set to Go

The Pleasantville City Center Redevelopment project now has a signed master developer's agreement between the city and River Development LLC of Red Bank, allowing the approval process for the project to begin immediately. The first of three phases is a $50 million mix of retail and residential, featuring 300 rental units targeted at Atlantic City casino workers and 20,000 sq.ft. of retail, expected to take two years to complete. Design of the other two phases will continue during construction of the first phase.

November 2009

NATIONAL | November 30, 2009
US Government to Allow ConsensusDOCS Contracts

The US Department of Agriculture's Rural Utility Service is the first federal agency to allow the use of ConsensusDOCS contract templates. The first jobs to be covered by the templates are for water construction projects worth up to $20 billion each year. The two ConsensusDOCS templates allowed are the Electronic Communications Protocol and the Contractor's Qualification Statement for Engineered Construction. According to AGC of America's Brian Perlberg, executive director of the ConsensusDOCS coalition, the federal government joins several other large-scale project owners in using the contract documents. South Dakota, Michigan and North Carolina, along with Habitat for Humanity, all now routinely use ConsensusDOCS.


NATIONAL | November 30, 2009
Union Contractors Urge Healthcare Bill Amendment

In mid-November, a consortium of union contractors pushed for an amendment in the Senate version of the national healthcare bill that would ensure construction industry employers that do not provide healthcare benefits would not benefit from a compliance-relief proposal for small businesses. As written, the proposed Senate bill would require all employers with 50 or more employees to provide healthcare coverage for their workers, or pay penalties. However, the union contractors group claims non-union contractors could fall into the small-business, less-than-50 workers category, and be exempt from providing coverage, gaining a competitive advantage. Therefore, the group wants a construction-specific amendment that exempts only construction companies with less than six employees and payrolls totaling $250,000 or less.


NATIONAL | November 24, 2009
EPA Rules to Reduce Construction-Site Pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule this week imposing management practices designed to reduce pollution on construction sites and therefore improve water quality. The EPA estimates the rule will cover nearly 82,000 homebuilders, commercial and industrial building contractors, and civil-engineering companies, and cost those builders $953 million in annual costs, at a time when the construction industry is suffering a terrible economic recession. The rule will be phased in over four years, and will require contractors and owners to use soil stabilization and erosion control. Contractors on sites that disturb 20 or more acres will be subject to federal monitoring and limits on stormwater discharge; that acreage parameter will eventually drop to 10 acres.


LOCAL | November 24, 2009
New Jersey's Stimulus Money Is Still Unspent

New Jersey's 'shovel-ready' county road projects are still ready, but the federal stimulus funds ' millions of dollars ' slated to pay for them won't be used until next year, according to a story in today's Star-Ledger. The reason? Detail-laden documentation. For example, cites John Reiser, Middlesex County's engineer and director of public works, 'one project required county workers to photograph sidewalks at 700 intersections to show construction would not adversely affect handicapped-accessible curb cuts.' Similar stories have emerged from Somerset, Morris and other counties across the state. But despite the delays, the State still expects bids to be out by March 2, 2010, the federal deadline, on the $625 million allocated to New Jersey


NATIONAL | November 3, 2009
Nonresidential Building Construction drops in September

In the latest figures from Reed Construction Data, jobsite spending on nonresidential building construction fell 1.6% in September. Since its peak in early 2008, spending for commercial buildings has fallen 34%, but RCD's Jim Haughey feels most of the deep decline is now over. However, Haughey expects no improvement in the market until well into 2010.


LOCAL | November 3, 2009
Atlantic City Walk to Expand

Plans for the next two phases of The Walk, the Atlantic City retail and entertainment project, were announced by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and Cordish Company, the Baltimore developer. With a November groundbreaking, phase 3 will include 45,078 square feet of new factory outlet space on Christopher Columbus Boulevard and Fairmount, Mississippi and Artic Avenues. Phase 3 could create as many as 400 construction jobs and 400 new permanent jobs; the Development Authority will provide a $9 million loan toward the project, while Cordish will fund the remainder of the $15 million development cost. Phase 4 will focus on Atlantic City Live, a restaurant and entertainment district with a capital investment expected to exceed $100 million

October 2009

LOCAL | October 20, 2009
Groundbreaking for Aviation Park in Egg Harbor Township

Ground was broken for the Federal Aviation Administration's Aviation Research and Technology Park, a seven-building project on 55 acres adjacent to the Atlantic City International Airport and the FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center. Expected to create more than 2,000 jobs, the Park will be a high-tech aviation facility for research, development, testing, integration and verification of new technologies. Private firms will be able to enter into agreements with the FAA to conduct research projects. The Aviation Park is a non-profit corporation governed by a Board of Trustees, which will send out requests for Development Interest and Qualifications within the next 60 days.

 

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