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COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

Commercial Building Surges in State

October 06, 1998|MELINDA FULMER

California's commercial construction surged in the first eight months of the year, posting larger increases than did even the state's hearty residential construction industry, a local data firm reported.

Statewide, commercial construction increased 21.6% through August over the same eight-month period last year, according to the Construction Industry Research Board in Burbank. Residential construction swelled 17.6%.

Southern California commercial builders, who pulled $1.314 billion in permits through August, led the way, with a 37.4% increase over last year. In fact, Southern California alone accounted for 76% of the statewide increase over eight months in commercial construction.

"Southern California and the Bay Area region have switched hats, with the south now showing gains," said Ben Bartolotto, director of the research board.

Southern California's pace of office building activity far outstripped that of the Silicon Valley-San Francisco region. Office construction in that northern area dipped almost 40%, but office construction in Southern California rose 88%, or $235.6 million in permits over the like period of last year.

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