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Vikings stadium leads 2014 construction boom in Minneapolis


The massive new Minnesota Vikings stadium going up in downtown Minneapolis has led to record-breaking construction activity in Minneapolis this year.

MPR News reports the city saw a record $2 billion in new construction in 2014, which is about 60 percent higher than 2013.

The two largest pieces of that total are the $1.1 billion Vikings stadium and the $400 million Downtown East development, led by the Ryan Cos., which is being built nearby. It will include office and retail space as well as apartments.

Both projects are receiving public money to help pay for construction costs, and they are both scheduled to be completed in 2016.

Construction of the stadium is nearly one-third complete, according to Vikings officials. More than 60 percent of all the concrete on the site has been poured, including the two lower levels of the stadium. Glass installation will begin in early 2015.

Next year will bring another active construction season in Minneapolis, with nearly a dozen major building projects on tap, according to MPR News.

Minneapolis is also seeing more residential construction, especially luxury apartment towers, as more people are moving into the city.

The building boom is great news for Minnesota's economy, because it's creating jobs and giving more work to local contractors. At the stadium, for example, The Vikings say nearly 700 construction workers are on the site every day, and that will increase to more than 1,100 per day next year.

According to the most recent numbers from the state Department of Employment and Economic Development, Minnesota added more than 2,000 construction jobs over the past 12 months. There are 112,214 people working in construction statewide, according to DEED.

That's well below the peak number of around 146,000 in August 2005, but much better than the lowest number of about 69,000 in February 2010, according to Finance and Commerce.

Along with the good news comes some downside – higher costs for everything from labor to construction materials.

As an example, builders warned of a cement shortage earlier this fall that they expect to continue through the winter.

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