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2021 Mid-year LCK Construction Trends Report

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South Carolina Construction Starts and Costs are Rising

Key Takeaways

  • Mid-year statewide construction starts in key sectors totaled $1.85B, a $426M increase compared to mid-year 2020. Pre-development indicators, particularly architectural billings, appear favorable for future growth. 
  • An increase in construction starts paired with steep material price increases resulted in rising construction costs. Prolonged material lead times are delaying the start of some projects. Suppliers, particularly those of steel joists and metal deck, are holding pricing for negligible periods of time. These pressures may diminish an otherwise optimistic market outlook.  
  • LCK Construction Tip: Plan well, get creative and start early. Alternative construction methods, accelerated design and strategic procurements are necessary to control costs and maintain conventional project delivery timelines.         


Construction Starts: Statewide construction starts have increased in four of six sectors as compared to mid-year 2020. Commercial and manufacturing starts for the first six months of 2021 total over $1B dollars with commercial starts increasing in all key markets. A drop in education starts is not concerning as the sector is cyclical and South Carolina’s population continues to increase which will impact those starts over time.      

Construction Workforce: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of June 2021 construction employment in South Carolina totaled 107,000 persons, 4,900 more than June 2020 and roughly 300 more than pre-pandemic first quarter 2020 averages. South Carolina’s unemployment rate continues to decrease with June at 4.5%, lower than the national average of 7.5%.      


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2021 Mid-year LCK Construction Trends Report

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Related Experts

Mickey Layden

Exec. Vice President | South Carolina & President | LCK


I am President/CEO of LCK, the project management partner of Colliers | South Carolina. Founded in 1994, LCK is a certified woman-owned business that serves clients throughout the state through a regional network of offices in Greenville, Spartanburg, Columbia, and Charleston.

I also serve as Executive Vice President and Principal of Colliers | South Carolina, with executive leadership responsibility for the firm’s Real Estate Management Services division. The REMS staff of nearly 55 property management and maintenance professionals manages over 16 million square feet of space statewide. 

I have been fortunate to assemble a great team of project management professionals within LCK and together we leverage collective backgrounds in engineering, facilities management, construction and financial modeling to offer a comprehensive service.

My primary focus within both Colliers and LCK is business development, consulting, advisory services and strategic planning.

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Dale Stigamier

Senior Vice President


My background is in institutional real estate development and construction, and I have a diverse range of experience in commercial development, asset management, property management and market/feasibility analysis. 

At LCK, my role is to collaborate with clients and our project management team and provide a unique perspective for your project.

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Adam Lynch

Director | Preconstruction Services


As a Director of Preconstruction Services, my efforts at LCK are focused on the front-end phases of project management.  My expertise in due diligence, site analysis, budgeting and cost management is leveraged to accelerate the planning, design and procurement stages of our projects.  

I have the ability to prepare comprehensive development budgets and line-item estimates with a high degree of accuracy at all design phases of a project, which means that our clients can plan their projects with confidence from the beginning and rely on us to monitor the project and program budgets throughout all design iterations.

I have provided cost management services both as an owner’s project manager and independent cost consultant, giving me a unique perspective that serves as a value add to LCK clients.  I take pride in focusing on accuracy and detail-orientation while leading teams through the design and procurement process.  Nothing pleases me more than working closely with clients and seeing their vision become reality.

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