November 29, 2017
Market News

The Commerce Department's final revision of third quarter economic growth pushed GDP gains to 3.3% over the second quarter. The third quarter growth was in order or slightly higher than economists has expected and the forecast for the fourth quarter has been bumped to 3.0%. Wednesday's report highlighted strong corporate earnings growth. Total undistributed corporate profits rose 13.9%, suggesting that corporations are confident that tax legislation lowering the corporate rate will pass Congress for 2018. Such strong corporate earnings as a share of GDP raise a note of caution as the business cycle has been in an extended period of growth. GDP growth forecasts of 2.8% for 2018 will depend upon the reinvestment of profits in growth strategies in the coming quarters.

In local economic news, Pittsburgh's unemployment rate plunged 1.4 points year-over-year to 4.7 percent. The number of unemployed fell by 18,200 but the decline was due to a decline in workforce of 27,400 workers due to accelerating rates of retirement.

Bulk earthwork has begun at the Hickory Run Energy Plant near New Castle.

Project News  

Work is underway at the new $893 million Hickory Run Energy Center outside New Castle, a combined-cycle power plant being developed by a consortium led by Tyr Energy, with Kiewitt Power Constructors as the EPC. Kiewitt is also the EPC on the CPV 1050MW combined-cycle plant located outside Johnstown, a $700 million gas-fired plant that should be under construction for the next 2 years. Work should wrap up in 2018 on 2 other plants, the $780 million Tenaska Energy project in Westmoreland County and the $900 million Lordstown plant in OH. The Lordstown project is phase one of two. Not far from Lordstown, near Wellsville, a $1.1 billion combined-cycle plant is going through the final planning stages. That plant is known as the South Field Energy Station. To meet the ethane demands of the petrochemical industry, midstream developers are underway with 2 more gas processing plants near Burgettstown. Energy Transfer Partners is about a year into the $1.5 billion Revolution plant and MarkWest should soon start construction on the Harmon Creek plant. 
Massaro Corp. has been awarded the $3.7 million First Tee project. Massaro was also the successful contractor on First Presbyterian Church in Washington, PA. PJ Dick has wrapped up bidding and will start work on the UPMC Events Center at Robert Morris University.

To keep up to date with the market check out  BuildingPittsburgh .  
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If you're planning an event for the construction or commercial real estate industries, check out the Industry Events Calendar at the Tall Timber Group website. (

Double-check what else is going on in the industry on the dates you have in mind. Or check out what events you might want to attend. Interested in posting events? Email us for instructions.  
People News

Diane Bookwalter, P.E.  from the Pittsburgh office of Allen & Shariff Engineering, has been promoted to assistant vice president.  She is also the Pittsburgh office Electrical Department head.  Bookwalter earned a bachelor of science and master's degree in architectural engineering from Penn State University.

Bob Bridges, founder of R. J. Bridges Corp., passed away on November 24 at his home. Bob founded his manufacturers' rep firm in 1984, after 15 years as a civil engineer with Mellon Stuart Construction, and remained active in the company until recent years after the transition of the business to his son Brad. Read more about Bob's years of service to the industry and community.
Coming Events

MBA YC Holiday Party, December 6
The MBA Young Constructors is holding its annual holiday party, benefitting Toys for Tots and the Mario Lemieux Foundation on December 6 from 5:30 to 8:30 PM at Buckhead Saloon on the North Shore.  Click to learn more or to register..

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Tall Timber Group is the publisher of BreakingGround and DEVELOPINGPittsburgh magazines and the Pittsburgh Homebuilding Report, and is a consultant for contractors and designers serving the construction and real estate market. For more information about our services, contact Jeff Burd or call:

Tall Timber Group
506B McKnight Park Dr.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15237


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