The number of nonresidential development projects in Southeast Michigan increased in 2016, up 11 percent from the previous year, according to data released by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.
The annually tracked data shows what SEMCOG considers a solid showing with 8.2 million square feet of floorspace completed and 11.4 million square feet under construction during the year.
The construction sector has been cautious since 2008 and 2009 when construction started to drop and hit bottom in 2012, officials said.
“Nonresidential construction in Southeast Michigan has been recovering slowly since the Great Recession,” SEMCOG Executive Director Kathleen Lomako said in a statement this week. “It is one of many factors analyzed to determine economic prosperity.”
There were 509 projects accounting for the 19.6 million square feet of space and valued at more than $3.2 billion, according to the report.
While the number of projects showed a steady increase during the last five years, the total square footage for new projects decreased by 8 percent from 2015.
The biggest areas of development were industrial, research and hi-tech projects in Macomb, Oakland and Washtenaw counties and warehouse and distribution projects in Wayne County.
Livingston and St. Clair counties saw the largest number of development in medical buildings, while Monroe County saw its largest growth in retail buildings.
The largest projects by county noted in the report included:
■The 650,000-square-foot Little Caesars Arena under construction in Detroit was largest project in Wayne County.
■The 575,000-square foot Tri-County Commerce Center warehouse building in Hazel Park was the largest project in Oakland County.
■The largest project in Livingston County was the 320,000-square-foot University of Michigan Brighton Health Center that broke ground in fall 2016.
■The 300,000-square-foot Biological Sciences Building under construction at the University of Michigan was the largest project in Washtenaw County.
■A 252,000-square-foot freezer warehouse for Lipari Foods in Warren was the largest project in Macomb County.