Casinos and churches keep architects busy during recession

on Monday,February 23,2009 22:02


The construction industry has been among the hardest-hit during the current downturn, but architects may be insulated from the worst of it by availability of projects from sectors which are more recession-proof than others.

Walsh Bishop, an architectural firm based in Minneapolis, is hopeful that growth in the casino industry will see them through the tough times.

The firm is currently in charge of the Sands Bethworks project in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the Stockbridge Munsee Band''s Mohican North Star Casino in Bowler, Wisconsin, and the St. Croix Chippewa’s Hole in the Wall Casino in Danbury, Wisconsin, according to financeandcommerce.com.

Although some of the projects are currently seeking refinancing, "We fully expect that within the next six months, all the projects that are on hold will come back," says Keith O’Brien, vice president of Walsh Bishop''s Entertainment and Hospitality Group, as quoted by the website.

Meanwhile, steady numbers of church projects are keeping architects busy in places like Columbus, Ohio.

Even though they face many of the same challenges as everybody else, congregations that are growing need to expand their real estate, and others want to make their buildings energy efficient, according to Business First of Columbus, a local business journal.

Some churches find that the recession may be a good time for new design projects as contractors who need work offer competitive prices, says the report.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for architects will grow by 18 percent until 2016.
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