Something that should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, even to those oft-referenced people who live in caves and aren’t privy to news or the latest trends, Architectural Record is reporting that architects’ billings are way way down so far this year. Stands to reason, really, that people probably aren’t looking to build anything new, what with the economy down in the dumps, the housing market barely breathing, and business weak-kneed and seeing the dollar becoming nothing more than filthy paper. Turns out, people are losing interesting in even talking to architects about maybe planning something, as business inquiries are down too. But still, like with any gloomy story, there’s always that “c’mon, cheer up” ending:
Despite the recent spate of bad news, some observers remain optimistic about the severity of the commercial construction slowdown. “The last really major downturn was in the late 1980s and early 1990s, after a period of overbuilding,” says Robert Fox, a founding partner of Cook+Fox Architects, based in New York City, whose Bank of America Tower in midtown Manhattan is slated to open this May. “Back then there was a huge vacancy rate in office space. Now, there’s low vacancy, even as financial institutions are about to give back space” after the latest Wall Street shakeout.