Exclusive Q&A: Skanska USA's Dennis Georgatos
One thing that goes with a real estate boom is a squeeze on construction companies to keep up with the pace of growth. We asked Skanska USA VP Dennis Georgatos, in the Nashville office, about the state of the construction market.
Bisnow: What's the greatest challenge in the market? Construction costs (like in many places) or something else?
Dennis: Construction costs are definitely a challenge right now, but so is the availability of qualified subcontractors and manpower. Because of all of the ongoing construction, subcontractors are having a hard time maintaining their manpower, which in turn is causing some of the rising construction costs. We've also seen lead-time issues with some material, but with proper front-end planning, that can be resolved.
Bisnow: Do you foresee continued construction growth in metro Nashville, or is it peaking?
Dennis: We continue to see new projects coming out and have been fortunate to start multiple large projects in the Nashville market over the past six months. While I wouldn't say we continue to see growth, things remain very busy and we haven't seen a slowdown. We expect the market to continue to stay strong into 2017.
Bisnow: Do you consider Nashville-Davidson business-friendly? Why?
Dennis: Yes. Nashville has been business-friendly, and that's one of the main reasons for the growth over the past couple of years. I think the city and state have been very willing to work closely with businesses to help them either stay in the Nashville market or relocate to Nashville. I've spoken to a number of out-of-state developers who are surprised at how business-friendly the city and state are, compared to where they had worked previously.