As 2016 came to a close, 29 cranes were employed throughout Los Angeles, assisting with major construction projects. That’s down from 40 earlier in the year, but enough to give LA the third-most crane dotted skyline nationwide.
First place went to Seattle, as the Seattle Times reports. The Emerald City had a whopping 62 cranes up and running at year’s end, up from 58 halfway through 2016. Chicago, previously fifth on the list, blew by LA, adding 30 cranes in just six months to finish with 56 total.
The numbers come from Rider Levett Bucknall, a consulting firm that, among other things, counts cranes. The numbers help to show the strength of a city’s construction industry, especially over time (Seattle has maintained a high number of cranes throughout the past two years).
It’s not surprising that Los Angeles has also placed highly in the firm’s most recent reports. The LA Times recently reported that the number of large projects in Downtown Los Angeles is now at its highest level since the 1980s. Meanwhile, a quickening pace of development in Hollywood and Koreatown are likely to add to the city’s crane totals in the next few years.
Of course, that could change quickly if voters sign off on the controversial Measure S ballot initiative, which would put a two-year moratorium on most crane-dependent projects citywide.
Meanwhile, though the number of major projects may be up—particularly in the Downtown area—the pace of development across LA still lags behind where it’s been in years past. As numerous reports have noted, that’s created a shortage of housing that is contributing to rising rents and an increasing lack of affordable options for homebuyers.
- Seattle is again crane capital of America, but lead is shrinking [Seattle Times]
- Downtown LA construction boom is largest in nearly a century [Curbed LA]
- Seattle Among America's Fastest-Booming Cities, But You Already Knew That [Curbed Seattle]
- Mapping the West Loop's unprecedented development boom [Curbed Chicago]