Several visible construction projects in Colorado Springs could lead to a good year for building new businesses, experts said Tuesday.
Drivers along Interstate 25 near Bijou Street see the former Department of Human Services building being renovated into a Holiday Inn Express. Downtown along Cimarron Street, two banks are under construction.
Joe Loidolt, president of the Housing and Building Association, said the projects may be a sign of better times ahead for the local construction industry.
"Commercial as a general rule follows residential," he said, adding that the city had a slight increase in residential construction last year. "When residential picks up the following year, as a general rule, commercial is behind it. That's not always the case with schools, educational or military. They kind of go on their own schedule."
Loidolt said construction typically starts well each year but gets stalled by cold weather that makes digging foundations more difficult. It's too early to determine whether construction will be as good as it was on 2013.
"But we expect that to pick back up again," he said. "More construction means more jobs and spending. It helps the local economy."
However, El Paso County Spokesman Dave Rose said commercial construction continues to lag that in Denver.