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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Office Hours

City’s commercial projects surge in 2012 due to hospitals and WSU med school

Spokane city commercial construction got on a major role in 2012, according to records kept by the city and outside data companies.

The volume of commercial construction last year nearly doubled the volume of the generally weak performance of 2011.

Today's business section story laid out the major points. Here's the top 10 graphs. Go to the story link for the full take.

Spokane’s commercial construction spending rebounded in 2012 because of several large government and hospital projects that brought year-end totals to levels not seen since 2006.

Area construction companies took out permits for $362 million in commercial projects in Spokane County last year. That’s up sharply from the $288 million in commercial jobs in the county in 2011 and $246 million in 2010.

“Things are better for sure in commercial construction,” said Bob Askins, vice president of Shea Graham Construction, based in Spokane Valley. “But the 2011 numbers as a baseline were pretty low. Even so, things are getting better.”

Graham Construction had two of the bigger commercial projects of 2012: the large Biomedical and Health Sciences Building on the WSU Spokane campus and a series of renovations at Deaconess Hospital.

Those two projects, and expansion of Sacred Heart’s emergency room building, helped account for the surge in commercial projects last year inside Spokane’s city limits.

The city in 2012 accounted for $248 million, or 68 percent of all commercial projects within Spokane County. The numbers are based on building permit estimated costs.

The city’s 2012 commercial total is roughly double the $125 million for projects during 201

Private projects generally account for 70 percent to 77 percent of all construction in Spokane County, if private colleges and hospitals are included in the category.

Last year private commercial projects accounted for close to 78 percent, according to Construction Monitor, a national data aggregator.

Tom Sowa
Tom Sowa covers technology, retail and economic development and writes the Office Hours blog.