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Greenshoots? Gradual decline in projects shelved

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The amount of construction projects being put on hold is markedly down on this time last year, according to industry monitor Glenigan

The number of shelved projects in January 2010 was 384, a third of what it was a year ago when 939 schemes, worth £5.5 billion, were stalled.

Graham Hickson-Smith, head of business development at 3DReid says the situation is ‘definitely looking positive’. He’s seen ‘increased interest from development clients looking at the resale and resi-let markets’, and says people are ‘coming back and looking at old schemes. Now’s the time to dust them off and see where we are.’

‘We’re not seeing any projects being put on hold any more,’ Andrew Barraclough, director at HOK

Andrew Barraclough, director at HOK agrees. He said: ‘We’re not seeing any projects being put on hold any more. We’ve been through all that [and are] seeing a more active market.’

‘We are quietly confident, but cautious,’ he said, adding: ‘The market is very difficult to predict.’

Chris Johnson, managing principal for the UK and Europe at Gensler said: ‘We’ve also witnessed a number of projects that have been on hold for some time coming off the drawing boards and moving forward.

‘They are small and tentative steps, but they are sure signs of a positive move within the market. It may not be overtly obvious in the UK, but on a global scale we’re seeing a ground swell of [request for proposals] particularly from the Middle East.’

Gareth Davies, marketing director at Stride Treglown said: ‘Certain areas are improving, and certain areas are stalling. One that is definitely improving is private housing.’

Meanwhile, hopes for several architect-designed schemes in Manchester were revived today (4 March) after the North West Development Agency announced a £4.4 million boost to stalled development by improving the public realm at New Islington.

The news means a new bridge by Gollifer Langston will almost certainly now go ahead, while other projects to benefit include the Tutti Frutti mixed-architects scheme and a mixed-use warehouse conversion by Ben Kelly Design.

Nevertheless Teva Hesse of CF Moller is sceptical. He said: ‘I don’t think the whole situation has turned around yet by any means.’

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