Construction chamber cites increase in approved projects

Prospects are looking better for the construction industry when compared to the bleak times two and three years ago.

The construction chamber said Thursday that approved projects were up 13.5 percent in the first half of the year, and more than half were homes. Employment in the industry was up about 13 percent, too, said the Cámara Costarricense de la Construcción.

Still, the chamber expressed some concerns, including that $640 million approved by international development banks for roads have not been put to work.

The chamber also said that reorganization was necessary for the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados, the water company, and also the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad, the road agency.

The chamber also said that it was concerned with problems the middle class has in getting access to housing.

The chamber said that the province of San José had 31.2 percent of the square meters of construction that was approved. Other provinces had fewer square meters, and Cartago, Limón and Guanacaste were each in the 7 to 8 percent range.

In all, 357,824 square meters were approved for construction in the first half of the year. That does not mean all the projects were started. However in San José at least there are four major multi-storied condo projects being built and one large office complex west of Mall San Pedro. However, most of these received approved before the first of the year, so they are not counted in the current statistics.

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