Construction market slides. The U.S. economy has fallen into recession in the second half of this year, according to a gathering of economists at the CMD Construction Forecast in Washington, D.C., Oct. 16. However, the recession is expected to be relatively mild, followed by a recovery in 2003. A 6.3 percent decline in activity for the U.S. construction industry is predicted for 2002, says Bill Toal, chief economist for the Skokie, Ill.-based Portland Cement Association.
BD&C is moving.Building Design & Construction is relocating from Des Plaines, Ill., to Oak Brook, Ill. The new address will be 2000 Clearwater Drive, Oak Brook, IL 60523; phone: (630) 320-7000, fax: (630) 288-8155.
Insurance market hardens. The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 will only worsen rapidly rising premiums for property and casualty insurance, say insurance industry officials. Construction firms are advised to meet with their underwriter long before policy expiration to discuss their account and upcoming renewal. Since January, rates for builders risk insurance were up more than 20 percent. Rates for umbrella coverage were increasing in a range between 50 and 200 percent.
School district may buy Ambassador. Known for glamour and grief, Los Angeles' Ambassador Hotel, a haven for stars during Hollywood's golden era and the place where Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated, may soon be turned into a high school campus. The Los Angeles Unified School District announced in October that it planned to purchase the 23-acre site for $76.5 million to relieve crowded conditions in the district's central city. Civic groups and business interests have other plans for the hotel, however. Historical preservationist are lobbying to restore the hotel to its former glory, while business interests are pushing for a retail center to be included on the site.