SALT LAKE CITY -- Reflecting a national trend, Utah is seeing a rebound in the development and construction of commercial real estate, according to a national group.
Utah ranked sixth in the U.S. in 2011 for direct spending across all categories of commercial real estate, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association reported.
That's up from Utah's 2010 ranking of No. 26. Only West Virginia saw a bigger jump, from No. 48 to No. 3.
According to the study, $3.6 billion was spent in Utah last year on the development and construction of office, industrial and retail buildings, which supported 77,550 jobs.
"It's not just one thing, it's a bunch of things," said Craig Thomas, senior vice president for the national association, which represents commercial real estate developers, owners and investors. "We have been able to come out of this economic downturn faster."
He attributed the surge in part to the migration of businesses from California to Utah, citing multimillion dollar facilities built here by companies such as eBay, EMCCorp and Adobe.
"(They) can't afford to do business there," Thomas said, adding Utah also offers a young, educated workforce.
Utah is not facing the same problems as other states, he added.
"A lot of cities ... built way too many office buildings," he told KSL. "The developers (in Utah) are a lot like the state. We pay our bills as we go."
The $1.5 billion City Creek development, a mixed-use project in downtown Salt Lake City, also played a major role in the state's commercial growth last year.
Thomas predicted the commercial real estate market would continue to be strong in the state.
"The next 10 years in Utah will be its best ever," he said.
Texas led the survey with $7.9 billion in spending, followed by New York, West Virginia, California and Arizona.