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Some Signs of Hope in the Construction Market

While economists see a flat year for nonresidential construction in 2012, some notable projects are in the works that will pump up electrical sales. During the past month, news hit the street of several massive construction projects in the downtown redevelopment, public works and utility and markets. Here's a quick look at what's cooking.

The $15 billion Hudson Yards project on Manhattan's West Side. Toronto's Globe and Mail recently reported that Oxford Properties, a Canadian developer, is moving ahead with its plans for a $15 billion redevelopment project on Manhattan's West Side at the Hudson Yards railroad yard. Oxford said the development, which would cover an entire city block and eventually include three office towers, nine residential buildings, dozens of stores, a school, cultural center and 12 acres of open park space, could start as early as next year.

$1.5 billion FPL power plant to break ground in January. A report in the Palm Beach Post said construction of FPL's $1.3 billion natural gas-powered plant is expected to begin in January and take up to 2.5 years to complete. The article also said the construction project will employ 650 workers and that hiring has already begun.

$520 million Gotham West project on Manhattan's West Side. Contractors have been working on this “smaller” West Side project since July. Gotham West will include 1,238 residential units; 15,000 square feet of street-level retail in four mid-rise buildings; and a 200-space below-grade parking garage.

Quanta's $300 million transmission line. Quanta Services Inc., Houston, recently inked a deal to rebuild or replace more than 900 miles of transmission infrastructure, including structures, conductor and shield wire for American Electric Power's Ohio Transmission Co. and AEP's Oklahoma Transmission Co. Quanta's PAR Electrical Contractors operating unit also nailed a big long-distance transmission project last month — a 153-mile, 500kV project for Southern California Edison in California.

Cleveland may rock with 90-acre downtown waterfront project. Cleveland's Plain Dealer reported on a plan for more than 2 million square feet of construction, including a hotel, restaurants, shops and offices that could be gradually built with private money on the shores of Lake Erie. One city official familiar with plans for the project said in the article that over the next 25 years investment could top $2 billion. Along with this commercial development, the plans would also include 75 acres of maritime development along the docks through the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.

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