$300 M Wash U. Neuro Project Cited in Dodge ‘Momentum Index’ Uptick

By on April 11, 2019

The upcoming $300 million Washington University neuroscience research building in the Cortex District — currently in planning stages — was the largest institutional project cited nationally behind a .05%  positive bump in the Dodge Momentum Index in March.

The Momentum Index increased 0.5% in March to 145.5 (2000=100) from the revised February reading of 144.8. The Momentum Index, issued by Dodge Data & Analytics, is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.

The March uptick was due to a 2.8% increase in the commercial component of the Momentum Index, while the institutional component fell 3.0%.

The overall Momentum Index has essentially moved sideways and stayed within a very narrow band of activity since the fall of last year. This is highly indicative of where building markets currently are at this late stage of the construction cycle. While economic growth is expected to ease from 2018’s strong pace, relatively healthy real estate markets fundamentals and continued support for public projects such as a schools and transportation terminals should enable planning activity to remain close to recent levels for the near term.

In March, six projects each with a value of $100 million or more entered planning. The leading commercial project was the $100 million Piazza at Tysons office complex in Tysons, VA.

The institutional projects were lead by the $300 million neuroscience Washington University research building and garage. The project would be located at Duncan and Newstead avenues in the Cortex district, just west of its Crescent building redevelopment with BioSTL.

The other large institutional project is the $153 million Novant Health Medical building in Charlotte, NC.

The project, assuming it moves forward, will be the largest in the history of Washington University, surpassing the current $240 million transformation of the east end of the Danforth Campus on Skinker Blvd. McCarthy is attached to the project, but neither McCarthy nor Washington University would provide details beyond confirming the project, according to an article in the St. Louis Business Journal. 

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