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Nov 08

New Hotels Driving Nonresidential Construction

Posted on November 8, 2013 at 11:32 AM by Anne Leavitt-Gruberger

By Scott France, Principal Planner, Montgomery County Planning Commission   

Five hotels built in Montgomery County during 2012 accounted for almost a third of all nonresidential construction last year.  Not surprisingly, the new hotels were found in some of the county’s growing employment centers, including King of Prussia, Montgomeryville, and the Route 422 Corridor. While one of the hotels was actually a redevelopment of an older hotel, this construction activity is a positive indication that Montgomery County remains an economic engine for the region, despite the Great Recession and a slow recovery period.  Business customers account for the majority of bookings at the typical hotel in Montgomery County, with vacancy rates increasing on weekends.  However, the draw of regional shopping and events at locations such as the mall and convention center in King of Prussia provide some balance in hotel bookings on weekends. 


Overall, nonresidential construction almost doubled in 2012 compared to the prior year with over 1.7 million square feet of new construction.  Commercial building, which includes hotels along with retail and personal services, comprised almost half of the square footage built.  The Einstein Medical Center in East Norriton Township was the largest development in 2012 and accounted for significant growth in the institutional sector.  Office construction remains slow in the county, with only 200,000 square feet added in 2012.  The office sector is slow in many parts of the country due not only to the economy but also to changes in how companies use office space.  The ability to telecommute and make employees more mobile can reduce the amount of square feet needed per employee.  Some companies are also embracing a more collaborative workspace environment with open floor plans that reduce the amount of square feet per employee.


Visit the Montco Planning Data Portal at: http://webapp.montcopa.org/planning/dataportal/Introduction.asp for more information and a full report on Nonresidential Construction in 2012.

Top Ten Largest Nonresidential Projects in 2012

Rank

Project Name

Municipality

Land Use

Total Square Feet

1

Einstein Medical Center Montgomery

East Norriton

Institutional

351,999

2

Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel

Upper Merion

Commercial

214,508

3

Joseph C. Scott Medical Center (Rydal Park)

Abington

Institutional Elderly

141,453

4

Wegmans King of Prussia

Upper Merion

Commercial

123,862

5

Hillcrest I (Arborcrest Corporate Campus)

Whitpain

Office

113,760

6

Staybridge Suites Philadelphia-Montgomeryville

Montgomery

Commercial

88,519

7

Hilton Garden Inn Valley Forge / Oaks

Upper Providence

Commercial

86,632

8

SpringHill Suites Valley Forge / King of Prussia

Upper Merion

Commercial

79,366

9

Einstein Montgomery Medical Arts Building

East Norriton

Office

73,692

10

Hampton Inn Limerick-Philadelphia Area

Limerick

Commercial

61,155


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