first half for San Francisco, up 83 percent; Miami FL, up 64 percent; Atlanta GA, up 30 percent; Chicago IL and Boston MA, each up 5 percent.  Reduced activity compared to the first half of 2016 was reported for Dallas-Ft. Worth TX, down 10 percent; Washington DC, down 11 percent; Seattle WA, down 14 percent; New York NY, down 21 percent; and Los Angeles CA, down 32 percent. 

Although the New York NY metropolitan area witnessed a 22 percent decline for commercial and multifamily construction starts in the first half of 2017, it was relative to a strong first half of 2016, which itself was down from the robust activity reported in 2015’s first half.  To add some perspective to the first half 2017 activity, the $10.5 billion in construction starts was slightly higher than the $10.2 billion that was reported during the first half of 2014, prior to the exceptional amounts in 2015 and 2016.  Multifamily housing, while sliding 23 percent in this year’s first half, still included the start of 12 projects valued at $100 million or more, led by the $450 million Wall Street Tower mixed-use building in lower Manhattan and the $423 million City Point apartment building in Brooklyn NY.  Within the 21 percent decline for commercial building was a more moderate 8 percent drop for office building, which featured the first half 2017 start of such projects as a $355 million office/retail mixed-use building in Brooklyn NY and the $300 million LG corporate headquarters building in Englewood Cliffs NJ.

The 48 percent jump for the San Francisco CA metropolitan area during the first half of 2017 was led by an 83 percent surge for its commercial building sector.  The $1.3 billion Oceanwide Center Tower in San Francisco included $913 million for commercial projects (office, hotel, garage), plus there were several other noteworthy projects that reached groundbreaking.  These included the $361 million office portion of the $1.0 billion Golden State Warriors Arena (Chase Center) complex in San Francisco, the $310 million Facebook office building in Menlo Park, and the $232 million City Center office building in Oakland.  Multifamily housing, up 17 percent, included four projects valued at $100 million or more, led by the $387 million multifamily portion of the Oceanwide Center Tower and the $177 million Transbay Block 1 in San Francisco.

The Los Angeles CA metropolitan area, with a first half 2017 decline of 15 percent for its commercial and multifamily total, reflected a 32 percent slide by its commercial segment while multifamily housing maintained the heightened level reported during the first half of 2016 (which was up 59 percent from the first half of 2015).  Last year saw the start of the $500 million renovation of the Beverly Center in Los Angeles and the $178 million Broadcom Research and Development Campus in Irvine, while so far this year there was just one commercial project above the $100 million mark, that being the $106 million hotel portion of the $500 million One Beverly Hills mixed-use complex in Beverly Hills.  Multifamily housing during the first half of 2017 featured 7 projects valued at $100 million or more, led by the $364 million Jefferson Stadium Park apartments in Anaheim and the $349 million multifamily portion of the One Beverly Hills complex.

The Chicago IL metropolitan area slipped 1 percent in the first half of 2017, with commercial building up 5 percent while multifamily housing retreated 6 percent compared to last year.  On the commercial side, the lift came from the $500 million renovation/addition to the Willis Tower in Chicago and a $211 million data center in Wood Dale IL.  Although multifamily housing was down from a year ago, which included the $500 million One Bennett Park Tower in Chicago, the first half of 2017 featured the start of several large projects, all located in Chicago – the $650 million One Grant Park (phase 1), the $280 million One South Halstead apartment tower, and the $240 million Essex Inn & Essex on the Park apartment tower.

Easing back 1 percent, the Washington DC metropolitan area showed growth for multifamily housing, up 13 percent; while the commercial building sector dropped 11 percent in the first half of 2017.  There were two mixed-use developments that reached groundbreaking so far during 2017, whose multifamily portions were valued at $188 million and $126 million respectively.  The commercial building sector included a $395 million data center in Sterling VA plus two office renovation projects in Washington DC – the $114 million Anthem Row office complex and the $100 million Cannon House office building (phase 1).

The Miami FL metropolitan area, dropping 5 percent during the first half of 2017, showed a sharply different performance by its multifamily and commercial sectors, with multifamily housing down 43 percent while commercial building jumped 64 percent.  Multifamily housing in this market reached a peak in 2016 at $5.3 billion (up 21 percent) for the full year, boosted by such projects as the $315 million Armani/Casa Condominiums in Sunny Isles Beach.  The first half of 2017 has also seen the groundbreaking for several large multifamily projects, such as the $190 million Koi Residences and Community Center in Pompano Beach and the $175 million Midtown 8 apartments in Miami, but overall the volume of multifamily construction starts is trending downward.  The commercial sector during the first half of 2017 was boosted by $744 million for the commercial portion (hotel, retail, garage) of the $900 million expansion to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood FL.

Rising 19 percent during the first half of 2017, the Atlanta GA metropolitan showed widespread growth compared to last year, with its commercial segment up 30 percent while multifamily housing increased 7 percent.  The commercial segment included groundbreaking for three large projects – the $240 million Coda Building, the $190 million Kroger store and office building, and a $120 million logistics center for United Parcel Service.  Multifamily housing included 3 projects valued at $100 million or more – the $145 million 1000 Park Avenue apartment tower, the $142 million Hanover Midtown apartments, and the $140