Anyone who comes to downtown Detroit these days comes away astonished at the rapid pace of redevelopment.

But shortages of skilled trades workers to build all the projects is beginning to pinch the pace of work. The shortage has been growing for some time for a lot of reasons. But it’s gotten bad enough so that it’s become an open topic of conversation among developers, planners and civic leaders.

Richard Barr, a development attorney with Honigman, Miller, Schwartz & Cohn, said projects now take longer than they would have even five years ago.

“Projects are continuing but there’s others that are taking their dear time and making sure that they really have their numbers figured out and that they have subcontractors committed to prices. So people are being more cautious than they were a few years ago,” Barr said. 

“By no means do I think things are stopping,” he added. “There’s still plenty of optimism and plenty of euphoria, but I see people needing to take more time to make sure that it really makes sense.”


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