For now, the construction industry appears to be among the least affected by the coronavirus in the area.
Large scale projects such as Havasu Riviera, The Foothills, and the Keller Williams Office Building are all still right on schedule. Chip Campbell, President of Campbell Concrete and Pioneer Earthmovers said none of his projects in Lake Havasu City have been placed on hold so far, and only one subdivision in Kingman has delayed work at this time.
If anything, Campbell said the pace of construction increased in the early days of the pandemic as work crews rushed to get as much done as possible while the immediate future of the industry, like so many others, was murky.
“It seems like people were working harder because they were afraid that government might shut off construction – so it’s actually picked up a little bit,” Campbell said.
Since then, Ducey’s executive order has specifically identified construction as an essential infrastructure function which has allowed work to continue through the shutdown.
Even as an essential business, Campbell said his companies have implemented social distancing guidelines in accordance with the times. He said that has been a bigger issue in the offices than on the construction site, however, as most of his workers are naturally self-isolated in their respective vehicles.
While ongoing projects have continued to push forward in Lake Havasu City, new projects continue to pop up on the horizon.
The City released its monthly building permit report and it appears as though requests for new construction haven’t been largely affected by coronavirus.
The month of March saw a total of 21 permits issued for single family residences in town which is slightly below the 25 permits issued in March 2019. Permits were also issued for a two-family residence and a multi-family residence last month, while no such permits were issued in March 2019. The number of permits issued for additions and alterations, retaining walls, and pools and spas were all marginally higher than in 2019 as well.
New permits have remained fairly steady all year long with generally slightly more permits issued in 2020 than in the same month in 2019. So far this fiscal year a total of 241 permits for single family residences have been issued, which is 10 more than for the first nine months of FY 2018-2019.
Although the number of new permits looks promising for the future of construction in the city, Campbell said the current situation is not sustainable for the construction industry long term.
“My opinion is that if they can get the economy going again by the end of the month there won’t be much disruption,” he said. “But I am afraid if it goes much longer than that there is going to be a ripple effect on us.”