“It never got worse, it didn't totally tank like some markets—such as residential,” he says. “Healthcare stayed relatively robust, and we saw what we expected to see.”
Healthcare has dipped to 25% of Turner's business since climbing as high as 28%, but for 2011 and beyond, Kuntz sees plenty of work ahead.
“Healthcare will be a leader for us for the foreseeable future,” he says, explaining that a combination of government spending and organizations with deep pockets taking advantage of depressed construction labor and material costs will keep healthcare construction viable through a somewhat fragile economic recovery.
“When the market is down, the smart institutions build,” he says. “You're seeing more people get back in the game.”
Turner had a hand in government-funded mega-projects such as the $806.9 million Fort Belvoir (Va.) Community Hospital. In 2011 and beyond, he says most of Turner's healthcare projects will fall in the $250 million to $300 million range, with many stemming from healthcare system consolidation and the replacement of obsolete facilities.
As examples, he cites the new Owensboro (Ky.) Medical Health System hospital, which started construction in 2010 and will be completed in 2013 with construction costs totaling about $268 million. On the higher end—the $463 million Virtua Voorhees (N.J.) hospital, which began construction in January 2009, is said to be 80% complete and is scheduled to open in May or June of 2011.
Not all the mega-projects for 2011 are being developed by the federal government. Work began in October on the $1.52 billion UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, San Francisco, and Parkland Health & Hospital System's new $1.27 billion facility in Dallas.
The Parkland project is being managed as a joint venture between four companies, while the UCSF facility, set for completion in 2014, is being built by the San Francisco office of DPR Construction.
A smaller project, but still significant in price, broke ground across the bay from UCSF at Sutter Health's Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, Calif., where DPR's Redwood City, Calif., team is building a $350 million ($244 million in construction costs) patient-care pavilion. In the same price range, a $250 million expansion is planned for Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville. It is being built by Balfour Beatty Construction, Dallas.
Kuntz says he expects similar projects to be announced as organizations prepare for the 23 million to 32 million people healthcare reform is expected add to the ranks of the nation's insured population by 2014 and 2015.
“You've got to be ready for that,” he says.