Shortage of Skilled Trades Workers Slowing Detroit-Area Projects –  Deadline Detroit


The building boom, particularly in downtown and Midtown, is very evident these days.

But there’s a problem, writes John Gallagher of the Detroit Free Press:

Shortages of skilled trades workers to build all the projects is beginning to pinch the pace of work. The shortage has been growing for some time for a lot of reasons. But it’s gotten bad enough so that it’s become an open topic of conversation among developers, planners and civic leaders.

Richard Barr, a development attorney with Honigman, Miller, Schwartz & Cohn, said projects now take longer than they would have even five years ago.

“Projects are continuing but there’s others that are taking their dear time and making sure that they really have their numbers figured out and that they have subcontractors committed to prices. So people are being more cautious than they were a few years ago,” Barr said.

“By no means do I think things are stopping,” he added. “There’s still plenty of optimism and plenty of euphoria, but I see people needing to take more time to make sure that it really makes sense.”

The shortage is not just impacting Detroit projects.

Detroit. Dennis Cowan, a development lawyer with Plunkett Cooney who works mainly on suburban deals, said about 10 suburban projects he’s worked on recently have all taken longer to finish.

“Everybody’s being held up due to lack of skilled trades,” he tells the Freep.


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