You’ll Spot More Construction Cranes Here

More than 378,000 new apartments are expected to be built nationwide this year, a 30-year high, according to data from the firm Axiometrics. That means a lot more construction cranes filling skylines.

Chicagoans will see the most. Chicago has more cranes for residential projects than 11 other major U.S. cities recently analyzed, according to the Crane Index, a biannual survey of crane activity conducted by Rider Levett Bucknall North America.

Chicago boasted 56 construction cranes as of November. Thirty-one of those cranes are devoted to the construction of residential buildings, according to the index. Chicago has been increasing its luxury rental units. The city plans to get more than 6,500 new apartment units in 2017 across 33 buildings, says Aaron Galvin, the owner of Luxury Living Chicago Realty.

Seattle came in second on the index with the highest number of cranes nationwide at 23, followed by Denver with 10.

Seattle also has been concentrating mostly on increasing the number of its luxury rentals. Dean Jones with Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty notes that there are just 44 condos currently for sale in a city with about 650,000 residents.

“There’s been a big increase, predominantly in the residential market,” says Paul Brussow, an executive vice president at Rider Levett Bucknall North America.

Thirty-three percent of all cranes in the cities included in the analysis were for residential projects.

Source: “The U.S. Apartment Boom, Measure in Construction Cranes,” The Wall Street Journal (March 22, 2017) [Log-in required.]