The value of new construction starts in April increased 10 percent from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $698.7 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The April statistics raised the Dodge Index to 148, compared to 134 the month before. For the full year in 2014, the Dodge Index averaged 124.

In April, the nonresidential building sector came in strong, lifted by two massive projects–an $8.1 billion petrochemical plant in Louisiana and a $1.2 billion office/retail high-rise in New York City. Nonresidential building in April jumped 58 percent to $288.9 billion (annual rate). The commercial building sector grew 11 percent, rebounding from a 10-percent decline in March.

Through the first four months of 2015, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were $208.2 billion, up 24 percent from the same period a year ago.

“For nonresidential building, the upturn is broadening in scope, with its institutional segment continuing the upward movement established in 2014,” says Robert A. Murray, chief economist for Dodge. “For residential building, single-family housing has shown some improvement yet remains hesitant, while multifamily housing is generally proceeding at a healthy clip.”

The office building category surged 50 percent, reflecting $1 billion for the office portion of a $1.2 billion high-rise at the Hudson Yards development in New York City. Store construction in April improved 2 percent, with support coming from $230 million for the retail portion of the Hudson Yards high-rise. Warehouse construction in April climbed 17 percent after a weak March, but hotel construction dropped 23 percent.

The institutional building sector in April grew 7 percent, bouncing back after an 8-percent slide in March, and educational facilities increased 9 percent. Through the first four months of 2015, the top five states in terms of new educational facility starts were Texas, New York, California, Georgia and Connecticut. Healthcare facilities advanced 18 percent after a weak March, helped by groundbreaking for a $225 million hospital in Gainesville, Fla., and a $100 million addition to a medical center in Omaha, Neb. The amusement and recreational category registered a 15-percent gain in April, boosted by the start of a $450 million sports arena for the Detroit Red Wings in Detroit. Losing momentum in April were public buildings, down 21 percent, and religious buildings, down 57 percent.

Multifamily housing in April eased back 2 percent, retreating slightly for the second straight month after a 40-percent surge in February.

In the 12 months ending April 2015 versus the 12 months ending April 2014, total construction starts improved 13 percent with nonresidential building up 19 percent and residential building 11 percent.