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The BCANJ hot topics page features new and interesting topics that affect the construction industry. Scroll down to read our most recent Hot Topics.

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INDUSTRY NEWS

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 Senates 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 The current public safety complex was severely damaged during Superstorm Sandy, but was already outdated, and engineers had started planning for a new facility before the storm.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 Fives 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 Fives 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 Jerseys 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
ACs South Inlet Update on Development

Weve been following the progress of Atlantic Citys 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 ONeal 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 Harbors 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 okd 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 townships 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.


LOCAL | May 14, 2013
Egg Harbors 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 okd 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 townships 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. BCANJs 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 Americas 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 Openfor 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 Americas 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 countys 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 countys 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 wont 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 Associations 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 Americas 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, Februarys construction spending in both private nonresidential and public segments made gains over Januarys 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 Citys pursuit of the non-gambling tourist trade. Non-gambling attractions generated $1.26 billion in 2012, 29% of the casino industrys $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 weeks 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
Wildwoods 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. Wildwoods 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 Havens 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 Departments civil rights division, as the new Secretary of Labor to replace Hilda Solis, who resigned in January. Perez had been Marylands secretary of labor before heading the civil rights division. He received his Bachelors degree from Brown University in 1983, a Masters of Public Policy from Harvards 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 didnt 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 unions 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 unions 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 Ballys, bordered by Ohio, Indiana, Atlantic and Pacific avenues, between the edge of The Walk and the Boardwalk. Caesars, which owns Showboat, Ballys, Caesars and Harrahs 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 Workforces 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 Decembers total. AGC of Americas 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 2012s 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 Revels $1.5 billion debt, converting more than $1 billion of it into equity for lenders. According to Revels 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 ACs 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 caf. 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 Ewings 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 Jerseys 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 Clintons presidency, including counselor to the secretary of labor. He holds a BS from Cornells 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 werent 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
ACs South Inlet Redevelopment Scaled Back

Atlantic Citys 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 doesnt 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 Administrations 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, ACs 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 years end, but were up 1.3% for the year. Thats 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 states 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 Obamas 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 Yorks 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 Departments 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 countys 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 -- borough and township -- have voted to merge, and the planning board has approved by a vote of 9-1 Princeton Universitys $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 didnt 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 didnt 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 Harrahs Conference Center

NJ EDA has approved a $24.1 million, 20-year Economic Redevelopment and Growth grant for Harrahs 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 Harrahs 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 Septembers 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 towns 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 doesnt 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
Harrahs 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 Harrahs. 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 Districts 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 projects 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 wont. 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 hasnt set any new deadlines for contract completion, but hope to have it in hand soonand maybe even have a shovel in the ground before the year is out.


LOCAL | October 23, 2012
NJ Tourism Now Under NJSEA

New Jerseys 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 citys 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 years end, New York Citys construction spending will be up 9%, to $30.7 billion, according to a study by the New York Building Congress. Its 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 wont 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 Citys 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 citys 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 Harrahs AC

Harrahs 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

Its 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 Mercks 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 bachelors degree in aerospace engineering, a masters in engineering management and a second masters 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 states 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 Flemingtons 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 Matts 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 Julys 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 Jerseys 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 Treasurys 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 werent 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

Newarks 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 NJPACs public plaza. The design, by Bower Lewis Thrower of Philadelphia, mirrors NJPACs steel, brick and glass.


LOCAL | September 28, 2012
Irvington Authorizes Sale of Former Hospital Site

Irvingtons 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. Kapwoods 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 Citys 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. Its 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
Hackensacks 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 Christies 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 towns 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 caf 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 Governors Office, the SDAs 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 didnt 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 Councils 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 Halls 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 Ripleys Believe It or Not! Museum. Dolphin-watching cruises also did well. As for the big events in AC in August, Nik Wallendas 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 industrys 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 Councils 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 Councils 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 Years 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
Newarks 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 Universitys 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. UMDNJs 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 ACs The Walk

Atlantic Citys 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.


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.


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, only 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 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 wont 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 Fives 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 626 positions.


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.


LOCAL | August 2, 2012
Jersey Citys 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
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.


NATIONAL | August 2, 2012
Construction Spending Rises Again in June

The US Commerce Department announced construction spending in June rose 0.4%, and revised Mays 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%.

July 2012

NATIONAL | July 31, 2012
ConsensusDOCS Updates Language On Defective Construction

The ConsensusDOCS Drafting Council approved an immediate revision to the language regarding warranty claims for defective construction in the ConsensusDOCS contract documents. The revision applies to certain agreements with language that potentially allowed an owner to automatically charge, as a warranty claim, for the cost to correct defective construction discovered past the one-year correction period. The purpose of the revised language is to afford the construction manager or design-builder the opportunity to correct work that is past the one-year period. For more information, visit www.ConsensusDOCS.org.


LOCAL | July 27, 2012
P3s In the Works for Big Transit Projects

Spokespeople for New Jersey Transit, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and the New York State Department of Transportation told a Professional Women in Construction forum this week that large construction projects in the New York area could very well be financed via public-private partnerships in the very near future. Some of the projects they mentioned include the LaGuardia Airport central terminal renovation ($3.6 billion), the Hudson-Bergen and Camden light rail line extensions, the Goethals Bridge rehab ($1 billion) and the Newark Airport Terminal A revamping. The LaGuardia project, for example, will seek $2.4 billion in private funding.


LOCAL | July 26, 2012
Margaritaville Comes to AC

Resorts Casino announced this week that it is taking on the Margaritaville brand and a new construction project expected to break ground after Labor Day. Estimated to cost at least $35 million, a phase of the construction project will be built within the existing Resorts casino, while other portions of the project will span the old Steeplechase Pier and through the beach and boardwalk. The Casino Redevelopment Authority has discussed preliminary determination of the projects eligibility and will vote on funding and final approvals in August.


LOCAL | July 23, 2012
Carteret Plans Park Upgrades Using State and County Grants

A water-spray park for kids is coming to Carteret, thanks to $1.1 million in state and county grants that will allow the borough to construct upgrades in its largest public park. Other upgrades will include new walkways, decorative lighting, landscaping, curbing, drainage and a parking lot. The water-spray park is estimated at $175,000; the grants come from $650,000 in New Jersey Green Acres funds and $450,000 in Middlesex County Open Space monies. The borough hopes to have the work completed this summer or early fall.


LOCAL | July 23, 2012
Conair to Expand Warehouse in East Windsor

Conair Corp.s world headquarters are in East Windsor, along with its warehouse and distribution center. In response to an offer from NJ EDA of an annual $2.7 million Grow New Jersey Assistance Program tax credit over 10 years, the company plans to build a 450,000 sq.ft. expansion to the operations, creating an estimated 446 new permanent jobs, rather than building a new facility in Arizona.


LOCAL | July 19, 2012
Rutgers New Brunswick Redevelopment Progresses

Rutgers plans a $295 million redevelopment in downtown New Brunswick, including an academic building, a 500-bed honors dorm, an 800-bed apartment building and a new campus parking deck. Last week, the local planning board approved the plans, and last night the city council agreed. Now it goes before the public at the councils meeting on August 1. If its approved, work is scheduled to begin in November. The project is still waiting for $52 million in tax credits from the Urban Transit Program, which was put on hold in February when it ran out of funds. The state approved more funds for the program in June, but no date has been set for reinstatement of the tax credits.


LOCAL | July 19, 2012
Bayonne Bridge Due to Finish Ahead of Schedule

The Port Authority announced yesterday afternoon that the raising of the Bayonne Bridge is expected to be finished six months ahead of schedule, in the fall of 2015, because of streamlined preliminary work. Thus the bridge will be high enough to accommodate the first of the new, massive container ships that will come through the newly widened Panama Canal in 2015. Construction on the Bayonne Bridge will begin in 2013 and will generate more than 6,300 construction jobs.


LOCAL | July 13, 2012
Edison Distribution Center Gets Construction Financing

The Middlesex Logistic Center, planned as a LEED-certified, 570,100 sq.ft. distribution center located between Raritan Center and Heller Industrial Park near NJ Turnpike Exit 10 in Edison, has secured $41.15 million in construction financing and joint venture equity. The project will include 36-foot ceilings, 108 loading doors, 140-foot truck courts and parking for 149 trailers. Expected completion is 2013.


LOCAL | July 12, 2012
Harrison Developers Form Community Association

The newly formed Harrison Community Development Association, a coalition of residential and commercial real estate developers, will work cooperatively with town officials and the business and residential communities to transform Harrison into a vital mixed-use transit hub over the next decade. Already surrounding the Harrison PATH station, which is the centerpiece of the towns 250-acre redevelopment site, is the Red Bull Arena, which opened in March 2010; a Hampton Inn hotel with 165 rooms; the first phase of a mixed-use residential and retail project; a new 1,440-space parking structure; a Complete Street road network; and a waterfront walkway. Plans include more commercial and residential projects, a second hotel, public open space, community facilities and more parking, along with a complete renovation and modernization of the PATH station. More than $286 million in public funding and $650 million in private investment have been spent or committed to the Harrison redevelopment.


NATIONAL | July 12, 2012
Public Construction Spending Plummets in May

As private construction makes a gradual comeback, public construction drops drastically. The Commerce Departments 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. Its 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 Jerseys Money Chief Has New Website

New Jerseys 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.


LOCAL | July 3, 2012
American Dream Meadowlands Gets DEP Approval and a Lawsuit

In late June, the state Meadowlands Commission approved an environmental impact report for the proposed indoor water and amusement park at American Dream. The week before, the NFL Giants and Jets filed a lawsuit against the revival of the former Xanadu project, declaring the expansion of the original plan would have an adverse impact on traffic.


LOCAL | July 3, 2012
Ground-Breaking on Jersey Citys 18 Park Mixed-Use Development

Jersey Citys 18 Park is planned as a mixed-use development with 422 rental units in an 11-story apartment building that will also house a new 34,000 sq.ft. location for The Boys & Girls Clubs of Hudson County. The building will encompass 550,000 sq.ft. of residential space, divided into studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, plus 10,500 sq.ft. of ground-level retail space and an enclosed parking deck with 230 parking spaces. Amenities in the building will include a fish tank/water element in the lobby, a fitness center, an outdoor swimming pool, a landscaped outdoor deck with a green garden roof, a billiards room, a childrens playroom, a catering kitchen and dining room, a wi-fi lounge, a TV screening space and private storage. Onsite porters and maintenance staff will be available 24/7 to attend to residents needs. The Boys & Girls Clubs space will have separate access and operations, offering high-tech classrooms, rooms for arts and music programs, and a gym with a floor-to-ceiling glass wall and lobby entrance. The location is adjacent to the Liberty Harbor North Light Rail Station, near PATH and ferry service to Manhattan, and easy access to shops, restaurants and parks in the nearby Paulus Hook neighborhood. Ironstate Development Company had the 18 Park building designed to meet LEED and Feng Shui certification standards. Completion is scheduled for Fall 2014.

June 2012

NATIONAL | June 29, 2012
BCTD Elects Brent Booker as New Secretary-Treasurer

On June 7, the Governing Board of the AFL-CIOs 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.


LOCAL | June 14, 2012
Western Half of Fort Lee Development Approved

The Fort Lee Planning Board approved site plans for the western half of the 16-acre area in downtown Fort Lee slated for mixed-use development. Called Hudson Lights, with 477 residential units and 165,000 sq.ft. of ground-level retail space, the development of the western half, fronting Lemoine Avenue, Main Street, Martha Washington Way and Bruce Reynolds Blvd., will complement The Center at Fort Lee mixed-used development on the eastern half, whose site plans were approved in March (see Hot Topics, March 27, 2012). Hudson Lights could also include a 175-room hotel, and office building and 1,200 parking spaces.


LOCAL | June 12, 2012
NYC Ironworkers Roll Back Wages and Benefits

New York City has a couple of big construction projects in the works at Hudson Yards and the Tappan Zee Bridge. In an effort to reposition themselves to retain market share, 86% of the 1,500 members of Metallic Lathers and Reinforcing Ironworkers Local 46 voted in May to cut their overall compensation by 15% about $14 per hour giving up a 4% raise this year and cutting next years raise from 4% to 2%. The total wages and benefits package will drop from $93 per hour to $79 per hour. Local 46 members also agreed to allow a higher percentage of apprentices on jobsites and extend the workday from seven to eight hours. Hudson Yards developer Related Companies has said it wants to use union labor but also significantly bring down costs. Following the union vote to cut wages and benefits, the developer put forth the possibility of building the new Coach headquarters at Hudson Yards with reinforced concrete instead of steel, creating jobs for Local 46. One issue under debate for the Tappan Zee Bridge project is whether the rebar will be fabricated offsite, which would mean a dramatic loss of work for Local 46.


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, Aprils 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.


LOCAL | June 7, 2012
Prudential Gains EDA Tax Credit Approval for New Office Site

As we posted in March, Prudential Financial changed the proposed venue for its new office tower from a site across from NJ PAC to Broad Street just west of Military Park. Because the firm received EDA approval for tax credits specific to the original site, it had to reapply for tax credits on the new site. Earlier this week, EDA approval came through for a 10-year tax credit worth up to $210.8 million for the planned 650,000 sq.ft. office building, which will house approximately 2,000 workers currently located at the Gateway Complex in Newark. Under the terms of the tax credit, Prudential must add 400 jobs at the new building by 2016.


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

LOCAL | May 31, 2012
State and Private Colleges Compile $6 Billion Wish List

New Jerseys 45 college presidents would like the state to fund a $5.9 billion wish list for long-term capital improvements in both public and private colleges. Rutgers, for example, wants $1.5 billion, with $51 million to go toward a new food and health institute in New Brunswick. The University of Medicine and Dentistry is asking for $1 billion, which includes plans to build a $263 million health sciences center and upgrade its Newark power plant. Private institutions, including Princeton University (seeking $214 million) and Seton Hall, asked for a total of about $600 million. Montclair State wants $415 million for 11 projects, including a $55 million center for life sciences and $66 million for a business school. The 19 community colleges requested $781.2 million, of which $34.5 million would build a business and public management facility at Union County College and $7.1 million would cover science lab renovations at Middlesex. The college presidents presented the list of projects to legislative leaders and Christie Administration officials last week. There have been discussions about a state-funded capital program in Trenton recently, and some kind of investment proposal could come before voters in November.


NATIONAL | May 24, 2012
NLRBs Quickie Election Rule Invalidated

A federal judge last week invalidated the National Labor Relations Boards so-called quickie election rule that would have simplified the process for workplace unionization elections. The judges 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.


LOCAL | May 24, 2012
Wakefern to Build New Distribution Center in Elizabeth

Wakefern Food Corp. broke ground on a new, 524,000 sq.ft. dry-goods distribution center in Elizabeth, a project estimated at $50 million that will replace an old structure, retain nearly 350 jobs and create another 350 jobs. Construction is expected to be completed in November 2013.


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
Senior Living Facility Planned for Paramus

The Shelter Group received initial approval to build a 35-foot-tall, 144-unit senior living facility on nine acres on Forest Avenue in Paramus. The project will include 70 independent living units, 48 assisted living units and 26 dementia-care units. Of the total number, 15 will be set aside for affordable housing. Construction will begin once the site plan is approved by the Paramus Zoning Board of Adjustment.


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 17, 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 Tangos 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 17, 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 Gentlemans Club today announced plans to build a 31-story resort hotel and year-round childrens waterpark in Atlantic Citys Marina District. Tom Sherwood and Tim Behr, brothers and business partners, presented renderings of the Diving Horse Resort and Water Parks $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 ships 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 Marchs 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 Americas 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 16, 2012
Global Container Terminals to Expand Bayonne Facility

The North American marine terminal operator has an existing terminal on New York Bay, ahead of the entrance to the Kill Van Kull, and plans an expansion on a site nearby. The multi-million dollar project will develop a 70-acre, technologically advanced container terminal on the Bayonne waterfront, designed to handle the largest container vessels at greater throughput density per acre. Gate facilities at Global Terminal will be expanded from 16 to 29 lanes, equipped with technology that allows quicker access, security and optimal routing. The project will generate new longshoremen positions and contribute to the income the port is expected to derive from capital investments through 2017.


LOCAL | May 16, 2012
Hess Power Plant Approved by Newark Planning Board

The Newark Planning Board has approved a 655-megawatt natural gas power plant Hess wants to build in the citys Ironbound district near Newark Bay and the mouth of the Passaic River. Next to the site is a police firing range and fuel storage tanks owned by Hess; the nearest Newark home is more than a mile away, and the nearest Jersey City home is a little less than a mile away over the water. The plant would be topped by 250-foot stacks and provide power for approximately 700,000 homes. With this approval, the project must now go before the municipal council and get approval from the state DEP.


LOCAL | May 11, 2012
Pluckemin Village Redevelopment Goes Back to Planning Board

At a public meeting this week, the Bedminster Land Use Board was due to view the latest plans for the Pluckemin Village redevelopment zone, a 9.5-acre property bounded by Routes 202/206 and 287 across from The Hills in Bedminster Township. The developer, Carl Freedman, has presented an evolving plan that calls for a mix of retail restaurants, shops, a hotel, a supermarket and public space. Public opposition to the first set of plans, presented to the Land Use Board in March, led Freedman to restyle the development to be architecturally harmonious with the township, include hiker-biker trails and add traffic mitigation features.


LOCAL | May 7, 2012
Bayonne Nursing Home Gets Closer to Construction Phase

Omni Health Systems hopes to begin construction this summer on its 120-bed nursing home on Broadway between 29th and 30th streets in Bayonne. Omni has submitted revised plans that scale back the building from 140 feet tall to 100 feet with less office and parking space than originally planned when the project was first approved in 2009. Currently the plans are under technical review by the Bayonne Planning Board, but Omni has already completed demolition of the old New Jersey Bell Telephone building on the site as well as environmental remediation.


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 Marchs 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
Bergen County Courthouse to Undergo Major Renovation

Bergen Countys historic courthouse will undergo a three-year major renovation in a project expected to go to bid in the next few months. The first $7 million toward the project will come from the County Prosecutors seized-asset fund, and will serve as the cash portion of the bond so that the county will not have to raise taxes to pay for the project. The renovation will include rehabilitation of the courtrooms, adding new plumbing and electric. In addition, plans include a new five-story parking deck equipped with solar panels and a new smaller building adjacent to the justice complex that will house the prosecutors office and other agencies.


LOCAL | May 1, 2012
UPDATE: Park Service Selects Alternative Route for PSE&G Power Line

The latest news in the ongoing discussion about PSE&Gs 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 27, 2012
Demolition Work Begins on Harrison Redevelopment Site

The former General Motors site on Frank E. Rodgers Boulevard in Harrison is undergoing demolition work in preparation for Harrison Station, a mixed-use, transit-oriented redevelopment project on 10.5 acres adjacent to the PATH station and near major roadways. Developer Heller Urban Renewal received approval in December to build six sustainably designed mid-rise towers with 747 one- and two-bedroom luxury rental units and approximately 30,000 sq.ft. of ground-floor retail. Amenities will include a glass-enclosed gym and conference rooms, along with direct, sheltered access to the PATH station, about to undergo its own $275 million renovation. The first phase of vertical construction at Harrison Station is planned for 2013.


LOCAL | April 27, 2012
Princeton Universitys New Site Plan for Arts and Transit Center

The University submitted its new plan to the regional planning board this week, making changes in its $300 million arts and transit center proposal to expand construction into an area the Borough wants to preserve as a municipal right-of-way for rail use. The University proposes adding on to the Dinky train station, which it plans to turn into a restaurant, creating more room for a full kitchen and dining area. But the proposal would extend the Dinky building into the area of the train tracks, which the Borough Council wants to hold for possible rail use. If the Borough purchases the land, the University plans would be affected. If not, and the University proposal passes the planning board later this year, construction could begin early 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.


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 Philadelphias 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.


LOCAL | April 24, 2012
NYC Gets Tougher Crane Licensing Regs Following Fatality

One worker was killed and four others injured in a crane collapse in Manhattan this month and, in response, the citys Buildings Department has issued new, stricter licensing and testing requirements for all crane operators in New York City. Beginning May 26, 2012, new applicants must obtain certification from either the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators or another accredited group, and complete a 40-hour training course that covers NYCs construction and safety regulations as well as the citys unique environment. Those who already hold Class A or B crane operator licenses must obtain national certification by July 1, 2013. All license-holders who seek renewal, required every three years, must also complete an eight-hour refresher course. The experience required for obtaining a license has also been expanded to include direct experience in NYC or a city of comparable urban density, and applicants must demonstrate 100 crane set-ups, with 25 of the set-ups on medium-sized mobile or tower cranes. Complete details can be found at www.nyc.gov/buildings.


NATIONAL | April 17, 2012
BCTDs Sean McGarvey Elected to Succeed Mark Ayers

Yesterday the AFL-CIO Building & Construction Trades Departments 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.


NATIONAL | April 12, 2012
AC Construction Employment Gain Ranks #1 for Second Month

In AGC of Americas 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 11, 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 10, 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.


LOCAL | April 9, 2012
American Dream Meadowlands Faces EPA Permit Delays

The former Xanadu project, taken over by Triple Five, the operators of Mall of America, still faces delays as it waits for EPA permits. In order to move forward, the project must submit, and have approved, a formal wetlands-mitigation plan. In addition, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority must submit an environmental impact statement that was due in February. The environmental issues center around the proposed water park.


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 9, 2012
Port Authority Approves Final Phase of Newarks Terminal B

The Port Authority approved the final phase of the $350 million makeover of Newark Libertys Terminal B, authorizing a $5.2 million contract for the international arrivals greeting area. The project is scheduled to begin in May and reach completion in August 2013. Low bidder RCC Builders & Developers Inc. of Paterson, part of the Railroad Construction Family of Companies, a BCANJ member, is expected to be awarded the contract this month.


LOCAL | April 3, 2012
CRDA Approves Mixed-Use High-Rise Next to Revel

In March, ACs 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
Center at Fort Lee Plans Proceed

In the Hot Topic posted February 17, we told you of plans to develop the mixed-use Center at Fort Lee. Latest news: Yesterday, the Fort Lee Planning Board voted unanimously in favor of the $1 billion project, which will include two 47-story buildings, a restaurant, museum and movie theater.


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
Prudential Changes Newark Location for New Office Tower

It was supposed to be built across from NJ PAC, but now Prudential Financial is looking to build its new office tower on Broad Street just west of Military Park. NJ EDA awarded Prudential a $250.8 million Urban Transit Hub tax credit for the project on the original site, and Prudential submitted a revised application for the new site, along with expanded specs. The original application detailed a 600,000 sq.ft. building with a 1,600-car parking garage for $369 million; the new application describes a 650,000 sq.ft. building with a price tag of $444 million.


LOCAL | March 19, 2012
New Jerseys 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 states Division of Travel and Tourism website traffic rose 300%, and Facebook fans leaped from 70 to 15,000. Even this summers expected higher gas prices are good for tourism, as more travelers stay closer to home.


LOCAL | March 19, 2012
Elizabeth Mayor Wants New NJ Transit Train Station

New Jersey Transit has applied for federal grant funding to rebuild Elizabeths Midtown Train Station, and Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage has offered the citys full support. The funding would come through the US Department of Transportations TIGER 4 program, which was originally part of the federal stimulus package to help communities boost local economy by investing in hub transportation projects. If approved, the train station would be replaced by a new facility that would include new stairways, elevators and ADA-accessible high-level platforms, and be linked to local and commuter bus services as well as Union Countys proposed bus rapid-transit route. The Midtown station is in the heart of Elizabeths business district, close to a new 1,500-space parking garage and Union County Colleges Elizabeth campus.


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
Port Authority Plans Work on Two Bridges At Once

The Port Authority is planning to build two bridges at the same time, raising the roadbed of the Bayonne Bridge and replacing the Goethals the first time since 1931 that two Port Authority bridges will be under construction simultaneously. The Bayonne Bridge project is estimated at $1 billion, while the Goethals is estimated at $1.5 billion. These, along with several other Port Authority projects, are expected to generate 16,500 construction jobs in the next four years.


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 9, 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 governors decision under the Reorganization Act, stating the governor exceeded his authority.


LOCAL | March 1, 2012
Jersey City Expansion on Hudson Street

Jersey Citys Hudson Street is getting another high-end new build a 1,000-unit residential complex at 99 Hudson Street, estimated at $450 million for more than a million square feet. Developed by Hartz Mountain Industries and Roseland Property Company, the project is expected to create more than 2,000 long-term construction jobs over a five-year period. It will be the largest rental project in the state, and one of the top five tallest buildings.


LOCAL | March 1, 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 citys 1,700-acre tourism district, beginning with the Boardwalk, Atlantic and Pacific Avenues.


LOCAL | March 1, 2012
Newark and Trenton Projects Get EDA Incentives

Two Newark mixed-use projects and a Trenton affordable housing development will receive EDA financial incentives. In Newark, a $5.6 million grant will help acquire and renovate six properties along Market Street, part of the $34.2 million mixed-use project near the Prudential Center. Preliminary approval was granted for a Redevelopment Bond for the $94.4 million retail/commercial Springfield Avenue Marketplace. In Trenton, Pennrose Properties was approved for an Urban Transit Hub tax credit of $17.7 million to develop the Carl Miller homes, a mixed-income, affordable family-housing rental project.


LOCAL | March 1, 2012
Perth Amboy Plans New Warehousing on Arthur Kill

Perth Amboy plans to build three warehouses totaling more than a million square feet along the Arthur Kill. The warehouses will sit on 100 acres north of Route 440 and the Outerbridge. An existing building will be demolished, and redevelopment is expected to begin later this year.


LOCAL | March 1, 2012
NJIT Approves $80 Million Student Housing Project

The Warren Street Village, which will include a new mid-rise dormitory for Honors College students and five duplex buildings for fraternity housing on the downtown Newark campus, was approved by the NJIT Board of Trustees this week for an estimated $80 million. The project will be developed by NJIT and financed by university-issued bonds. Groundbreaking is scheduled for later this month.

February 2012

LOCAL | February 23, 2012
Governor Looks to Atlantic City Rebound to Boost State Revenue

Governor Christie is optimistic that Atlantic Citys 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.


LOCAL | February 17, 2012
Newark Airport Projects Timed for 2014 Super Bowl

Two construction projects for Newark Airport are scheduled to be completed before the 2014 Super Bowl. At a cost of $25 million, United Airlines plans a 132,000 sq.ft. hangar on a three-acre site for the new wide-body Boeing 787. Groundbreaking is set for this summer, and the project is expected to create 210 jobs. An $11 million charter passenger terminal will replace the existing terminal owned by private carrier Signature Flight Support Corp. Work on the terminal should begin in March or April and generate 80 jobs.


LOCAL | February 17, 2012
Fort Lee Center Plans Unveiled

The Fort Lee Planning Board held a meeting open to the public this week to hear the details of a proposed $500 million mixed-use development along Main Street and Central Road, which include a movie theater, museum, restaurant and a 1.5-acre park with a pond and snack kiosk. On the north and south sides of the park, two 47-story glass residential towers would accommodate more than 1,500 residents. The mixed-use project, called Center at Fort Lee, comprises half of a 16-acre tract north of the George Washington Bridge. The second phase, planned for mostly retail in the other half, is being developed by the Tucker Development & Acquisition Fund.


NATIONAL | February 7, 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%.


LOCAL | February 7, 2012
South Amboy Redevelopment Site Work Begins

Site work has begun on what will become a mixed-use development on 15 acres in South Amboys Lower Broadway Redevelopment Area. When its complete, Woodmont at South Amboy will include 86 townhomes within walking distance of the downtown area and NJ Transit train station, along with an 84,000 sq.ft. skilled nursing facility. Construction work on the Venetian Healthcare LLC facility is planned for this spring. Woodmont Properties is the developer.


NATIONAL | February 2, 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 years end 2011.


NATIONAL | February 2, 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

LOCAL | January 27, 2012
Jersey City and Long Branch Projects Get EDA Tax Credits

The EDA approved tax credits for two projects one in Jersey City, one in Long Branch. The Jersey City project is a $140.9 million, 10-story apartment building in Liberty Harbor North, planned with 422 units, 14,400 sq.ft. of retail space and a 230-space garage for apartment tenants. It would receive up to $42 million through the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit program. A joint venture between Kushner Real Estate Group and Ironstate Development , the project is expected to create 600 construction jobs. The Long Branch project, also from Ironstate, is a $46.9 million, five-story hotel to be built on an existing parking lot at Pier Village (Melrose Street and Ocean Avenue), eligible for $8.4 million in tax credits.


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 states construction employment for the year.


LOCAL | January 24, 2012
Work Set to Begin on Somerset Technology Park

Russo Development will begin site work early this year on 71 acres near I-287s Exit 12 that will become the location of a data center, the developers ninth in the New York metro area. The site will include direct access to multi-sourced 69kV sub transmission electrical service and direct connection to two sources of water to ensure reliability for a chilled water solution. When its complete, the LEED-certified complex will feature extra security, with enhanced berms and landscaping, perimeter fencing, security gates and guard houses.


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 doesnt 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 Dont 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 years 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

LOCAL | December 28, 2011
Mixed-Use Complex in New Brunswick Close to Groundbreaking

New Street Apartments at George and New Streets, a 14-story, 104-unit apartment building with ground-floor retail, will break ground soon on the site of a former mixed-use building in New Brunswick. Developer Pennrose Properties, working with DevCo, the New Brunswick Development Corp., expects construction to take approximately 14 months.


LOCAL | December 27, 2011
Port Authority Announces 2012 Projects at Newark Airport

Port Authority projects planned for 2012 at Newark Airport include a $42 million runway resurfacing and construction of a new Continental Airlines maintenance hangar. Continental has committed at least $25 million for the hangar, which will service its wide-body aircraft. According to the Port Authority, the runway project will create 270 construction jobs and the hangar project 210 jobs.


LOCAL | December 27, 2011
Newark Planning Board Approves NJITs $80 Million Greek Village

Construction of the New Jersey Institute of Technologys Greek Village, a collection of five three-story duplexes for fraternity and sorority housing and a six-story Honors College, was approved by the Newark Planning Board. Estimated at $80 million to build, the village will provide housing for up to 600 students and, in addition to dorms, the Honors College will contain retail and office space, a fitness center and a dining facility. The village will replace a two-acre parking lot on the southern end of the campus at Warren Street and Raymond Boulevard. Campus Gateway Development was created as a for-profit corporation to serve as developer and is seeking to secure financing, including through the states Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Program.


LOCAL | December 21, 2011
Groundbreaking for Parkway Lofts in Bloomfield

A six-story loft warehouse building in Bloomfield, originally built in 1897 by General Electric, will be redeveloped into 361 loft-style rental units and a three-level parking lot, funded by $47.5 million in construction financing secured on behalf of Prism Capital Partners LLC. The first phase of The Parkway Lofts at Watsessing Station broke ground this week to transform the 365,000 sq.ft. building, following recent trends toward both adaptive reuse and multi-family housing in the state. In Phase II, the 14.5-acre site will include 150 for-sale townhouses, a clubhouse and other amenities. The property is adjacent to the Garden State Parkway and less than 100 yards from the Watsessing Avenue Rail Station.


LOCAL | December 20, 2011
Weehawken Waterfront to be Home to $200 Million Rental Complex

A $200 million rental complex consisting of three buildings with 589 units is slated for the Weehawken waterfront, on land owned by Hartz Mountain Industries of Secaucus. Hartz is partnering with Roseland Property Co. to build The Estuary in Lincoln Harbor, just south of Roselands Port Imperial redevelopment. The project is expected to open in 2013 and will feature a 2.5-acre park with playground equipment, a dog run and a performing arts stage. It is close to Weehawkens light rail and the Ferry Terminal.


LOCAL | December 14, 2011
Ferring Pharma Locates Manufacturing and Business Ops in Parsippany

Swiss-based Ferring Pharmaceuticals has purchased a 25-acre property in Parsippany on which to locate both manufacturing and business operations. The firm employs 600 people in the US, with 150 in offices in Parsippany. The new site will house management, product development laboratories, commercial operations and a training conference center.


LOCAL | December 8, 2011
Multifamily Rental Towers Going Up on Jersey City Waterfront

Two luxury multifamily rental towers are planned along the Jersey City Waterfront on land owned by Mack-Cali Realty Corporation within the companys Harborside Financial Center. Mack-Cali has partnered with Ironstate Development Company in a joint venture to build a parking pedestal and the two high-rise towers, which will each hold approximately 500 contemporary-design apartment units. Tenant amenities will include a caf, pools and a fitness center. The towers are close to the Exchange Place PATH station, light rail, ferry and bus lines, and residents can take advantage of the retail shops and restaurants at Harborside. The architect is HLW International LLP. Groundbreaking is planned for fourth quarter 2012.


NATIONAL | December 7, 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 wont 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.


LOCAL | December 7, 2011
Staten Island Naval Base Becoming Mixed-Use Development

Redevelopment work has begun on Staten Islands former seven-acre US Naval base, which was recently sold to Ironstate Development Company of Hoboken, a privately held real estate firm, for $11 million. The Homeport, located in the Stapleton section just south of the St. George Ferry Terminal, will include two buildings with 900 market-rate rental apartments, 30,000 sq.ft. of ground-floor retail, 600 parking spaces and a public plaza. Ironstate will invest $150 million into the project, with $32 million for infrastructure improvements and a six-acre waterfront esplanade coming from the Borough of Staten Island, which has also committed $1 million to improve the adjacent Stapleton Station. Construction is expected to begin next year on the first phase (450 units). Ironstate has begun demolition of the three existing buildings on the site.


LOCAL | December 7, 2011
Newark-Union Metro Area Gains Significant Number of Construction Jobs

AGC of Americas analysis of 337 metro areas shows the Newark-Union metro area gained 3,100 construction jobs in October 2011 compared to October 2010, a 9% rise that put the Jersey metro in the top five areas in the country reflecting a significant rise in construction jobs from a year ago. Three other metro areas in the state showed increases ranging from 2% to 5%: Bergen-Hudson-Passaic gained 600 jobs (up 2%); Camden gained 1,000 (up 5%); and Edison-New Brunswick gained 1,600 (up 4%). Atlantic City-Hammonton lost 500 jobs from last Octobers numbers, an 11% drop, while Trenton-Ewing and Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton reflected no change in the number of jobs.


NATIONAL | December 2, 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 1, 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 1, 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

NATIONAL | November 22, 2011
National Green Building Code Approved

After two years in development, a national building code has been finalized and approved by the International Code Council. Unlike the voluntary LEED certification program, the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) sets mandatory baseline standards for all aspects of building design and construction, including site development and land use, materials, energy-efficiency, water consumption, indoor air quality, pre- and post-occupancy commissioning and operations training. Developed by the ICC in cooperation with the USGBC, AIA and ASHRAE, the code will be published in March 2012. For more information, visit http://www.iccsafe.org/cs/IGCC/Pages/default.aspx.">www.iccsafe.org/cs/IGCC/Pages/default.aspx.">http://www.iccsafe.org/cs/IGCC/Pages/default.aspx.


LOCAL | November 18, 2011
Botox Maker Allergan Plans Bigger Jersey Presence

California pharmaceutical Allergan, maker of Botox, plans to build a $12 million research and development facility close to its subsidiary firm in Bedminster. Currently Allergan employs 20 people in New Jersey, and expects that number to grow by 400 jobs during the next five years. The company applied for a New Jersey EDA incentive grant of $17 million over 10 years.


LOCAL | November 18, 2011
Construction on ACs 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 Rocks CEO, Jim Allen, told the states 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 Caf 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 years 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 9, 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 Americas 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, AGCs 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 8, 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 Authoritys 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.

October 2011

NATIONAL | October 27, 2011
House Votes to Repeal 3% Withholding Tax

The House voted today, 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.


LOCAL | October 24, 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 Augusts 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 | October 17, 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 17, 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 11, 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 wont 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.


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.


NATIONAL | October 7, 2011
Obama Moves to Expedite New Power Lines Including New Jerseys 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 weve 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.


LOCAL | October 3, 2011
Chicago Firm Chosen to Develop AC Master Plan

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority must submit a master plan for Atlantic Citys 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.


LOCAL | October 3, 2011
Prudential Proposes Office Tower Near NJPAC

Prudential proposes to build a 600,000 sq.ft. office tower and 1,600 sq.ft. parking deck across the street from NJPAC in Newark, creating an environmentally friendly location that could be a new home for 2,000 employees at the Gateway Center. Prudentials leases with the Gateway Center expire in 2014. Seeking an Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit to offset the costs of the proposed project, Prudential submitted its plans to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. The plans also include improvements to Prudentials headquarters at 751 Broad Street and another building three blocks away on Washington Street. Total costs are estimated at $368.9 million for construction, financing fees and land acquisition, and the building could create 2,000 construction jobs.

September 2011

LOCAL | September 22, 2011
EDA Approves Financial Incentives for Newarks 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 citys 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 22, 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 22, 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 22, 2011
August Construction Starts and Employment Stats

The value of nonresidential construction starts in August rose a significant 19% above Julys 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 22, 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 14, 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 12, 2011
E-Verifys 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 7, 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 Julys total was nearly unchanged from July 2010.

August 2011

LOCAL | August 17, 2011
Wyndham Worldwide Expands Headquarters in Parsippany

To enable Wyndham to consolidate its Parsippany staff within a single campus, Mack-Cali Realty Corporation will develop a 203,000 sq.ft. office building at 22 Sylvan Way, adjacent to the 250,000 sq.ft. existing corporate headquarters. The current building holds a LEED Silver certification. The new construction, also expected to include sustainable design features, will be a three-story granite and glass building, slated for completion in first quarter 2013. The architect on the core-and-shell portion of the project is HLW International.


NATIONAL | August 8, 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.


LOCAL | August 4, 2011
Labor-Management Agrees to Fund Novo Nordisk Building Renovation

Danish pharmaceutical Novo Nordisk has decided to keep its US headquarters in New Jersey, taking over, with a 15-year lease, the former Merrill Lynch building on Scudders Mill Road in Plainsboro. A $215 million redevelopment project to renovate and upgrade the 770,000 sq.ft. office space will be funded in part by a $95 million investment through Intercontinental Real Estate Corporations Build Real Estate Investment Fund. This is the first project for the labor-management Build Real Estate Investment Fund, which combines investments from the pension and annuity funds of the Northeast Council of Carpenters, the New Jersey Laborers and Operating Engineers, Local 825, jointly trusted by the trades leadership and BCANJ trustees. The purpose of the investment fund is to create union jobs in the state while strengthening the pension and annuity portfolios of union members. Work on the Novo Nordisk project will begin next month and is expected to create more than 500 union construction jobs.

July 2011

NATIONAL | July 28, 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.


LOCAL | July 25, 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 states 651 furloughed FAA employees work.


NATIONAL | July 25, 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 20, 2011
New Brunswicks Wellness Plaza Moves Forward

Ground was broken for Wellness Plaza, dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the New Brunswick community. The Plaza will feature a 60,000 sq.ft. state-of-the-art fitness center operated by Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Fitness & Wellness Professionals LLC, and a 50,000 sq.ft. high-end food market, The Fresh Grocer. The fitness center will offer aquatic facilities, equipment, health screenings and free community health education classes. The food market will provide high-quality, affordable, nutritious food. Plaza plans also include a 1,275-space parking structure and an elevated walkway to the New Brunswick NJ Transit Station.


LOCAL | July 20, 2011
Newarks Baxter Park Mixed-Use Development Breaks Ground

The planned Baxter Park development in Newarks Central Ward is bordered by the Broad Street Station, NJIT, St. Michaels Hospital and Route 280. Its currently home to Baxter Terrace, a 70-year-old 502-unit housing complex that is being demolished. When it rises from the dust, Baxter Park will offer affordable and Section 8 housing, retail space and parkland in a $130 million project that broke ground this month. The first phase of the project, 90 residential units and 3,000 sq.ft. of retail space, is estimated at $21.7 million.


LOCAL | July 20, 2011
Contaminated Woodbridge Site on Raritan River to Get Cleanup

A 186-acre site off Industrial Avenue in Keasbey, long-contaminated by uranium, lead and other chemicals dumped by manufacturing companies since 1916, will finally get cleaned up and turned into both a scenic walkway to the Raritan River and a business development area. EPEC Polymers, an affiliate of El Paso Corporation, which owns the land, will restore 100 acres of wetlands along the river and clean up 50 acres for business development. The state Department of Environmental Protection designated the land as a Brownfield Development Area in 2009, and recently issued permits for El Paso Corporations proposed land use plan. The project is expected to take four years to complete and cost as much as $40 million.


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 Americas Chief Economist Ken Simonson does not see the unemployment rate drop as positive, stating the lack of hiring means that people are leaving constructionThat will make future expansion all the more difficult.


LOCAL | July 7, 2011
Fort Lee Looks Forward to Mixed-Use Redevelopment

Fort Lee has approved a major redevelopment of a long-vacant, 16-acre site on the northeast corner of Lemoine Avenue and Main Street near the George Washington Bridge. The proposal calls for mixed-use development of nearly a million square feet, half of which will be called Hudson Lights and include restaurants, retail and hotel space. The other half will feature two residential towers with 450 units each. Tucker Development and Fort Lee Redevelopment Associates have been designated redevelopers of the site.


LOCAL | July 5, 2011
ACs 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.


LOCAL | July 1, 2011
NYC Operating Engineers Reach Deals with Contractors

At the 11th hour, New Yorks Operating Engineers, Locals 14 and 15, reached deals with contractor associations to avert a strike that could have stopped construction throughout the city. Details had not been released as of this posting, but Louis Coletti, president of the Building Trades Employers Association, said the unions made major adjustments in the contract agreements.

June 2011

LOCAL | June 30, 2011
NYC Operating Engineers Edge Closer to Contract Expiration

Contract negotiations for the New York Operating Engineers, Local 14, are coming down to the wire, as the contract expires just before midnight tonight. If the Local calls a strike, work could stop on some high-profile, high-value projects such as the new basketball arena in Brooklyn, the International Gem Tower in Manhattan and the East Coast development in Long Island City. School construction projects could also be affected. We will keep you posted as events unfold.


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 22, 2011
Bass Pro Shops Signs for Space at Sayrevilles The Point

ONeill Properties Group, developers of The Point, a planned mixed-use development on a brownfield site in Sayreville, has a letter of intent from Bass Pro Shops for a 200,000 sq.ft. retail store. The Point will include a 3 million sq.ft. mall and entertainment district, 2,000 high-end residential units, 650,000 sq.ft. of office space, luxury hotels and two luxury marinas. The first retail tenant is expected to open in 2013, and the development cost for The Point is estimated at $2 billion. The rest of the 8 million sq.ft. site will encompass waterfront dining, a community center, bike trails, walking paths, and abundant green and open space with a waterfront promenade.


LOCAL | June 22, 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.


LOCAL | June 22, 2011
Three Private Corporations Vying for Goethals Bridge Project

Replacing the Goethals Bridge, estimated to cost $1.5 billion, drew eight bidders. Now the Port Authority has narrowed the field to three local and global corporations in its first extensive public-private partnership. The three bidders include NJNY Link Partnership, based in New York City, Metro Bridge Partners of Whitestone, Queens, and Goethals Bridge Development Group of Coral Gables, FL. Construction is expected to begin in 2013, and will incorporate six lanes of traffic, each 12 feet wide. According to the initial Request for Information, the Port Authority will continue to collect tolls on the bridge and will pay back the successful bidder over 30 to 40 years, with interest reset annually per the Consumer Price Index and other metrics.


LOCAL | June 13, 2011
Campbell Soup Employee Center Earns LEED Silver

Campbells 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 Camdens 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 Americas Director of Safety and Health Services, Kevin R. Cannon, has been appointed to the US Department of Labors 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.


LOCAL | June 7, 2011
Construction Unemployment Rate Lower But Employment Numbers Same

Mays national construction unemployment rate dropped to 16.3% from Aprils 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 25, 2011
Hoboken Terminal Redevelopment in Planning Stage

Hudson Place, a project to redevelop and revitalize Hoboken Terminal and Yard, is in the planning stage as a transit-oriented community development by LCOR, the developer, and NJ Transit. Phase 1 of the multi-phase project calls for a single building encompassing 525,000 sq. ft. in 18 stories, designed primarily for office space overlooking New Jerseys Gold Coast and the Manhattan skyline, and targeted to achieve LEED Gold certification. The ground floor, 17,000 sq.ft., will include retail space, a private lobby and loading docks. The building and surrounding two acres will create a commercial center at Hoboken Terminal, with a new bus station, new public plaza and marketplace, direct connections to bus, rail and PATH stations, and new cycling paths and bike storage. A public hearing on the project is scheduled for May 31, and the redevelopment plans are expected to be finalized in August. An estimated 1,740 permanent jobs and 800 to 1,000 construction jobs are anticipated. The project qualified for an Urban Hub Tax Credit from NJ Economic Development Authority.


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 Landrys, owner of Nevadas Golden Nugget casinos. Even more golden is the $150 million Landrys 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.


LOCAL | May 19, 2011
New Retail Center Coming to Newarks McCarter Highway

Valued at $12 million, a new retail center tentatively named Riverview Square has been approved by the Newark Planning Board. Plans include 70,000 square feet of retail and 142 parking spaces encompassing a city block along McCarter Highway.


LOCAL | May 19, 2011
New Look Unveiled for American Dream at Meadowlands

American Dream at Meadowlands will lose the old Xanadu faade. Renderings unveiled by the developer, Triple Five, show an illuminated structure made of glass, mesh and other materials. The first phase of the project, scheduled to open in late 2013 in time for the 2014 Super Bowl, will include 2.9 million square feet of retail space, amusement attractions and restaurants.


LOCAL | May 19, 2011
Ironworker from Local 373, Perth Amboy, Turns 100

A member of Local 373 for more than 82 years, John Wade holds the oldest book in the Ironworkers Union. He recently celebrated his 100th birthday.


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 Americas 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 AGCs 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 Februarys 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 20, 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 Jerseys 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.


LOCAL | April 18, 2011
Princeton Plans to Redevelop Housing for Grad Students

If Princeton Township approves the plans, Princeton Universitys Hibben-Magie apartments, two eight-story high-rises, will be replaced by several apartment and townhouse-style buildings to increase housing for graduate students and their families. The Hibben-Magie apartments were built in the late 1960s just off Faculty Road overlooking Lake Carnegie. Currently 512 residents live in 192 units. That would expand to 715 in 329 units. Plans for the replacement structures include more than a dozen buildings ranging from two to five stories, with townhouses of one to four bedrooms ranging from 1,300 to 1,600 sq.ft. on multiple levels, apartments from 650 to 1,100 sq.ft., and a commons facility with a fitness center, social lounge, multifunction room, computer cluster, childrens playroom and outdoor social and recreation areas. The university also plans a parking deck on the site with at least 432 spaces, 156 more than the existing lot. While formal plans have not yet been filed with the township, Studio Ma of Phoenix and Princeton has been chosen as architect and planner. The developer overseeing the project is American Campus Communities, based in Texas. Construction is expected to start in 2012 and be completed by Summer 2014.


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 AGCs latest Blueprint for Economic Recovery, released last month.


LOCAL | April 14, 2011
More Revitalization Plans for AC

Atlantic Citys future looks even brighter following yesterdays 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 13, 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 12, 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 Jerseys 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 in the New Jersey group at 249.


LOCAL | April 6, 2011
Bayer AG to Build New Corporate Campus

Pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG will build a new 800,000 sq.ft. corporate campus in New Jersey as part of its East Coast consolidation, keeping jobs in the state. The company expects to announce the specific site in the next few months. According to Governor Christies office, the Bayer decision will keep 1,000 jobs in New Jersey, move 300 jobs here from other states and create 200 new jobs.


NATIONAL | April 4, 2011
Construction Jobless Rate Improves, But Activity Drops

Nationally, the construction unemployment rate clocked in at 20% in March, down from Februarys 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 31, 2011
New Hotel Coming to Newarks Prudential Center

A new Courtyard by Marriott will be built at Newarks Prudential Center, marking the citys first new hotel in nearly 40 years. Groundbreaking was held today. Connected to the Prudential Center, the mixed-use hotel and retail development will be located a few blocks from Newark Penn Station, and is expected to generate 175 construction jobs and between 50 and 75 permanent jobs. Construction will be governed by a Project Labor Agreement, and the project should be open by the end of 2012.


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.


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 Mixed-Use Residential/Retail Coming to Hoboken

Advance Realty will build a seven-story mixed-use building on the corner of 14th Street and Willow Avenue in Hoboken. Called Willow 14, the building will hold 140 apartments, 22,000 sq.ft. of retail space and 287 parking spaces. Environmental remediation at the one-acre site is planned for this month, and the project is scheduled to open at the end of 2013.


LOCAL | March 22, 2011
Somerset Technology Park Planned

Russo Real Estate and Development Company of Carlstadt plans a five-building Somerset Technology Park on a recent purchase of 71 acres near I-287s Exit 12, and is seeking approvals and permits to begin construction. The first building will be a two-story, 400,000 sq.ft. facility, which Russo hopes to open in the second half of 2012. The site can accommodate more than 1.3 million square feet of space with a utility capacity of more than 100 megawatts.


LOCAL | March 22, 2011
New Jersey American Water Building $75 Million Plant

New Jersey American Water is building a new water treatment plant in Short Hills. The $75 million project is scheduled to go online by June 2012, and will replace the Canoe Brook Water Treatment Plant, which was originally built in 1889.


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 2011s 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 Referenda 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 months no-show reflects both the poor economy and a leveling-off of school enrollment.

February 2011

LOCAL | February 10, 2011
AC Ballpark to Become Concert Venue

The distinctive Sandcastle Stadium, also know as Bernie Robbins Stadium and former home to the Independent Atlantic League team Atlantic City Surf, will get an overhaul to turn it into a venue for concerts. Since the baseball team folded in 2009, the stadium has remained unused, battered by vandals, squatters and seagulls. The Press of Atlantic City reports the sprinkler system needs repair, the infield needs sprucing up, and the seats and luxury boxes need cleaning and repair. Using $300,000 from a previous bond ordinance that was intended to make repairs, Atlantic City will first install a security system to protect the stadium from unauthorized access. Once the facelift is complete, the city will open it for concerts and festivals.


LOCAL | February 9, 2011
$55 Million Graduate Housing Approved for Rutgers-Camden Campus

The Rutgers University Board of Governors has approved a $55 million project to construct graduate student housing on the Rutgers Camden campus. Planned as a 12-story, 161,653 sq.ft. building with 102 units to house 350 students, the facility will be located on the southern 300 block of Cooper Street in Camdens University District. It will offer student gathering spaces, a fitness center, mail room, business center with study space and a roof deck accessible from the residential tower. It will also hold 7,000 sq.ft. of retail space on the ground level. Occupancy is scheduled for August 2012. Rutgers will own and finance the project, and the Camden County Improvement Authority will secure the site and manage construction on behalf of the university.


LOCAL | February 8, 2011
New Plainsboro Hospital Will Expand Even Before Its Complete

For the past five years, Princeton HealthCare has been successfully fundraising for its new Plainsboro hospital, scheduled to open next year, and now that effort has pulled even greater benefits. The goal was originally set at $52 million, quickly raised to $115 million, and now donations and pledges have reached $119 million, prompting Princeton HealthCare to raise the goal to $150 million. With those funds, Plainsboro Hospital will get more pediatric and geriatric beds, expanded services for newborns, an enlarged cancer center and two operating rooms. Located at Route 1 and Scudders Mill Road, the University Medical of Princeton at Plainsboro will encompass a 171-acre health campus with medical offices, nursing and rehabilitation services, and facilities for fitness, health education, assisted living and independent living.


NATIONAL | February 8, 2011
Construction Unemployment Up Again in January

December clocked a 20.7% unemployment rate, up dramatically from November. Now January is sharply up again, at 22.5%. The rise reflects the usual winter slowdown as well as particularly bad weather in much of the US during the month. The one hopeful sign is January 2011's unemployment is not as bad as January 2010s, which measured nearly 25%. Overall, the national unemployment rate dropped from 9.4% in December to 9% in January.


LOCAL | February 8, 2011
Newark Liberty Marriott Announces Expansion for Super Bowl

Super Bowl XLVIII comes to the Meadowlands in 2014, and the Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott, owned by Host Hotels & Resorts, will expand in anticipation. Host will invest $164 million in capacity and infrastructure improvements at the Marriott, of which $34 million will be spent in advance of the Super Bowl for a 10,000 sq.ft. ballroom and reconfigured, upgraded food and beverage outlets. In return, the Port Authority will extend the hotels airport lease for 40 years. Total impact should result in 250 jobs, $14 million in wages and $60 million in economic activity over the life of the project.


LOCAL | February 7, 2011
Former Lucent Campus Could Become Mixed-Use Development

The former Alcatel-Lucent campus, 194 acres just off Route 10 in Morris County, could become a high-end mixed-use development if purchasers plans go through. Rubenstein Partners, a private real estate investment firm, and Vision Equities, based in Mountain Lakes, purchased the property in December 2010 for $18.5 million, a deal that included 15 buildings totaling 1.4 million sq.ft. of office, research and lab space. Plans could include renovation and reuse of the two main buildings, along with office, retail, multi-family and senior living on as much as 80 acres.


NATIONAL | February 2, 2011
Construction Spending at Lowest Point in Decade

Construction spending was down 10.3% overall in 2010, marking the lowest point since July 2000 and the fourth annual decline. Even worse, nonresidential construction activity fell 23.3% for the year, while spending for nonresidential projects dropped 26%.


NATIONAL | February 2, 2011
Federal Wage & Hour Claims to Go to Private Attorneys

The Federal Labor Departments Wage & Hour Division gets more than 35,000 claims each year from employees who allege violations. Its investigative staff, recently boosted by 350 new hires, cant handle the load, so the Division is now referring claims it does not investigate to an American Bar Association Attorney Referral System. The System will provide names of labor attorneys with experience in Wage & Hour issues, and claimants can choose to pursue claims in private lawsuits. AGC of America advises employers to protect themselves via self-audits and attorney audits to ensure they are compliant with Wage & Hour laws.

January 2011

LOCAL | January 31, 2011
New Brunswick Gateway Transit Village Gets Final Design

Planned as a 632,000 sq.ft. mixed-use building at the intersection of Somerset Street and Easton Avenue, the $150 million New Brunswick Gateway Transit Village has a final design and construction documents issued by Meltzer/Mandl Architects of New York. The building will link the New Brunswick Rutgers campus with the New Jersey Transit train station. A pedestrian bridge, more than 120,000 sq.ft. of commercial space, a 657-vehicle parking garage, 58,000 sq.ft. of retail and a 14-story residential tower make up the village, which is slated for completion in January 2012.


NATIONAL | January 24, 2011
ConsensusDOCS Releases New and Revised Contracts

ConsensusDOCS has released two new and ten revised contract documents. The revised include ConsensusDOCS 200, 205, 221, 240, 245, 410, 420, 500, 750 and 751, updated to incorporate building information modeling (BIM), green construction considerations and claims mitigation. The two new documents include ConsensusDOCS 703 Standard Purchase Agreement for a Contractor and ConsensusDOCS Exhibit E Insurance Requirements to 725 Standard Subsubcontract Agreement. AGC members receive a 20% discount on ConsensusDOCS purchases. Contact BCANJ for more information.


LOCAL | January 11, 2011
AC Casino Revenue Drops 9.6%

For the fourth consecutive year, revenue at Atlantic Citys 11 casinos fell. In 2010, the drop was 9.6%, reflecting a 9% drop in slots revenue and a 10.9% drop in table games revenue. Total revenues fell from $5.2 billion in 2006 to $3.6 billion last year, a loss of nearly a third over the four years.


NATIONAL | January 10, 2011
Construction Unemployments Rises Above 20%

With a loss of 16,000 jobs in December, construction unemployment rose to 20.7%, closing the year on a dismal note. AGC of America reported the construction industry lost 93,000 jobs in 2010, and employment is down 27% since the August 2006 peak.


LOCAL | January 6, 2011
Governor Signs Casino Licensure Legislation

Yesterday Governor Christie signed into law S-1866, which authorizes the State Casino Control Commission to approve two smaller-format casinos as a pilot program in Atlantic City. This BCANJ-supported initiative gives the Commission the option to license a small-scale casino or staged casino facility project in addition to the traditional 500-plus room, 60,000-square-foot or larger casinos the Commission currently licenses. BCANJ members can refer to Bulletin #05-11 for further details.

December 2010

NATIONAL | December 21, 2010
OSHA Appoints New Head of Construction Directorate

Effective yesterday, Jim Maddux, a long-time OSHA leader, was appointed director of the agencys Directorate of Construction. Most recently Director of the Office of Physical Hazards and Acting Director of the Office Engineering Safety, Maddux has served at OSHA since 1990. He has also been Director of the Office of Maritime and Acting Deputy Director for the Directorate of Standards and Guidance.


LOCAL | December 20, 2010
New Jersey Posts Notable Job Gains

Per US Department of Labor statistics released Friday, New Jersey posted a gain of 4,500 construction jobs from October to November, and led the nation in monthly percentage gains (3.7%). Its the first time in a long time New Jersey has measured construction employment in jobs gained rather than lost.


NATIONAL | December 20, 2010
ConsensusDOCS Picks Up New Supporter

The Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association is the latest organization to join the ConsensusDOCS coalition. WWEMA is a non-profit trade group, and joins 29 other construction industry associations in support of ConsensusDOCS contract documents, industry-standard contracts written in collaboration with leading construction organizations.


LOCAL | December 17, 2010
AC Airport Breaks Ground for Federal Inspection Station

Atlantic City International Airport broke ground last week for a 75,000 sq.ft. expansion that will make room for a Federal Inspection Station to process international flights and track air carriers and air service routes. The $25 million project encompasses a Customs and Border Patrol facility, expanded baggage claim and customs services area. Plans also include installation of new passenger boarding bridges and building equipment, additional concessions and restrooms, and relocated aircraft parking. Completion of the expansion is anticipated by summer of 2012, and the project is expected to create 120 primary and 80 secondary construction jobs, 60 permanent retail positions, 12 border and customs officer positions and other custodial, security and flight-related jobs.


NATIONAL | December 16, 2010
AGC of America Issues Alert on Fraudulent Membership Solicitation

AGC of America has issued an alert, warning members to be aware of solicitations from the American General Construction Association (AGC Association) under the guise of Associate Dues Application. These faxed solicitations are fraudulent, and are not issued by AGC of America or any of its chapters. Any member who receives such a solicitation is asked to call BCANJ, so we can in turn notify AGC of America. We will also give members contact information to notify the FCC.


LOCAL | December 13, 2010
Possible ICE Detention Center in Essex County

A final decision wont be known until early in 2011, but Essex County is one of three sites under consideration for a new detention center for illegal immigrants. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is seeking to build a 2,250-bed facility within two hours of New York and Philadelphia to improve efficiency in holding and transporting illegal immigrants in the northeast. Essex County submitted a bid on the proposal based on an existing partnership the county has with ICE to detain federal prisoners. Should Essex County be selected, it would revamp parts of the Essex County Correctional Facility and the adjacent Delaney Hall in Newark, and build a third structure on the site. The other sites in competition with Essex County are Pike County and York County, both in Pennsylvania.


LOCAL | December 10, 2010
Lyndhurst Retail Center Gets Refinancing

Veterans Square Shopping Center in Lyndhurst has gotten $17.8 million in refinancing arranged by Holliday Fenoglio Fowler for up to a 30,000 sq.ft. expansion. The 10-year-old retail center, anchored by ShopRite and Staples, is currently 113,178 sq.ft. and is located on New York Avenue near Routes 3 and 17.


LOCAL | December 10, 2010
New Jersey Commuter Hubs Lure Investors

Single-family home sales in New Jersey may be in a slump, but commuter hubs in Hudson and Essex counties are targets for investors looking to profit from well-maintained multi-family housing. Hoboken, an urban area with a train station, and the more suburban South Orange, also a train town, are two municipalities that have seen recent high-price transactions on mid-rise walkups, for a total of 44 units and a combined $6.35 million. All the properties are close to rail, ferry, bus lines and major trans-Hudson roadways.


NATIONAL | December 3, 2010
Construction Unemployment Up Sharply

Nationally, construction unemployment jumped to 18.8% in November, reflecting a 1.5% increase and the loss of 5,000 jobs since October. Overall, AGC of America reports, the construction industry has lost 2.1 million jobs since the employment peak in August 2006. In the last year, the industry lost 117,000 jobs. At the same time, the national overall unemployment rate climbed to 9.8%, but the unemployment in construction is still double the overall rate. It remains the hardest-hit sector.

November 2010

NATIONAL | November 19, 2010
Construction Materials Prices Up

As contractors cut margins on the few building projects available, the price of many construction materials continues to rise. The October Producer Price Index figures, released this week, reveal overall prices for materials used in construction rose 0.6% in October and 4.8% over the past 12 months. Some key individual materials show an even sharper increase. For example, diesel fuel costs are up 7.2% over September, and 20% over October 2009. Copper and brass mill shape prices rose 5.4% for the month, 15% for the year. Steel mill products cost 1.4% more in October than September, and 12% over last October.


NATIONAL | November 17, 2010
Construction Unemployment Rises

The nations construction unemployment rate climbed to 17.3% from September to October, up a tenth of a point despite an increase in 5,000 construction jobs during the period. Those jobs, however, were not in the nonresidential building sector, which lost 1,800 jobs from month to month. At the same time, the national rate for total unemployment dropped, and now stands at 9%.


NATIONAL | November 12, 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 years 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 12, 2010
NJ Alliance for Actions 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 years 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. You can get all the details in Bulletin #96-10 on the Members Only section of this website.


LOCAL | November 3, 2010
AC Gambling Dollars Down But Other Spending Up

The Gaming Industry Observer, published by Atlantic Citys 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 1, 2010
First Land Purchase Made in Bergen County Mixed-Use Development

The former Curtiss-Wright Airplane Engine Factory in Wood-Ridge is a step closer to being transformed into Wesmont Station, a mixed-use, transit-oriented redevelopment community that was designed with the participation of hundreds of Wood-Ridge residents. AvalonBay Communities, a developer of apartment communities, has closed on its purchase of the first two development sites in the Wesmont Station project. AvalonBays construction of two luxury residential buildings with more than 200 rental units is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2011. Plans also include approximately 20,000 sq.ft. of street-level retail space, a clubhouse, pool and five-story parking garage. Wesmont Stations developer, Somerset Development, expects construction on the train station, a partnership between Somerset Development and NJ Transit, to begin in second quarter 2011. When its finished, Wesmont Station will also encompass single-family homes, townhomes and live/work townhomes, all within walking distance of the new train station.


LOCAL | November 1, 2010
AC Airport Closer to Going International

Atlantic City International Airports 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 1, 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 didnt consult with a housing authority committee as required by state law; 2) The plan doesnt 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 courts decision could also affect similar plans in the Highlands, Meadowlands and Pinelands, covering 158 municipalities and as much as a quarter of the state.

October 2010

LOCAL | October 27, 2010
Governor Christie Kills ARC Tunnel Project Again

Late morning today, Gov. Christie announced he was canceling the ARC tunnel project for the second time this month. Despite negotiations with federal and state officials, no agreement could be reached to offset the burden of any cost overruns on the state and NJ taxpayers. The federal government and the Port Authority had each pledged $3 billion toward the project, while New Jersey had agreed to contribute $2.7 billion. Federal cost estimates had increased to somewhere between $9.8 billion and $12.7 billion.


NATIONAL | October 27, 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 industrys injury/illness rate dropped last year to 4.3 incidents per 100 workers, down from 4.7 in 2008.


LOCAL | October 27, 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 | October 27, 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.


LOCAL | October 27, 2010
Casino Group Invests in Aviation Tech Park

In a previous Hot Topic we told you of the South Jersey Economic Development Districts 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 its complete, the Next Gen Park will include seven buildings supporting research, testing and development of the Next Generation Air Traffic Control System.


LOCAL | October 27, 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 Authoritys budget. The other 90% comes from the federal government.


LOCAL | October 27, 2010
Somerset County Powers Up Solar

More than 30 public buildings in Somerset County will be powered by a $40 million solar panel system scheduled for completion by the end of 2011. Construction will begin soon on the first phase of the project, installing solar panels on rooftops and in parking lots at the Somerset County Courthouse in Somerville, the Manville Library, the Franklin Township municipal building, Montgomery High School and Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg. The system will power up more than 7.6 megawatts, making it one of the largest in the state.


LOCAL | October 27, 2010
Jersey City ExpressRail Design Study Approved

The ExpressRail Port Jersey project, a planned ship-to-rail container facility in Jersey City, will undergo a $3 million design study as approved by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The project, on a 100-acre site in Jersey Citys Greenville section, will allow shipping containers to be loaded directly from large ocean-going vessels onto rail cars and shipped to markets along the East Coast and further inland. If the project goes forward, it will be completed in 2014.


LOCAL | October 21, 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 administrations 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.


LOCAL | October 15, 2010
Historic Newark Bank Building Wins $4.7 Million EDA Grant

The 90-year-old National State Bank building at 810 Broad Street in Newark will be renovated as a hotel, thanks to a grant of up to $4.7 million from the NJ Economic Development Authority. The EDA will give the developer the grant money, issued under the Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant Program, based on the hotels future tax revenue. The 12-story facility will be operated by InterContinental Groups Indigo Hotels, an upscale, boutique-style brand.


LOCAL | October 15, 2010
Bad Roads Cost Us Money

A national transportation research organization has reported 53% of the roads in the Newark-New York urban area are in poor condition and cost drivers an extra $640 per year in vehicle operating costs. TRIP, based in Washington, ranks Newark-New York seventh among large cities in the percentage of bad roads, and ninth in high costs as a result of driving on those roads. The added costs come from accelerated vehicle deterioration and depreciation, frequency of needed maintenance, higher fuel consumption and tire wear.


LOCAL | October 11, 2010
Feds Fight to Save ARC Tunnel Project

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood flew to New Jersey to meet with Governor Christie last Friday, managing to wrest a reprieve on the ARC project while alternative funding solutions are explored. While neither LaHoods team nor Christies are discussing details of the conversation, the Governor agreed to take two weeks to look at other options.


LOCAL | October 7, 2010
Governor Christie Terminates ARC Tunnel Project

Following a 30-day review of the ARC projects budget and anticipated cost overruns, Governor Christie today terminated the project, saying the final budget could run as high as $14 billion, more than $5 billion over the current $8.7 billion budget. The federal commitment to the project was capped at $3 billion, with New Jersey expected to absorb any overruns.


LOCAL | October 4, 2010
Feds to Aid Laid-Off New Jersey Pharmaceutical Workers

The US Department of Labor awarded a grant worth more than $3.6 million to aid approximately 960 workers laid off from the pharmaceutical industry in New Jersey during the first six months of 2010. The NJ DOL will administer the grant, and hopes to keep those workers in the state by offering dislocated worker services such as skills assessment, individual career counseling and occupational skills training. According to an NJ DOL news release, New Jersey seeks to leverage the talent of these laid-off workers to create a world-class bioscience cluster to improve the states long-term economic competitiveness.


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.

September 2010

LOCAL | September 28, 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 | September 24, 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.


LOCAL | September 24, 2010
Xanadu Project Consortium Hires Property Manager

With the hiring of Jones Lang LaSalle as property manager, the Xanadu project in the Meadowlands seems to be progressing. The global real estate firm will oversee asset management services, including strategy execution, property management, development advice and institutional reporting. In the meantime, the Lender Group that recently acquired control of Xanadu continues to negotiate with several entertainment and retail operators in an effort to speed completion of the project.


LOCAL | September 15, 2010
ARC Tunnel Project on Hold for Federal Review

A Federal Transit Administration request for review of projected ARC tunnel project costs has resulted in a 30-day halt to any new work on the project. The FTA wants the review before it signs off on a full funding agreement. Work already in progress on the tunnel under the Hudson will continue while New Jersey Transit conducts the budget review for the feds. The New Jersey Alliance for Action reports the tunnel project provides 6,000 immediate construction jobs and $10 billion in economic stimulus and revenues for New Jersey.

August 2010

LOCAL | August 27, 2010
Bayonne Bridge Project Gets $1 Billion from Port Authority

By agreeing to the Port Authority deal to help developer Larry Silverstein build two office towers on the site of the World Trade Center, New Jersey will get $1 billion to raise or replace the Bayonne Bridge. New Jersey officials want a higher bridge to accommodate todays larger container ships and help maintain the Newark Bay port as a world-class shipping destination, which they say is vital to the regions economic health.


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.


LOCAL | August 10, 2010
Port Authoritys Newark Airport Project Approved

Newark Liberty International Airport was one of several infrastructure projects to receive approval from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey $347.1 million to complete the modernization program at Terminal B.


LOCAL | August 5, 2010
Atlantic Health Plans Multi-Million Dollar Hospital Improvements

Atlantic Health will invest millions in capital improvements at its hospitals in Morristown and Summit. Morristown Memorial will undergo an $18 million expansion of its emergency department and a $10 million expansion of its parking garage. Overlook Hospital in Summit, currently renovating an old patient facility into a new, $3.2 million inpatient unit, will also put $2.5 million into improvements in its Thomas Glasser Caregivers Center, which will provide free support services for the families of hospitalized patients. The Morristown Memorial project will be phased in over two years. The Overlook projects are expected to be completed this year.


LOCAL | August 5, 2010
More Building Planned For Rutgers Livingston Campus

In a June 11 Hot Topic, we told you about Rutgers plan for its Livingston Campus makeover, beginning with a new Business School. The next project in the plan, which will break ground this fall, is a new $215 million, 648,000 sq.ft. dormitory that represents the largest-dollar Rutgers project to date. This is actually a mixed-development plan, with 1,500 suite-style apartments in three multi-story buildings and 25,000 sq.ft. of ground-floor retail space in two of the buildings. Rutgers is funding and developing the project on its own and expects to award a construction contract in the fall.


LOCAL | August 2, 2010
Wait for Permits Delays Construction of PSE&Gs North Jersey Power Line

PSE&G had hoped to complete its $750 million power transmission line upgrade from Roseland, NJ, to Susquehanna, PA, by 2012. But the New Jersey Department of Environment Protection has delayed approval of the permits, telling PSE&G its application to build across protected wetlands is incomplete. PSE&G wants to build a 500,000-volt transmission line and 500-kilovolt transmission towers along a 146-mile route that crosses the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. A transmission line currently exists on the same path, linked by smaller 230-kilovolt towers. PSE&G had tried to split the project into shorter increments this year, but the DEP said the original application had been for a single project, and should be reviewed as such. Assuming approvals do come through, the new scheduled completion date is now 2015.

July 2010

NATIONAL | July 30, 2010
OSHA Issues Final Crane and Derricks Rule

OSHA issued its final Crane and Derricks rule yesterday, replacing the previous rule issued in 1971. Key changes in the new rule include requirements for ground conditions and crane operator certification. The rule was revised and rewritten to address the leading causes of fatalities in crane operation electrocution, crushed-by/struck-by hazards during assembly/disassembly, collapse and overturn. It also covers tower crane hazards and the use of synthetic slings. To clarify the scope of the rule, it includes a functional description plus a list of examples of the equipment covered in the rule. The rule is scheduled to be published in the August 9, 2010, Federal Register, and goes into effect November 8, 2010. You can read and download the complete text of the rule at http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2010-17818_PI.pdf


LOCAL | July 29, 2010
Honeywell to Launch Redevelopment in Morris Township

BCANJ member Honeywell will keep its global headquarters in New Jersey and redevelop its Morris Township campus into a mixed-use complex with enhanced benefits for employees and the community. The project, which Honeywell Chairman and CEO Dave Cote called world-class, energy-efficient, contemporary, could include new offices, a hotel, residential units and at least 50% open space with walking trails, helping it achieve LEED certification. Honeywell has been based in Morris Township for more than 50 years.


LOCAL | July 29, 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 29, 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. Sandherrs 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 theyre going to have some breathing room.


LOCAL | July 29, 2010
New Jerseys Industrial Market Improving

CB Richard Ellis Second Quarter 2010 New Jersey Industrial MarketView reports an improvement in the states 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.


LOCAL | July 22, 2010
Novartis Plans Building Projects in East Hanover

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. will transfer 1,200 oncology department associates and others from leased property in Florham Park to new buildings at the firms East Hanover campus. Expected to be underway later this year, the three-year construction project includes three five-story office buildings, a parking garage and reconstruction of two entry gates at Ridgedale Avenue and Route 10.


LOCAL | July 22, 2010
Bayonne Medical Center Plans New Building

Beginning in Spring 2011, Bayonne Medical Center will construct a new 53,000 sq.ft. medical building on the Bayonne campus. The hospital will occupy half the space, and the other half will be leased to doctors, physical therapists and other medical professionals. The project is estimated for completion in a year.


LOCAL | July 22, 2010
Major Makeover for Hamilton Square Plaza

Hamilton Square Plaza Shopping, a 184,272 sq.ft. retail property in Hamilton, will undergo a $12 to $14 million renovation. Construction begins this month to create a new faade, change the signage, reconfigure the parking lot and redesign the landscaping. ShopRite, the anchor tenant, will undertake its own renovation to expand to 80,000 sq.ft.


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%.


LOCAL | July 7, 2010
PATH Makeover: 10 Years, $200 Million

Take the PATH Train to Manhattan and youll find its dirty and dingy. But over the next 10 years, with the infusion of $200 million, the PATH stations will get brighter and cleaner with new lighting and flooring, more benches and better loudspeaker systems. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will upgrade the network, expanding platforms to accommodate longer trains and completely overhauling the Harrison station, which at 97 is the oldest in the group. The project is funded in part by the extra $2 toll collected at Port Authority bridges and tunnels since 2008. Approximately 70 million people ride the PATH trains every year.


LOCAL | July 7, 2010
Jersey City Brownfield Site To Become Mixed-Use Development

A seven-acre brownfield site on Hoboken Avenue in Jersey City, formerly occupied by Van Leer Chocolate Factory, will be transformed into a mixed-use development of more than 400 homes and 7,500 sq.ft. of retail space. Expected to be completed in three years, the project is the first in PSE&Gs Technology Demonstration Program, a $190 million initiative designed to test energy-saving technologies.

June 2010

LOCAL | June 23, 2010
Sweet New Home for Italian Dessert-Maker

The US operator of Italian dessert-maker Bindi will build a new headquarters in Kearny on a now-vacant site near the intersection of Belleville Turnpike and Barsczewski Street. Phase 1 of the project will include a 64,000 sq.ft. warehouse, office space and interior loading dock. Plans for phase 2 include production and additional warehouse space. Currently, Bindi USA is headquartered in Totowa.


NATIONAL | June 22, 2010
May Construction Employment 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 states 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 Increase

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 18, 2010
OSHA Severe Violator Enforcement Program Effective Today

OSHA announced its new penalty and enforcement program is effective today, June 18, 2010. In April, OSHA had issued a directive to OSHA Area Offices about the program, detailing increased inspections and substantially higher penalties for willful, repeated and failure-to-abate violations. Members can access more details in Bulletin #60-10 on the Members Only section of this website.


LOCAL | June 17, 2010
BASF Plans Move to New $100 Million Headquarters

The Rockefeller Group Development Corporation has been selected to develop a new 325,000 sq.ft. office building at The Green at Florham Park that will serve as the new North American headquarters for BASF Corporation. The $100 million build-to-suit project will be registered as a LEED candidate with the goal of going LEED Platinum, which would make it the largest LEED Platinum office building in the state. With a two-story lobby and expansive outdoor plaza, the building will use BASF products in construction, helping achieve LEED sustainability credits. BASFs well-known neighbor on The Green, a planned-sustainable, mixed-development site, is the Atlantic Health New York Jets Training Center. Atlantic Health also plans a 100,000 sq.ft. four-story medical facility on the 268-acre site.


LOCAL | June 11, 2010
Construction Approved for New Rutgers Business School

Construction on a new building for the Rutgers Business School will begin next spring, following approval this week by the Universitys Board of Governors. The 156,000 sq.ft. building, estimated at $85 million, will anchor a planned center for business and professional studies on the Livingston Campus in Piscataway. Construction of the building will take approximately two years. An anonymous donor gifted $10 million toward construction costs.


LOCAL | June 11, 2010
Mercer County Courthouse Groundbreaking

At $80 million, the new Mercer County Criminal Courthouse in Trenton represents the priciest project in the countys history. Ground was broken this week for the building at South Warren and Market Streets, designed as a four-story, 141,000 sq.ft. structure housing approximately 300 county and state employees. It will replace the adjacent existing courthouse, build in 1903. The project should be completed in two years and create 250 to 300 construction and trade jobs.


LOCAL | June 11, 2010
Newark to Build $120 Million Teachers Village

A $120 million Teachers Village in Newark, with three charter schools and 221 residential units, received final site plan approval and is expected to break ground this fall. The project is designed to attract 15,000 educators who work at Newark schools and universities but dont live in the city. The schools will hold 1,000 students. Construction for phase one, called Teachers at Four Corners, will begin along William and Halsey Streets. New York-based RBH Group is the projects developer.


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 Aprils 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 3, 2010
$9.7 Million HUD Grant Goes to Jersey City

US Housing and Urban Development announced a $9.7 million HOPE VI Revitalization Program grant for the A. Harry Moore Public Housing Development in Jersey City. Of the six cities in the country that received grants through this program, two are in New Jersey Jersey City and Trenton. Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy said that after the revitalization, the A. Harry Moore Public Housing complex will be a mixed-income community helping residents become self-sufficient.


LOCAL | June 3, 2010
Paterson Looks Forward to First Luxury Hotel in Decades

St. Josephs Regional Medical Center in Paterson is already undergoing a $170 million redevelopment project, and now a luxury hotel will anchor one side of the project in South Paterson. Hyatt Place, a 16-story, 130-room, predominantly glass hotel and conference center, is reputed to be the first luxury hotel built in Paterson since the Great Depression more than 80 years ago. Estimated at $70 million with a 30-month construction schedule, it will feature a rooftop terrace, swimming pool and health club, along with catering facilities that will turn it into a venue for business conferences, weddings and banquets. The hotel will also include three floors of extended-stay apartments and a 200-car parking garage. It will be formally named the Medical Missions for Children Hyatt Place Hotel at St. Josephs Regional Medical Center, owned by MultiMedia Concepts and operated by Hyatt Corp. Construction will begin after completion of a separate 1,120-car hospital parking garage next year, when the old parking garage will be demolished and replaced by the hotel.


LOCAL | June 3, 2010
ACs Claridge Tower Renovation Gets State Funding

The renovation and restoration of the historic Claridge Tower at Ballys Atlantic City, estimated to cost $12 million, will receive nearly $3.6 million from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. The Claridge has been a fixture on the boardwalk since 1929. Its exterior faade will be upgraded, restored and preserved, with particular attention paid to the brick and steel structure, the cupola, the classic window details and other architectural features important to its original era. The Claridge restoration is just one element of the Authoritys ongoing Boardwalk Revitalization Project, scheduled for completion in spring of 2011 at a total cost of $85 million.


LOCAL | June 1, 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. 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 27, 2010
Xanadus White Knight Comes Through

The poetic Xanadu name will disappear, but the vision will remain, as billionaire developer Steve Ross takes over the long-delayed retail and entertainment project in the Meadowlands. In fact, Ross has renamed the project Meadowlands. As head of The Related Cos., Ross will discuss the $2 billion project, which he calls a bold redefinition of what a retail destination can be, with hundreds of specially invited retailers.


LOCAL | May 27, 2010
Tax Credit for Newarks Tallest Building

We told you earlier this month in Hot Topics about plans for One Theater Square which, at 44 floors, will become Newarks tallest building. Now, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority has approved a $38 million tax credit over 10 years for the mixed-use project, expected to cost $38 million.


LOCAL | May 20, 2010
Watson Pharmaceuticals to Build New HQ in Parsippany

In a project expected to cost $15 million and employ about 100 construction workers, Watson Pharmaceuticals will expand its administrative headquarters in Parsippany. The facility will eventually house 500 Watson employees, combining operations of two current Watson organizations in Morristown and Parsippany. Watson was approved for a 10-year, $7.3 million Business Employment Incentive Program grant and a $290,000 Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant, both from the EDA in support of Watsons expansion and job retention.


LOCAL | May 12, 2010
NJ Construction Unions and Contractors Agree to Wage and Benefits Freeze

An alliance of New Jersey construction unions along with their contractor partners have agreed to a freeze in wages and benefits by voluntarily re-opening their contracts. This move is designed to lower labor costs and kick-start construction throughout the state. The alliance includes 30,000 union members and contractors affiliated with the Bricklayers, Carpenters, Dockbuilders, Ironworkers and Laborers. The freeze represents reductions ranging from 3-5.2% and will carry through mid-2011. The full news release BCANJ issued to the media can be viewed on this website by clicking Press Releases under the Publications tab.


NATIONAL | May 12, 2010
Contractors Not Required to Submit EPA Survey on Stormwater Control

The US Environmental Protection Agency will not require contractors to respond to a lengthy survey to provide information pertaining to long-term stormwater control practices. The survey, which would have been mandatory, was due to be distributed this spring. AGC of America submitted extensive comments to EPA, calling the survey overly burdensome and misdirected, as it misapprehends the role that contractors play in the real estate development process. In addition, AGC/A met with EPA staff earlier this year to discuss alternative, more efficient ways of collecting pertinent information. AGC/A reports that, as a result, EPA has correctly determined that general contractors should not be subject to future information collection requests associated with post-construction issues.


LOCAL | May 12, 2010
Goethals Bridge May Be First Public-Private Partnership for Port Authority

The Port Authority is seeking private investors to help finance a new span to replace the 82-year-old Goethals Bridge. If private financing comes through, the project would be the first PPP in Port Authority history. Also groundbreaking would be the deal after the bridge is built, in which the Port Authority would lease the bridge from the investor and retain control of operations and toll structure.


NATIONAL | May 12, 2010
Green Globes Achieves First ANSI Standard for Green Rating System

LEED generally gets more attention, but the Green Building Initiative, developer of the Green Globes rating system for commercial buildings, is the first to achieve an American National Standard for such a rating system. The American National Standards Institute, known as ANSI, officially named the standard ANSI/GBI 01-2010: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings. It applies to new construction or renovation. Twenty states and several federal agencies officially recognize Green Globes as a credible standard for green building, including the US Department of Health and Human Services, US Department of Education, US Department of Interior, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs, which has 21 Green Globes-certified VA facilities in 10 states.


NATIONAL | May 7, 2010
Private Jobs Increase, But Not In Construction

Private payrolls increased in April, layoffs reached a four-year low, but construction took another hit. According to Automatic Data Processing (ADP), the service sector added 50,000 jobs last month, and factories hired 29,000 workers. But construction lost 49,000 jobs, bringing the total construction job loss since January 2007 to 2.2 million.


LOCAL | May 6, 2010
Newark Unveils Tallest Building Plan

One Theater Square will be Newarks tallest building, according to plans unveiled by Mayor Cory Booker and Governor Chris Christie, among others. The $38-million, 44-story building will stand tall at 2 Center Street, and house more than 300 residential units, with 20% set aside as affordable housing for artists. In addition to amenities such as a grand lobby, 24-hour concierge service, pool and spa, state-of-the-art fitness center and secure parking, One Theater Square will offer 20,000 sq.ft. of street-level retail space, designated for restaurants and cafes, shops and galleries. By expanding the footprint of NJPAC, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, One Theater Square fits into Newarks long-range plan of surrounding the theater district with private development focusing on retail and residential.

April 2010

LOCAL | April 28, 2010
New Brunswick Plans Mixed-Use Development

New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill has announced plans for the Wellness Plaza, a mixed-use project in the citys downtown that will include a supermarket and fitness center, 1,200-space parking garage and 80 loft-style residential units. The 12-story, 625,000 sq.ft. project, valued at $114 million, is slated for a 1.6-acre site on French Street, with a walkway to the nearby train station. Built by a partnership of the City, the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DevCo), the New Brunswick Parking Authority and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, the plans call for a 45,000 sq.ft. grocery store on the first floor, along with an aquatic center with competition-sized swimming pool and two smaller therapeutic pools. The Parking Authority would own all of the non-residential portions of the structure, while DevCo would own the housing units.


LOCAL | April 23, 2010
Now Online: PowerPoint Presentations from April 15 Meeting

BCANJs April 15 program, The Future Outlook for New Jersey Contractors & Building Trade Unions, featured guest speakers Jeff Otteau, 2010 Real Estate Forecast, and Mark Breslin, Profiles in Courage/Economics, Politics, Risk & Reality. Their PowerPoint presentations are now available for download on the Members Only section of our website, www.bcanj.com, or by contacting the Association office at 732.225.2265.


LOCAL | April 19, 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 | April 19, 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.


LOCAL | April 14, 2010
Under Construction: Phase III of Atlantic Citys The Walk

Groundbreaking occurred back in November, but construction on Phase III of The Walk in Atlantic City is finally underway. Phase III consists of 45,078 sq.ft. of factory outlet retail space, a $15 million extension of the urban retail and entertainment project that sits between the Boardwalk and the Convention Center.


NATIONAL | April 13, 2010
Feds Issue Final Rule on PLAs

More than a year ago, President Obama issued Executive Order 13502 encouraging use of Project Labor Agreements on federal construction projects of $25 million or more. Today, the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council published a final rule implementing the EO. The rule reiterates the language of the executive order, stating a contracting agency may require that contractors and subs on a specific project negotiate or become party to a PLA. The rule is limited only to federal contracts of $25 million or more, and adopted AGC of Americas recommendations that federal contracting agencies must notify contractors of a PLA mandate prior to contract award, and may not impose a PLA after the award.


LOCAL | April 13, 2010
BCANJs Latest Labor Update Read Bulletin #33-10

We encourage Members to read Bulletin #33-10, distributed April 8, 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. You can access the bulletin by clicking Members Only in the upper right of this screen and entering your login ID and password or contact BCANJ at 732.225.2265.


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 Jerseys 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

LOCAL | March 31, 2010
$16 Million Off-Track Betting Center Construction Approved

The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority has approved a $16 million construction contract for Meadowlands at Bayonne, a new off-track wagering facility on Route 440. The two-story building will enclose 35,000 sq. ft. of wagering, dining and entertainment space, including two teletheatre rooms and a 150-seat restaurant. Opening is projected for mid-2011.


LOCAL | March 31, 2010
$60 Million Energy Project Comes to Carteret

Energy company Kinder Morgan will build a $60 million biodiesel blending system and storage facility on 15 acres of its own property along Industrial Highway in Carteret. As the citys largest taxpayer, Kinder Morgans project will net the city $30.2 million in taxes over the next 30 years, and create 150 to 200 construction jobs. Construction will commence in May, with completion scheduled for June 2011.


NATIONAL | March 22, 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 Februarys loss of 64,000 jobs nationwide. Further job losses are expected at least through mid-year.


LOCAL | March 17, 2010
Rahway Passes Bond for $8.5 Million Arts Center

An $8.5 million bond ordinance passed by the Rahway Municipal Council will fund a new 1,100-seat theatre, a black-box theatre and conversion of a 54-unit apartment building into affordable housing targeting artists. Located near the Union County Performing Arts Center, the project should be completed in 2011.


LOCAL | March 15, 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.


NATIONAL | March 15, 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 10, 2010
NJs January Unemployment Rate and Housing Starts Drop

The States 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 in 2009 a third of the 38,588 permits issued in 2005.


LOCAL | March 8, 2010
Morris County to Expand Public Safety Academy

A $24.6 million capital expansion of the Morris County Public Safety Academy in Parsippany will add 31,000 sq. ft. and renovate the rest of the 15,500 sq. ft. facility to accommodate planned growth of the countys emergency communications center. Eventually the center will handle dispatching, 911 response and other services for all 39 towns in the county, a consolidation that should result in significant savings for the 22 towns that currently operate their own dispatch systems. When it opens in 2013, the center's new addition will also house the sheriffs criminal investigation unit and a new crime lab. To offset some of the projects cost, the county has arranged $3.2 million in federal and state grants.


NATIONAL | March 8, 2010
Construction Job Losses Jump in February

Nationwide, the construction industry lost 64,000 jobs in February, a loss that pushed the industry's unemployment rate to 27.1%, nearly three times the overall unemployment rate for the country.


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 5, 2010
National Park Service Extends Comment Period on Proposed Power Lines

UPDATE to the Hot Topic posted February 17, 2010: The National Park Service, which had hosted three public hearings in mid-February on PSEGs 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.


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.


NATIONAL | 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 Jerseys Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund is insolvent, but Governor Christie doesnt want an increased employer payroll tax to fund it. The automatic payroll tax increase would be as much as $683 per employee, and the Governors 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 17, 2010
National Park Service to Review Proposed Parkland Power Lines

PSE&G claims the 500,000-volt transmission line, planned for a 146-mile route through North Jersey and Pennsylvania, is essential for reliable power in the region. Environmental groups claim the towers will stand significantly taller than the tree line, ruining the aesthetics at the Delaware Water Gap, along the Appalachian Trail and above the Delaware River as well as harming the environment and posing health and financial risks for residents. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission have both approved the Susquehanna-Roseland project, which is expected to take just over two years and $900 million to $1.2 billion to complete. But the New Jersey Sierra Club, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and other opponents have asked the National Park Service to step in and conduct an environmental impact study of the project, which would cross three federal parks: the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River, and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. That study could also take two years. The National Park Service has scheduled three public hearings on the issue this week.


LOCAL | February 11, 2010
Xanadus Fate: Savior or Surrender

Named for Samuel Taylor Coleridges stately pleasure dome in his poem Kubla Khan, the Xanadu project in the Meadowlands has been long-delayed and remains desperate for financing. Its fate is still unknown, but if a savior isnt found, such as developer Steven Ross, as suggested in a recent Bergen Record article, it could be surrendered back to the State of New Jersey, which owns the land. The Savior: Ross and his firm, The Related Companies, turned Manhattans Columbus Circle into the Time Warner Center, a 2.8-million-square-foot vertical mall that features a Whole Foods Market, the Mandarin Oriental New York hotel, upscale Shops at Columbus Circle and the 1,200-seat Jazz at Lincoln Center theatre. Its not known if Ross would be interested in taking on the Xanadu project. The Surrender: In a report prepared for Governor Christies transition team, the Xanadu business model was labeled a failure. The report called for the land to be surrendered back to the state if the $2 billion project could not be completed and opened.


LOCAL | February 4, 2010
Gov. Christie Creates Panel to Fix NJ Gaming, Sports and Entertainment

Governor Christies Executive Order 11, issued today, creates an advisory commission to study and address the financial and structural challenges that are hurting New Jerseys 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 Christies 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 Obamas budget draft for fiscal 2011 proposes $4.81 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, $630 million less than this years appropriations bill. Thats a 12% cut that slashes the construction budget from $2 billion to $1.6 billion.

January 2010

NATIONAL | January 22, 2010
California Mandates Statewide Green Building Code

Earlier we reported the first international green building standard is due to be released in March. The latest green first is out of California, which recently became the first to mandate a statewide green building code. The Calgreen regulations are designed to help the state meet its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 33% by 2020. Starting in January 2011, every new building in California will have to reduce water usage by 20% and recycle 50% of its construction waste, rather than sending it to landfills. Commercial buildings will have separate water meters to measure indoor and outdoor water use. And all commercial buildings over 10,000 square feet will have mandatory inspections of air conditioner, heat and mechanical equipment. Hospitals are exempt from the new regulations. The California Air Resources Board claims Calgreen regulations will remove three million metric tons of emissions from the air by 2020.


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. Thats 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.


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. Patricks 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 EPAs 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 doesnt 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 Jerseys economic status as of year-end 2009. Highlights include a review of unemployment figures, the housing market decline, the states 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 Jerseys economic recovery will lag about a year behind the nations 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

LOCAL | December 28, 2009
BCANJ Members in Book of Lists Top 10

Every year, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association publishes its Book of Lists. In the 2010 Book, four of the Top 10 Contractors, ranked by number of New Jersey employees, are BCANJ members: URS (#1), Skanska (#5), Epic (#6) and Torcon (#10).


LOCAL | December 15, 2009
ARC Tunnel Dig Bore-Ready

On December 14, 2009, NJ Transit awarded the first tunneling contract of the mass transit tunnel across the Hudson. The first of three phases, a mile-long stretch expected to take three years, should begin early next year when the contractors employ massive tunnel-boring machines to excavate under Manhattans West Side. The second phase, the Palisades tunnel segment, will go out for bid in the next few weeks, followed by the Hudson River segment, the final phase. The mass transit tunnel is the largest public works project in the country, and should be completed by the end of 2017.


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 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 14, 2009
ConsensusDOCS Green Building Document Released

In November, ConsensusDOCS 310 Green Building Addendum was released to address the challenges associated with sustainable building. The new contract was developed in response to a surge in green building projects, and was designed to help advise the owner, set up proper expectations, mitigate risk and increase project success by clearly identifying roles and responsibilities for contractors, designers, owners and others involved in the project. For more detailed information, visit www.ConsensusDOCS.org.


NATIONAL | December 14, 2009
E-Verify Self-Check Option Planned

Currently only employers can screen employee information to determine employment eligibility via the federal governments 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 07, 2009
Construction Unemployment Still Climbing

While the national unemployment rate and New Jerseys 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 Jerseys 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 developers 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 Agricultures 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 Contractors Qualification Statement for Engineered Construction. According to AGC of Americas 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.


LOCAL | November 24, 2009
New Jerseys Stimulus Money Is Still Unspent

New Jerseys shovel-ready county road projects are still ready, but the federal stimulus funds millions of dollars slated to pay for them wont be used until next year, according to a story in todays Star-Ledger. The reason? Detail-laden documentation. For example, cites John Reiser, Middlesex Countys 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 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, thereby improving 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 20, 2009
New Brunswick Gateway Project Gets Go-Ahead from Rutgers

The Rutgers University Board of Governors ceded ownership of an Easton Avenue property to the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DevCo), clearing the way for the Gateway Transit Village Project in downtown New Brunswick. The mixed-use Gateway project, estimated at $150 million, will connect the New Brunswick train station with the Rutgers campus, and will include a Barnes and Noble bookstore and other retail stores, the Rutgers University Press, 200 condominiums and a 650-space parking facility to be run by the New Brunswick Parking Authority. The site had been occupied by a Rutgers public safety garage, now demolished.


NATIONAL | November 9, 2009
Construction Unemployment Climbs to 18.7%

The national unemployment rate rose nearly a half a percentage point from September to October, 9.8% to 10.2%, but the construction industrys unemployment rate hit 18.7%, up 1.6% from Septembers rate of 17.1%. Construction unemployment remains the highest among major industries. Octobers construction job losses were concentrated in the nonresidential specialty trade contractors sector, which lost 30,000 jobs, and in heavy construction, which lost 14,000 jobs. A glimmer of good news is the slowing pace of job losses among nonresidential building contractors, which lost 3,200 jobs in October, compared to 12,000 lost in September.


NATIONAL | November 5, 2009
New Fed Tax Bill Would Provide Homebuyer, Business Tax and Jobless Benefits

On November 3, 2009, the US Senate voted unanimously to renew the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers, and add a tax credit of $6,500 for many people who purchase a new primary residence. The measures were attached to a bill that would benefit strapped businesses and unemployed workers with these two provisions: --Businesses that had operating losses in 2008 and 2009 could seek refunds for taxes paid on profits over the last five years. This measure complements New Jerseys law that increases the carryover period of the net operating loss deduction under the corporation business tax. --In states with a jobless rate above 8.5%, the federal government would provide 20 weeks of unemployment benefits, and would provide 14 weeks of benefits to states with rates lower than 8.5%. New Jerseys current unemployment reached 9.8% in September.


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.


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 RCDs Jim Haughey feels most of the deep decline is now over. However, Haughey expects no improvement in the market until well into 2010.

October 2009

LOCAL | October 29, 2009
State Unemployment Matches National Level

New Jerseys unemployment rate climbed to 9.8% in October, matching the national rate.


NATIONAL | October 27, 2009
Legislation Introduced to Provide Pension Funding Relief

Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) and Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) introduced new legislation to provide pension funding relief that would meet the challenge of sky-high pension costs and enable employers to retain or even grow their workforce. The Preserve Benefits and Jobs Act is designed to restore defined benefits plans to financial soundness over time, so that employers would not have to freeze their pension plans or cut the workforce to make up for pension losses. The Act would cover multiemployer pension plans. We will track the progress of this legislation as it proceeds through Congress.


LOCAL | October 22, 2009
Mechanical Contractor Lawsuit Halts NJ School Construction

The Mechanical Contractors Association of NJ is suing the NJ Schools Development Authority for trying to change the bidding process for five New Jersey schools. The lawsuit has shut down work on the projects for months. The SDA would like to move from a design/bid/build process to a design/build method, claiming that combining design and construction phases would cut costs and speed construction. The Mechanical Contractors Association says the process would be unfair to small contractors and more costly for taxpayers. The SDA wants to test the process on five of the 25 school projects it has slated for this year: Newarks Elliott Street School, New Brunswicks Redshaw Elementary School, Keansburgs Lorraine Place Elementary School, and Jersey Citys Elementary School No. 3 and Early Childhood Center No. 3. After the suit was filed, the state Appellate Division halted work on the Elliott Street School. Both sides filed arguments on October 22, 2009, but may wait months for a decision. We will continue to track the issue and report developments as they occur.


NATIONAL | October 22, 2009
McGraw-Hill Projects 14% Increase in 2010 Public Works Construction

Stimulus funds for water and wastewater projects hit a snag with the Buy American provisions, but McGraw-Hill Construction predicts that public works such as these will pick up in 2010 and increase construction activity by 14%. That prediction came simultaneously with the news from Reed Construction Data that the year-to-date value of construction starts declined 12.8% in September over September 2008 levels. However, the construction starts for the quarter July through September 2009 averaged 5% higher than the same period in 2008.


LOCAL | October 20, 2009
Groundbreaking for Aviation Park in Egg Harbor Township

Ground was broken for the Federal Aviation Administrations Aviation Research and Technology Park, a seven-building project on 55 acres adjacent to the Atlantic City International Airport and the FAAs 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.


LOCAL | October 15, 2009
1,600 Finance Jobs Coming to Jersey City

Gov. Corzine announced the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation will move 1,600 finance jobs from Manhattan to the Newport Office Center at 570 Washington Blvd. in Jersey City. Those 1,600 jobs will generate $300 million in taxes and other spending during the 20-year lease, according to the governor. New Jerseys Economic Development Authority offered close to $90 million in incentives to persuade DTCC to make the move, including $14.6 million in grants to help the firm with renovation costs and $74.6 million in tax incentives. The incentives come via the Economic Redevelopment Growth Grants, part of the New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act of 2009 signed into law in July.


NATIONAL | October 14, 2009
"No Match" Rule Officially Ends

After a two-year court battle, the US Department of Homeland Security officially withdrew the "No Match" rule on October 7, 2009. The rule threatened employers with fines and criminal prosecution if they didn't fire workers whose Social Security numbers didn't match entries in the Social Security Administration's database. Also this past week, a House-Senate conference committee voted to extend the DHS E-Verify program for three years. E-Verify uses the same SSA database to confirm worker eligibility, although the program doesn't include prosecuting employers. E-Verify is currently voluntary except for the 170,000 firms holding federal contracts and their subcontractors.


LOCAL | October 8, 2009
Six NJ Sites Designated as Brownfield Development Areas

The NJ Department of Environmental Protection has designated six contaminated properties in Lodi, Kearny, Plainfield, Rahway, Somerville and Woodbridge as Brownfield Development Areas, and pledged up to $5 million in annual funding for each site. There are approximately 10,000 brownfields in New Jersey, but only 31 have been designated development areas, allowing them to be remediated and redeveloped in a joint effort by the state, municipalities, private-property owners and environmentalists. · Lodi plans to recreate a downtown district between the borough hall and Route 46 with retail and office space. · Kearny's plans include mixed senior-citizen housing, commercial facilities and a riverfront walk along the Passaic River. · Plainfield wants to revitalize its central business district with small-scale commercial establishments. · Rahway looks to add a 1,100-seat amphitheater and black-box theater within walking distance of the train station. · Somerville hopes to redevelop an old landfill and parking lots near the Raritan River with mixed-use properties with access to NJ Transit's Raritan Valley rail line. · Woodbridge, with the largest site, wants to clean up industrial contamination along the Raritan River and create an eco-park that allows companies to use each others' waste as resources, as well as a resource-recovery park for recycling, compost processing and other resource reuse.


NATIONAL | October 5, 2009
September Construction Unemployment Up

The construction unemployment rate increased in September to 17.1%, up from 16.5% in August, with the industry losing 64,000 jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a total construction job loss of 1.5 million since the recession began in December 2007.

September 2009

NATIONAL | September 28, 2009
ConsensusDOCS Releases New Federal Subcontract

ConsensusDOCS 752, the "first and only" standard subcontract for federal construction projects, has just been released and is available for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act work. ConsensusDOCS 752 is FAR-compliant and includes all the federally mandated flow-down provisions. Order it online at www.consensusdocs.org or the AGC of America Bookstore, www.agc.org (Click the BOOKSTORE link on the home page).


LOCAL | September 24, 2009
Refreshed Website for Tracking State Economic Recovery

Live in late September, New Jersey has revamped the State's Economic Recovery Website with more user-friendly navigation. Visitors can track county-by-county use of federal stimulus funds, link to employment opportunities, and sign up for e-mail alerts as new information is added to the site. The next scheduled update will follow the quarterly reporting to the federal government on October 20. View the site at www.nj.gov/recovery.


NATIONAL | September 8, 2009
E-Verify Rule Finally in Effect

After ten months and four delays, the rule requiring federal contractors to use the Dept. of Homeland Security's E-Verify database to confirm worker eligibility is finally in effect. The Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council issued the rule in November 2008, but implementation was postponed on four separate occasions in response to legal challenges from labor and management groups and requests for review from the Obama administration. The rule requires contractors to verify eligibility for all new and current employees assigned to work on a federal project with a contract above $100,000 or performance terms of 120 days or longer.


NATIONAL | September 4, 2009
August Unemployment Figures Still Grim

The national unemployment rate rose to 9.7% in August, up 0.3% over last month, reflecting the highest rate since the last deep recession in 1983. Across the country, construction lost 65,000 jobs, approximately the same monthly drop since May. Job losses in nonresidential and heavy construction represented the largest share


August 2009

NATIONAL | August 31, 2009
LEED Group to Collect Energy-Use Data from Certified Buildings

When a building certifies for LEED, is it truly energy-efficient? Not always, apparently. As a result, the US Green Building Council will begin collecting information about energy use from all LEED-certified buildings. Starting this year, owners of all newly constructed LEED-certified buildings will be required to submit energy and water bills for the first five years of operation. If the data isn't provided, the certification could be rescinded.


LOCAL | August 28, 2009
NJ Slated for $6.7 Million for Transit, Energy-Efficiency and Safety

Sen. Frank Lautenberg announced that New Jersey will receive $6.7 million in federal stimulus funding for one energy-efficiency project $3.45 million to revamp the Peter Rodino Federal Building in Newark; two transit projects in Garfield and Morristown (more than $3 million); and one safety project, improving the state traffic safety highway alert information system ($574,000). The money for the Rodino building is an initial payment on $146 million in stimulus funding to convert the building into a high-performance green energy facility. Only three other federal buildings in the nation received a higher grant for energy-efficient conversions.


LOCAL | August 28, 2009
New Jersey Towns Awarded Affordable Housing Subsidies

More than $6.5 million will go to 16 cities and towns in the state to subsidize the development of 650 affordable homes. The subsidies, through the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York's Affordable Housing Program, will go to Basking Ridge, Bordentown and its Hopewell section, Bridgewater Township, Delanco, Florence, Galloway Township, Jersey City, Lower Township, Newark, Orange, Paterson, Pleasantville, Red Bank, Roebling, Stanhope and West Cape May. This is the 20th anniversary of the Federal Home Loan Bank's program to spur the development of affordable housing projects across the country.


LOCAL | August 28, 2009
NJ Transit Properties Go to Paterson

The City of Paterson bought and leased more than three acres near the Paterson train station for future residential and commercial development. The purchase of 2.3 acres of vacant property on Railroad Avenue, envisioned for residential development, will generate $1.3 million in revenue for NJ Transit. An adjoining acre next to the station, leased for a 50-year term, is slated for commercial use.


NATIONAL | August 20, 2009
Construction Workplace Fatalities Decrease in 2008

The latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate the construction industry had 969 fatalities in 2008, down 20% from 2007's total of 1,204. However, the industry still continues to have the highest number of jobsite deaths among US industries, and it's likely the decrease mirrors the 9.9% drop in total construction hours worked in 2008 over 2007.


NATIONAL | August 18, 2009
AIA Studies Job Creation in Clean Energy Act

The American Institute of Architects has released results of its study to determine job creation within the design and construction industries if the American Clean Energy Security Act (HR 2454) is passed. The study looked at two provisions of the bill the State Energy and Environment Development (SEED) program and the Green Resources for Energy Efficient Neighborhoods (GREEN) program and determined that as many as 270,000 jobs could be created or saved if those provisions in the bill become law. HR 2454 passed in the House and is slated for further action in the Senate.


LOCAL | August 14, 2009
Two New Jersey Solar Technology Firms Win Federal Funds

Two of the five solar energy firms selected to receive financial investments from the US Department of Energy call New Jersey home. Through the DOE's Solar Energy Grid Integration Program, known as SEGIS, Petra Solar of South Plainfield and Princeton Power Systems of Princeton were awarded substantial funds for their solar energy technology development programs.

In other solar energy news, Quick Check, with 120 food stores in New Jersey and New York, installed a 110-kilowatt solar system on the roof of its customer support center in Whitehouse. The system is expected to generate more than 20% of the electricity used at the company's corporate headquarters.


NATIONAL | August 14, 2009
Construction Unemployment Climbs While Overall Numbers Drop

As economists begin to hail the recession's end and the national unemployment picture improves, unemployment in the construction industry leaped nearly a percentage point from June to July, hitting 18.2%. That's up from 17.4% in June, more than 10 percentage points higher than July 2008, and nearly double the country's overall rate in July of 9.4%.


NATIONAL | August 14, 2009
Former US Public Buildings Service Chief Returns

From December 1995 to January 2001, while President Clinton was in office, Robert A. Peck served as commissioner of the General Services Administration's Public Buildings Service. Now he's returned from private practice to take up the chief role again. His top priority will be to turn the $5.55 billion in stimulus funds slated for public buildings into jobs.


LOCAL | August 7, 2009
Woodbridge FedEx Center to Install Largest Rooftop Solar Energy System

FedEx in Woodbridge goes solar, with plans to install the nation's largest rooftop solar panel array. About 12,400 solar panels will cover 3.3 acres of roof on the FedEx Ground distribution center on Industrial Avenue, providing 30% of the facility's energy demand and generating 2.6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, equivalent to 250 homes. Installation by BP PLC is expected to start this month and be completed in November.


NATIONAL | August 7, 2009
Unemployment Finally Declines in July

July layoffs hit 247,000 jobs, the smallest job loss in a year, dropping the unemployment rate to 9.4%, the first decline in 15 months. Worker hours and paychecks also grew slightly, another first over the last 12 months. According to the Labor Department, 14.5 million people were out of work in July.

July 2009

NATIONAL | July 31, 2009
Stimulus Funds Saving Jobs, But Not Creating New Ones

Industry analysis from AGC of America shows that stimulus funds released to date appear to be helping save construction jobs, but aren't having much impact on creating new ones. The report finds 60% of construction firms with stimulus-funded work have save or retained jobs because of the stimulus, and plan to make larger equipment purchases than those firms without stimulus-funded projects. However, of the firms with stimulus-funded work, only about 36% plan to hire new employees the same percentage as those firms without stimulus-funded work. For the survey results and analysis, click here or visit www.agc.org.


NATIONAL | July 31, 2009
Obama Picks New OSHA Chief

President Obama announced he plans to nominate David Michaels to lead OSHA. Dr. Michaels, an epidemiologist, is currently interim chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the George Washington University School of Public Health. If approved, Dr. Michaels would replace acting head Jordan Barab.


NATIONAL | July 23, 2009
New LEED Website Guides Users Credit-by-Credit

A new website, developed by BuildingGreen and sanctioned by the US Green Building Council, helps LEED teams work through the new LEED 2009 process credit-by-credit. It includes clear descriptions of credit requirements, tips to streamline submissions, online calculators, online user forums to research specific credits and much more. The site, www.LEEDuser.com, is available in beta release until the end of September.


NATIONAL | July 23, 2009
FAR Issues Proposed PLA Rulemaking

In response to President Obama's Executive Order 13502 encouraging but not requiring the use of Project Labor Agreements on federal projects, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking, creating new FAR contract clauses to be included in federal contracts. The proposed rule would provide a new FAR Subpart 22.5, Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects, as well as add a new provision and a new clause pertaining to bid solicitations and contracts when a PLA is required. For more details, visit the AGC of America website, www.agc.org.


NATIONAL | July 23, 2009
Construction Employment Still Taking a Hit

The June numbers, compared to June 2008, are not reassuring. Construction employment rose only in two states North Dakota, up 5%, and Louisiana, up 4%. The hardest hit states were Arizona (-26%), Nevada (-23%), Connecticut (-22%) and Tennessee (-20%). New Jersey lost 24,100 jobs over the 12-month period, a drop of nearly 15%.


NATIONAL | July 23, 2009
Construction Materials Price Up in June

Overall, construction materials prices rose 1% in June, signaling the beginning of another period of rising materials costs. In particular, structural steel prices were up 2.5%, ready-mix concrete rose 0.6% and concrete block rose 0.5%. AGC of America Chief Economist Ken Simonson predicts that steel and concrete prices will run into resistance because of the drop-off in building activity expected for the rest of 2009, but will increase again in 2010.


LOCAL | July 16, 2009
Corzine Signs Misclassification Bill

On July 10, Gov. Corzine signed the worker misclassification bill (A3569) approved by the NJ Senate in May. The legislation makes willful worker misclassification and failure to provide worker's compensation criminal offenses punishable by up to 18 months in prison and $10,000 in fines. In addition, the NJ DOL is required to issue a stop-work order within 72 hours when it determines an employer has knowingly violated the law.


LOCAL | July 16, 2009
Lautenberg Announces $30 Million for NJ Military Construction

In legislation to be considered by the full US Senate, New Jersey would receive more than $30 million for military construction, announced US Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. If the bill is approved, $21 million would build a new Armed Forces Reserve Center in Camden, and $9.7 million would go for the Base Civil Engineering Complex of the 108th Air Refueling Wing at McGuire Air Force Base.


LOCAL | July 16, 2009
BCANJ Member to Receive Alliance for Action Eagle Award

The NJ Alliance for Action will present the Ellis S. Vieser Lifetime Achievement Award to Ben Torcivia Sr., founder of Torcon, Inc., of Red Bank and past president of BCANJ. One of five Eagle Awards, the Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented at the 35th annual dinner on October 14, 2009, at the Hyatt Regency New Brunswick.


LOCAL | July 16, 2009
BCANJ Names 2009 Construction Man of the Year

BCANJ will honor Joseph McNamara as the 2009 Construction Man of the Year at the Association's annual gala dinner on October 22, 2009, at The Palace in Somerset. McNamara is Director of the NJ Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET) and NJ State Laborers Health and Safety Fund.


NATIONAL  | July 8, 2009
E-Verify Confirmed for Federal Contractors

The Obama administration announced that Homeland Security's E-Verify system to determine the legal status of workers will be required for federal contractors beginning Sept. 8, 2009. The E-Verify system had been voluntary, used by a very small percentage of US companies. Now as many as 170,000 firms receiving government business or federal stimulus funds will have to use E-Verify to a) enter the names of new hires, and b) check the status of current employees.

Republican senators, who want to make the program permanent by law, won approval for such an amendment to the Homeland Security budget bill.

A lawsuit brought by the US Chamber of Commerce to halt the E-Verify program is still pending in federal court in Maryland.


NATIONAL  | July 8, 2009
SSAs No-Match Program Ends

At the same time it confirmed the E-Verify requirement, the Obama administration officially put an end to the Social Security Administration's program. Fraught with problems and on hold because of lawsuits, the program was designed to target illegal workers whose names and Social Security numbers didn't match their W-2 earning reports.


NATIONAL | July 6, 2009
Immigration Shift: Going After Employers, Not Workers

The Obama administration has announced a key shift in immigration policy, going after employers suspected of hiring undocumented workers rather than raiding workplaces and rounding up suspected illegals. As of last week, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had begun an audit of 652 companies to verify if their employees were eligible to work. This move marks a significant shift from the Bush administration, which pursued high-profile raids that captured hundreds of illegal immigrants. ICE hasn't made clear what punishment the violations might bring; in the case of American Apparel Inc., in Los Angeles, which was told 1,600 workers could be working illegally, ICE appears to be taking a collaborative approach, asking the company to conduct its own investigation into the legal status of its suspected workers.


NATIONAL | July 6, 2009
I-9 Immigration Form Remains Valid

The current I-9 form was scheduled to expire on June 30, 2009, but Homeland Security's Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that employers should continue to use the form for all new hires until the Office of Management and Budget finishes its review of a new version of the I-9.


NATIONAL | July 6, 2009
IRS Issues Audit Guide for Contractors

In late June, the IRS published an Audit Technique Guide for the construction industry, offering help for contractors, subcontractors, commercial project owners and a host of others as they prepare tax audits. The 12-part guide, also to be used by examiners conducting audits of construction-related businesses, contains some valuable information, including a glossary of the terminology used in an audit, and charts of contractor costs per square foot for several types of jobs, including site work, foundations, framing, exterior walls, roofing, interiors, specialties, and mechanical and electrical work. Find the Construction Industry Audit Technique Guide online at:
http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/industries/article/0,,id=208324,00.html


LOCAL | July 2, 2009
EDA To Invest in Private Energy Projects

The NJ Economic Development Authority has launched a program offering interest-free loans and grants of up to $5 million to businesses that invest in energy-efficient projects. Through the Clean Energy Solutions Capital Investment Loan/Grant program, commercial, industrial and institutional organizations can qualify for 10-year loans, to be used to purchase fixed assets, real estate or equipment. The funds are capitalized through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative's Global Warming Solutions Fund, in partnership with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. For more information, visit www.njeda.com.

June 2009

LOCAL | June 17, 2009
$82 Million for Security in New Jersey

The federal government is sending more than $82.6 million to New Jersey this year for Homeland Security programs, an 11.5% increase over last year's allotment. About half the money will be spent on equipment, training and security infrastructure in the seven counties closest to New York City, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic and Union. Another $25.5 million will be spread among all 21 New Jersey counties, representing a decrease of 8% from last year. The rest of the funds will be divided among the State Police ($7.5 million for emergency management), infrastructure security ($3.6 million), and the Citizen Corps Program ($358,000 to help communities plan for emergencies). Across the country, the federal government is distributing more than $3.1 billion for Homeland Security efforts, an increase of $52 million over last year.


REGIONAL | June 17, 2009
Camden and Philadelphia PATCO Stations To Get $9.6 Million Facelift

The Delaware River Port Authority approved a $9.6 million project to upgrade two Camden and four Philadelphia Port Authority Transit Corporation subway stations. Camden's City Hall stop and the Walter Rand Transportation Center, along with the four stations in Philadelphia, will receive concourse improvements, including state-of-the-art design and engineering to minimize installation, maintenance and operational costs while improving reliability. As part of the Authority's Green Initiative, improved lighting will use low energy and LED light fixtures that require very minimal maintenance. Phase I, which includes the City Hall improvements, could go out for bid late this month, while Phase II is expected to go out for bid in August.


LOCAL | June 17, 2009
Funding Sought for Clean Water and Wastewater Projects

Through the sale of bonds, the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust is seeking to finance between $800 and $900 million to be used for clean water and wastewater projects in fiscal year 2010. Added to $200 million in federal stimulus funds and $450 million in state funds, this will nearly double the Trust's typical annual program.


LOCAL | June 17, 2009
Former Linden GM Plant to Become Multi-Use Development

The former General Motors site on Route 1 in Linden is slated to become Legacy Square, a 99-acre commercial/industrial/residential development that could bring more than 1,000 new jobs to the area. Construction is expected to begin this summer on the $148 million project, pending approval from the NJ Department of Transportation on intersection improvements the developer, Duke Realty, is required to make.


LOCAL | June 10, 2009
NJ Utilities to Spend Billions on Capital Projects

At a conference on June 2, New Jersey utility executives, electric, gas and water, reported they will spend billions on capital projects over the next five years. Here's the breakdown: PSE&G will invest $6.7 billion, including $1 billion this year; Verizon NJ will spend somewhat less than $500 million per year on FIOS installations; South Jersey Gas will spend $103 million in the next two years on accelerated investments; United Water will invest $179 million from 2010 to 2014 in underground equipment, treatment and facility upgrades, and water storage; New Jersey Natural Gas will spend $71 million on 16 accelerated projects; Elizabethtown Gas will spend $42.5 million this year on distribution and system improvements; and New Jersey American Water has invested $630 million in capital improvements.


LOCAL | June 10, 2009
Energy Stimulus Funds Coming to NJ

Gov. Corzine announced that New Jersey will receive $73.6 million in federal stimulus funds slated for investments in energy efficiency as well as conservation and expansion of renewable energy generation. The projected spending will help meet the Governor's Master Energy Plan to reduce energy consumption by 20% by 2020 and increase use of renewable energy to 30% of the state's consumption by 2020.


LOCAL | June 10, 2009
Development of Former Ford Site in Edison Continues

Secausus developer Hartz Mountain Industries has made the first of two installments of a $1.5 million payment to Edison, and announced it plans to break ground soon on the 98-acre former Ford Motors plant site on Route 1 in Edison. The first phase of the project, a mixed-use redevelopment to be called Edison Town Square, will include a 140,000-square-foot Sam's Club with a gas station. In addition to the cash payment, Hartz has donated 7.5 acres of land to Edison on the site's Vineyard Road border.


NATIONAL | June 10, 2009
Feds Contribute to Camden Development Around Campbell Soup HQ

The US Economic Development Administration is contributing $2.7 million toward sewer line construction in the area that surrounds the Campbell Soup Company headquarters in Camden. The total cost for the sewer project, more than $15 million, was already covered by an agreement among city, county, state and federal governments; the US EDA funding represents the federal share. Campbell broke ground on its $90 million headquarters expansion late last year, part of a broader redevelopment project the company plans in the city where it was founded in 1869. Campbell's redevelopment centers on an office park near the headquarters to attract other companies to the area.


NATIONAL | June 10, 2009
Obama Promises 600,000 Jobs from Stimulus Spending

Frustrated that the $787 billion in stimulus funds is taking so long to make a dent in the country's recession, Pres. Obama promised to ramp up efforts this summer and create or save 600,000 jobs. Federal agencies plan to respond to Obama's push by accelerating spending on 10 major projects, including waste and water systems in rural areas, and maintenance and construction projects at airports, highways and national parks. AGC of America Chief Economist Ken Simonson explains that the delay in getting the stimulus funds working is due in part to the "Buy America" provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which require contractors to obtain manufacturer certification that most of a piece of permanently installed equipment was made in the US. Other delaying factors include the tremendous paperwork and confusing record-keeping required before the feds can dole out the money, and states and communities can hand out contracts.


NATIONAL | June 10, 2009
Federal School Funding Emphasizes "Green Buildings"

A proposed measure passed by the House on May 14 would authorize $6.4 billion in fiscal year 2010 for modernizing, renovating and repairing public schools. The projects would emphasize the use of green building techniques such as green roofs, renewable energy generation, and alternative heating systems like solar, photovoltaic, wind, geothermal and biomass. Specifically barred in the legislation is using the money for building athletic stadiums and administration offices or purchasing carbon offsets. The bill passed 275-115 in the House, but has now been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.


NATIONAL | June 9, 2009
Yes, Again E-Verify Rule Delayed

Without announcing a reason, the Department of Homeland Security has delayed implementation of the E-Verify rule, supposed to go into effect June 30, until Sept. 8. This is the fourth delay since the rule was finalized in November 2008. The rule will require federal contractors to use the online E-Verify system to verify worker Social Security numbers and immigration status.

May 2009

LOCAL | May 20, 2009
First ARC Tunnel Contract Awarded

BCANJ member Ferreira Construction of Branchburg won a $13.6 million contract to build an underpass at Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen, the first contract for NJ Transit's $8.7 billion ARC tunnel between New Jersey and New York. The Tonnelle Avenue site marks the spot where the tunnel tracks will go underground.


LOCAL | May 20, 2009
Executive Order Creates South Jersey Economic Development Group

Governor Corzine signed an executive order creating the Atlantic City Regional Implementation Group for Housing and Transportation (AC RIGHT). The group will "coordinate and facilitate" transportation infrastructure and workforce housing needed because of casino development, and will have the authority to coordinate multi-agency and regulator review of projects, among other responsibilities.


LOCAL | May 20, 2009
Rail Line in South Jersey

Last week we told you about NJ Transit's new rail line across North Jersey (see HOT TOPIC for May 14, 2009). This week we move south, as the Delaware River Port Authority announced plans for a new commuter rail line and new stations from Camden to Glassboro. Possible stops could include Woodbury and Pitman, and the Glassboro station will be on or near the Rowan University campus. The State has committed more than $500 million from two transportations funds for the project, estimated at $1.3 billion, and plans to apply for federal funding. The line will be built on existing rail right-of-way; construction will begin in 2010 or 2011.


NATIONAL | May 15, 2009
After Delay, E-Verify May Receive More Funding

The E-Verify deadline was postponed twice to give the Obama administration time to review it. Apparently, the review revealed the program needs more money: The administration asked for an additional $12 million in the 2010 budget for E-Verify, a 12% increase that would bring the total budget to $112 million. At the same time, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano promised that the department is "committed to making it better" in response to criticism that the system's massive database is full of glitches. The National Immigration Law Center reports that just over 1% (124,000) of the country's employers use E-Verify.


LOCAL | May 14, 2009
Executive Order Mandates $3.6 Billion in AC Transit Projects

Atlantic City's transit plan totals $3.6 billion in road, rail and airport improvements, from the smallest -- a bike path on the Boardwalk -- to the largest, a billion-dollar monorail system. Governor Corzine's executive order will make it all happen. Signed May 14, 2009, the order directs 15 governmental agencies to work together to ensure the projects are built. The Governor also told the South Jersey Economic Development Forum that a combination of private investment and public transportation funds, including highway tolls, would cover the cost of the projects, adding, "Most of them will be financed privately."


LOCAL | May 14, 2009
Rail Line to Cross North Jersey

New Jersey Transit will begin work this spring on a rail line and nine new stations across North Jersey. The 8.3-mile project from Hackensack to Hawthorne is estimated to cost $150 - $200 million and will take about three years.


LOCAL | May 7, 2009
ARC Tunnel on the Fast Track

A call went out from US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg on May 7, 2009, announcing that President Obama's proposed 2010 budget includes $200 million for construction of the new rail tunnel under the Hudson. Just as exciting, the budget also recommends the tunnel project for an "Early Systems Work Agreement," signaling a long-term funding commitment from the federal government.


LOCAL | May 7, 2009
New Jersey's First Stimulus Project Breaks Ground

Vice President Joe Biden was on hand in Lodi for the ceremonial groundbreaking that marked the State's first construction project funded by the $787 billion stimulus program approved in February. This first contract, worth an estimated $67 million and projected to create 500 jobs, will widen Route 46 and replace bridges over the Saddle River and Main Street in Lodi. About $48 million comes from stimulus funds.


LOCAL | May 7, 2009
NJ Turnpike Sells Build America Bonds for Stimulus Reimbursement

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority is the first transportation agency in the country to sell Build America bonds and qualify for a 35% reimbursement from the federal government, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The authority's sale of more than $1 billion in taxable Build America bonds will raise $1.375 billion toward the authority's 10-year, $7 billion capital program, along with $375 million sold in traditional tax-exempt bonds.


NATIONAL | May 4, 2009
Another Delay for E-Verify

Already delayed twice, implementation of the E-Verify rule for federal contractors has been postponed again, this time until June 30, 2009. Thus, contracts and solicitations for bids issued prior to June 30 will not contain the mandate to use the employment verification process. BCANJ will continue to monitor developments.

April 2009

REGIONAL | April 28, 2009
Ellis Island Gets Stimulus Money

The National Park Service released its list of projects slated for $750 million in stimulus funds. In one of the larger allotments, New York's Ellis Island will receive $8.8 million to stabilize the baggage and dormitory building.


REGIONAL | April 28, 2009
Port Authority Takes Over Transit Hub at World Trade Center Site

Construction of the transit hub at the World Trade Center site will now be managed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, rather than by Phoenix Constructors, a joint venture of Bovis Lend Lease, Skanska USA Building, Granite Construction and Fluor Corp. The Port Authority will bid out pieces of the $3 billion PATH station, designed by Santiago Calatrava, to individual contractors. Phoenix Constructors will complete their existing work, and the four members of the consortium can bid on future project elements.


LOCAL | April 22, 2009
Rebuilding the Roads to Revel

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has approved $20 million in funding to rebuild the roads that lead to the new Revel Entertainment Group casino. Revel had originally agreed to pay $33 million to widen the narrow streets into the casino, as well as contribute another $33 million for community projects, but now is facing funding shortages because of the credit crisis. In addition to the $20 million from CRDA to fix the roads, $17 million will come from New Jersey Department of Transportation and $4.5 million from Revel. That makes Revel's total pledge $42 million, reflecting compliance with the law that requires Atlantic City casinos to contribute 1.25% of their gross annual revenue for housing construction and economic development projects controlled by the CRDA.

In a separate vote, the CRDA also approved plans to ease congestion along Route 40 and stimulate new casino development at Bader Field.


LOCAL | April 17, 2009
NJM Orders New Operations Center

Private projects may be hard to find these days, but New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company is starting construction on its new regional operations center on a 56-acre site in Hammonton. The 146,000-sq. ft., three-story office building will hold administrative offices, a call center, multi-purpose spaces, a large cafeteria, a central utility plant and a retail bank with drive-up ATM. The building will feature energy-efficient cooling, heating and lighting systems, and is expected to be completed by fourth quarter 2010. The building's three-story atrium could eventually interface with a 100,000-sq. ft. office building, planned if NJM decides it needs expanded facilities.


NATIONAL | April 17, 2009
March Shows New Jersey Gained Most Jobs

In state-by-state data released by AGC of America, New Jersey came out ahead, gaining 500 construction jobs in March, more than any other state. Only two other states gained jobs -- Vermont and New Hampshire -- and together those two picked up only 300 jobs. In year-over-year statistics, New Jersey's construction employment is down 10.7% from March of 2008, with a total loss of 18,100 jobs during the period. That puts the state at the bottom end of the top third states, with about two-thirds of the states showing worse job retention, and about one-third doing better.


LOCAL | April 15, 2009
NJ Energy Projects Get Boost

At Governor Corzine's request, New Jersey's State Board of Public Utilities approved $956 million in accelerated energy infrastructure projects from five state utilities. Gov. Corzine encouraged approval of the spending with the hope it will create jobs and stimulate the economy. The largest piece of the pie goes to PSE&G, which will spend $694 million on electric and gas distribution system capital projects.


LOCAL | April 15, 2009
Stimulus Funds for Superfund Sites

More than $100 million in federal stimulus funds will flow into New Jersey for Superfund site cleanup. The 26-acre Cornell Dubilier Electronics site along Bound Brook in South Plainfield is one of three sites that will receive more than $25 million. The other two are the former Roebling Steel site in Florence Township and the Welsbach site in Camden and Gloucester City. As much as $5 million of the federal allocation will help finish the remaining cleanup at the Horseshoe Road Superfund site in Sayreville, which has seen more than two decades of federal EPA work to remediate pollution damage from the former Atlantic Development Corp. and a pesticide and chemical drum dump. The remaining $20 million or so will go to Superfund site cleanup in Vineland, Morganville, Galloway Township and Pleasantville.


LOCAL | April 15, 2009
Stimulus Funds Fly Into Morristown Airport

Morristown Airport will receive $5 million from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to help pay for runway upgrades and safety improvements. The money is part of $1.1 billion allotted to the Federal Aviation Administration, which will distribute it to as many as 3,400 US airports.


LOCAL | April 8, 2009
Oyster Creek Licensed for Another 20 Years

Lacey Township's Oyster Creek nuclear reactor, the country's oldest, will operate for another two decades. Its next 20-year license was approved by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and is expected to be granted this week. By extending the license, the NRC upheld the recommendation of the Atomic Safety & Licensing Board and rejected the appeal filed by a coalition of environmental groups that had opposed Oyster Creek's continued operation. Chicago-based Exelon Corporation owns the nuclear reactor, which went online 40 years ago.


LOCAL | April 8, 2009
Somerville Train Station Upgrades On Track

Groundbreaking in late March at the Somerville train station signaled the start of NJ Transit retrofits at 130 rail and light rail stations to bring them into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act within the next year to 18 months. The Somerville station will get new platforms level with train doors, along with two service elevators adapted for customer use to provide access from the pedestrian tunnel to the street and platforms. The $26 million Somerville "accessibility" project is being funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.


LOCAL | April 8, 2009
Coming Soon: Trans-Hudson Train Tunnel Construction

Plans for a new tunnel under the Hudson into Manhattan were first proposed 15 years ago. Now, with funding lined up if not all received, NJDOT Commissioner Stephen Dilts says construction will start this spring on the 10-year project. New Jersey and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey have committed $5.7 billion to the project. The state expects the federal government to provide $3 billion, and has already received some of it. In March, advertising for bids was approved on the first two construction contracts, which include an underpass in North Bergen adjacent to where the two rails leading into the tunnel will descend. Ultimately, the rail tunnel will increase the number of rush-hour trains traveling from New Jersey to Manhattan from 23 to 48, and provide direct service into Manhattan on five lines. Construction during the 10 years is expected to sustain 6,000 jobs.


LOCAL | April 3, 2009
Rutgers Approves Two New Dorms

Rutgers University has approved a $272 million project to build two dorms on the Livingston and Busch campuses, to house 2,000 undergraduate students. Construction should begin early next year, with the dorms open to residents for the fall of 2011. With 10,600 students applying for the 8,000 available rooms next years, Rutgers will be housing undergrads in hotel rooms for the second consecutive year.


NATIONAL | April 2, 2009
Construction Declines Again, But Not As Much

Construction news continues to be bad, but the US Commerce Department reports it wasn't as bad in February as expected. When the latest numbers were released, construction activity had dropped 0.9% -- less than the 1.5% decline predicted. And non-residential construction actually rose 0.3% in February, good news after the 4.3% drop in January that reflected the biggest drop in 15 years. While economists generally agree construction hasn't hit bottom yet, they acknowledge the pace of the decline is slowing.

March 2009

LOCAL | March 31, 2009
AirTran Airways Flies Into AC Airport

Beginning June 11, 2009, AirTran Airways will provide non-stop daily service between Atlanta and the Atlantic City International Airport, a result of the efforts of the South Jersey Transportation Authority to attract new air service. In addition, the airport is undergoing a number of enhancements, including a $23 million Federal Inspection Station for international flights, a $30 million Airport Rescue & Fire Fighting Station and a $10 million Airfield/Apron Expansion.


LOCAL | March 31, 2009
State Launches Economic Recovery Website

As states receive federal stimulus funds, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act requires they post key information online, including funding criteria and the process for making funds available. Therefore, the Governor's Office has launched an economic recovery website: www.recovery.nj.gov. Visitors to the site can tap into Frequently Asked Questions, explore funding opportunities, follow the latest news on stimulus funds and even report fund mismanagement.


LOCAL | March 30, 2009
AC Convention Center Features Largest Solar Array

It's the largest installed solar panel array in the US, and maybe in all of North America. Completed in December and officially dedicated in March, Atlantic City's Convention Center has a rooftop solar power system comprised of 13,486 mono crystalline solar panels, capable of pumping out 26% of the Convention Center's annual electrical consumption. At peak capacity, the system produces 2.4 megawatts, equivalent to the energy used by 280 homes.


LOCAL | March 21, 2009
Xanadu Opening Delayed

No new date has been set, according to the Star-Ledger, but Xanadu will not celebrate its Grand Opening in August, as previously planned, because Xanadu Mezz Holdings LLC, a lender and "non-bankrupt affiliate" of Lehman Brothers, has refused to fund its share of the construction loans. Xanadu officials plan to file suit against the lender. In addition, Cabelas, the hunting and fishing outfitter and a major anchor of the complex, has delayed its opening until Spring 2010, and the developer of an 18-screen cinema is in financial default.


LOCAL | March 10, 2009
Utilities to Accelerate $1.3 Billion in Capital Investments

The New Jersey Alliance for Action reports, "NJ utilities will accelerate plans to spend nearly $1.3 billion on capital projects in response to Governor Jon Corzine's desire to stimulate utility providers to invest and create jobs." The projects represent a projected four-year plan shrunk into a two-year time span. The estimated breakdown is as follows: PSE&G, $888 million; South Jersey Gas, $120 million; Jersey Central Power & Light, $98 million; New Jersey Natural Gas, $71 million; and Atlantic City Electric, $62 million.


LOCAL | March 9, 2009
WTC Work Will Add 26,000 Jobs

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey projects that more than 26,000 jobs and $3.7 billion in income will be generated over the next seven years by construction at the 16-acreWorld Trade Center site. The plans include construction of office towers, a September 11 memorial (requiring an estimated 8,210 workers) and a transit hub (requiring an estimated 8,420 workers). In addition, developer Larry Silverstein says 30,000 jobs would be created by the construction of three other office towers planned for the site by private owners. Work proceeds at the site even as the economic crisis shuts down projects in other parts of New York City.


NATIONAL | March 4, 2009
Silver Lining: Materials Are Available, Prices Are (Somewhat) Lower

Concrete and steel were expensive and hard to find 18 months ago, but now they're readily available, and steel, at least, costs less, according to a report in the Arizona Daily Star. Steel prices are down 6% to 7% -- not as far as they soared, but the good news is that steel is available, primarily because the demand from China has dropped abruptly. The availability also means steel prices aren't nearly as volatile as they were. During the building boom, a structural steel bid might be good only for 24 hours. Concrete prices haven't dropped significantly, mainly because the price of its key ingredient, cement, hasn't come down. But cement, which the US was forced to import in 2007, is now being produced again domestically in plentiful supply.

February 2009

LOCAL | February 24, 2009
NJ Schools Development Authority Posts Projects

Available on the SDA website is a list of projects slated for 2009, along with the anticipated start date (by quarter). To download the list, visit the SDA website at http://www.njsda.gov/Schools/SchoolsList/PDF/2009_Projects.pdf


NATIONAL | February 20, 2009
AGC Predicts 2 Million Jobs Saved With Stimulus

AGC of America's Chief Economist, Ken Simonson, and George Mason University's Stephen Fuller, an AGC consultant, predict that the stimulus package's $135 billion in construction and infrastructure will create or save nearly 2 million jobs during the next two years. The two economists broke the numbers down like this: 650,000 construction jobs saved or created; 300,000 jobs in related fields saved or created; and 970,000 jobs created to support the investments. Simonson also said that because of the construction package, personal earnings would increase by $75 billion, adding $230 billion to the gross national product.


NATIONAL | February 20, 2009
Another Record-Breaking Month for Unemployment Figures

The unemployment news only gets worse. For the fourth consecutive week, unemployment figures reached record levels. In the first week of February, the number of unemployed workers receiving unemployment benefits reached almost 5 million, and new jobless claims surpassed 600,000, bringing the percentage of unemployed workers to 7.6%, according to the AP Wire Service. The numbers were higher than originally projected, and the Federal Reserve reports unemployment will continue to rise for the rest of 2009, reaching 8.5% to 8.8 %.

In related news, Reed Construction Data announced that commercial construction starts in January fell 23% over January of last year. Institutional starts declined 28%, offset by an "exceptionally high" December total.


NATIONAL | February 17, 2009
President Signs Economic Stimulus Plan

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which includes approximately $140 billion in construction spending and $8.8 billion for schools. The construction funds will mostly be distributed to state governments, and the school funds will only be allocated for renovation, modernization and repair, no new construction. In addition, the bill imposes a one-year delay in implementation of the 3% withholding tax on federal projects. Davis-Bacon, the federal prevailing wage law, applies to all funds. For updates, visit AGC of America at www.agc.org/stimulus.


LOCAL | February 17, 2009
Woodbridge Plans "Green" Industrial Corridor

In January, the Woodbridge Town Council approved a plan to develop an ecologically friendly industrial corridor on 107 acres of land that runs between the New Jersey Turnpike, the NJ Transit North Jersey Coast Line and the Woodbridge River. The vision, still a few years from reality, is to attract businesses that focus on developing and manufacturing "green" products. Plans also call for a green-business "incubator" to help foster new companies, a solar array that could feed electricity to the area, and even an onsite partnership with an educational institution.


NATIONAL | February 6, 2009
President Overturns Ban on Federal PLAs

As promised during his campaign, President Obama issued an executive order on February 6, 2009, allowing project labor agreements as an option on federally funded projects of $25 million or more. In addition, the executive order could eventually expand the use of PLAs, as it calls for a recommendation in six months from the Office of Management and Budget whether broader use of PLAs would help "promote the economical, efficient and timely completion" of federal and federally funded projects. The order overturns the ban imposed by former President George W. Bush, and reinstates much of the policy in place during the Clinton administration.


NATIONAL | February 6, 2009
Construction Unemployment More than Double the National Average

The national unemployment figure has climbed to 7.6%, but in construction and other fields the number is much worse. With 1.7 million construction workers jobless, the rate is 18.2%. The leisure and hospitality industry rate is 11.5%, with nearly 1.5 million people out of work.


NATIONAL | February 5, 2009
State E-Verify Laws Challenge Businesses

While the US government lagged behind, 12 states have enacted laws since 2006 requiring businesses to check employee eligibility via the Department of Homeland Security's E-Verify system. As a result, about 107,000 of the country's 7.4 million employers use the system, up from 11,000 in 2006, according to DHS. The effect has been to highlight the flaws in the E-Verify database, including giving preliminary rejections to workers who should be approved. When Intel, one of the largest US employers, had 143 rejections (12%) of 1,360 workers hired between January and July 2008, it challenged DHS, and all the workers were found to be legal US residents. Lawsuits are pending against state regulations in Arizona, Oklahoma and Rhode Island. The US Chamber of Commerce sued DHS in December to block the proposal requiring federal contractors to use E-Verify, which resulted in an extension of the deadline to February 20, 2009. However, the House version of the federal economic stimulus package requires use of E-Verify by any company receiving stimulus funds.

January 2009

NATIONAL | January 26, 2009
Interactive Map Reveals New Jersey's Slice of the Economic Stimulus Package

The Center for American Progress has created an interactive map of the US, revealing how much each state is projected to receive from the federal economic stimulus package, scheduled for a Senate vote this week. Click here and click on New Jersey, which is slated to receive $15.8 billion. You'll find a brief description of how the monies will be used, and you can click on other states to see how our state compares.


NATIONAL | January 22, 2009
AGC Advocate Tells Congress of Economic Stimulus Impact on Construction

George Mason University economist Stephen Fuller, speaking on behalf of AGC of America, told Congress on Thursday, January 22, 2009, that, if implemented now, the proposed federal economic stimulus package would provide more than 600,000 new construction jobs by the end of 2010. Fuller also told the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure that another 300,000 would be created in industries that supply construction, and 930,000 jobs across other industries.


NATIONAL | January 15, 2009
E-Verify Rule Applicability Extended

As we announced in our National Labor News insert in the December 2008 Update, the federal government issued a final rule on the use of the E-Verify system to determine worker employment eligibility. The rule was to go into effect January 15, 2009, but that date has now been extended to February 20, 2009, because of a lawsuit filed by the US Chamber of Commerce, which seeks to have the rule declared invalid. A US District Court will hold expedited hearings on the challenge.


NATIONAL | January 15, 2009
Construction Spending in the Proposed Economic Stimulus Bill

According to reports from ENR and AGC of America, construction spending in the proposed federal economic stimulus bill could exceed $160 billion, with an approximate breakdown as follows:

Transportation -- More than $48 billion, including $30 billion for highway and bridge construction, $9 billion in mass transit systems (rail and bus), and the rest for Army Corps of Engineers and US Forest Service projects.

Housing/HUD -- More than $13 billion for public housing, block grants and other community development projects.

Schools -- $20 billion for K-12 and higher education facilities

Other Buildings -- More than $10 billion on federal buildings, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service and other federal projects.

Defense/Veterans -- More than $11 billion for facilities improvements, including barracks, medical centers, troop housing, childcare centers, base realignments and closings.

Energy -- $36 billion for grid investment, renewable energy loan guarantees, energy grants and loans, home weatherization assistance and carbon-reducing measures.

Health and Human Services -- Nearly $4 billion on community and public health projects.

Water and Environment -- More than $14 billion for EPA projects and others.

For more information, visit www.enr.com and www.agc.org


LOCAL | January 13, 2009
Governor Calls for Moratorium on COAH Fees

As we announced in B-#09-09, Governor Corzine has called for a one-year moratorium on the COAH 2.5% developer's fee, as well as an exemption for projects that were in the pipeline before the fee was instituted. Please click here to read the bulletin. We will continue to update you on this issue.


LOCAL | January 13, 2009
NJ State College Projects Ready for Stimulus Package Worth $500 Million

The New Jersey Alliance for Action reports that New Jersey's nine state colleges and universities have "immediately ready" $500 million in facilities improvement projects that could benefit from national and state economic stimulus packages. According to the NJ Association of State Colleges and Universities, these projects could "create or help support about 10,000 new jobs in the region."


NATIONAL | January 2, 2009
School Construction Part of Obama's Stimulus Plan

A study of New York City schoolchildren found they score lower in math and reading if they're stuck in crowded classrooms. President-elect Obama proposes to start fixing that by providing money for school repairs, renovation and construction in his economic stimulus package. No one knows an exact figure yet, but Obama has said that schools and roads would benefit from an immediate infusion of $25 billion. According to the American Federation of Teachers, schools need more than 10 times that amount in maintenance, new construction, renovation and retrofitting for computer technology. The National Education Association says the estimate is much higher, more like $360 billion. At the moment, even if the federal government contributes funds, financially strapped state and local governments can't begin to match them.


NATIONAL | January 2, 2009
MIT Announces Top Materials of 2008

Not all the news is bad. MIT's Technology Review reports 2008 saw the strongest material ever tested -- graphene, carbon sheets that are a mere one atom thick. It's an exciting development for the wireless world, as graphene can be used for things like ultrahigh-frequency transistors. In other technology news, nanoparticles shaped like bacteria can efficiently deliver drugs to the right place in the body at the subcellular level (although scientists are also studying the side effects, as carbon nanotubes could prove carcinogenic in lung tissue). Carbon nanotubes were also used to create a stretchy electronic circuit that could evolve into computers that wrap around furniture (picture thin, transparent, flexible speakers encircling your head as you relax in your favorite lounge chair). Scientists in 2008 invented a new ceramic that's tougher than nacre, the material that lines abalone shells; it could ultimately be used for buildings and vehicles. Check out all the cool stuff at www.technologyreview.com.

   
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