North Dakota’s Williston Basin is still a hotspot for construction and real estate development, and the Bakken Construction Summit hopes to draw commercial and residential lenders interested in taking advantage of the boom.
"The summit is a great venue to gather market data; learn more about the operating areas; and connect with builders, developers, product and service providers, investors and community leaders," said Jeff Zarling, president of Dawa Solutions Group, a marketing firm.
Representatives from the construction and real estate development industries, service providers and other stakeholders will connect in September at the Bakken Construction Summit in Bismarck, ND, to explore construction and development markets throughout the Williston Basin.
Although oil is the driving force of economic activity in the Williston Basin, it's the construction and real estate development industries – and in turn, the lenders – that are needed to build out the housing, industrial, commercial and other infrastructure imperative to sustaining energy and economic development in the Bakken.
The oil economy can be fickle, and growth plans dependent on availability of credit and the price of oil can be risky, but activity in the shale region hasn’t slowed yet, and many estimates say it will last for at least 100 years.
"It has taken a long time to prove to developers and investors that this energy development is different than the two previous oil development cycles in North Dakota," Zarling said. "We have come a long way since the first hotel and apartment projects cracked the nut in 2008.”
In 2012, three cities in western North Dakota logged over $1 billion in building permit valuations. Williston, Dickinson, and Minot recorded roughly $440 million, $408 million, and $247 million, respectively. Factor in Watford City, Stanley and Tioga valuations, and western North Dakota's construction activity well surpassed $1 billion in construction values.