NYC construction remains slow, but signs of improvement poke through
Construction in the city has bounced back from its early-in-the-year doldrums, but projects still have not returned to pre-pandemic levels.
NYC construction remains slow
Developers filed plans for 486 new buildings during the third quarter, a 37% increase quarter over quarter and a 10% increase year over year, according to a report from the Real Estate Board of New York.
That was only slightly lower than the quarterly average of 502 new projects since the first quarter of 2008.
The number of plans for multifamily projects in particular saw a significant year-over-year increase, with developers filing plans for 6,187 housing units, a 20% jump compared with last year’s third quarter.
The third-quarter projects span only about 8.1 million square feet overall, however—much lower than the historical average of about 11.2 million square feet per quarter. Only two of the new filings were for projects encompassing more than 300,000 square feet, according to REBNY.
The largest project for the quarter was a 14-story residential building with ground-floor retail spanning about 396,000 square feet at 11 Ocean Parkway in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, from JEMB Realty. The second-largest project, and the only other one to top 300,000 square feet, was a 23-story mixed-use development at 250 E. 83rd St. in Yorkville from the Torkian Group, totaling about 307,000 square feet.
“Time and again, it’s been the city’s building and construction industry that has stimulated the economic activity needed to recover from times of crisis,” said Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “While a full economic recovery will require time and substantial investment, it’s clear that, as a city, we’re headed in the right direction.”
REBNY President James Whelan and multiple other construction leaders stressed that the federal infrastructure package President Joe Biden recently signed into law should provide a boon to New York’s construction industry. Money in the law will go toward helping New York projects including the Second Avenue subway extension to East Harlem and Upper Manhattan and the Gateway tunnel to New Jersey.
“As we can see from this report, the new federal infrastructure legislation will provide a critical boost to New York’s recovery,” Whelan said. “Investment in infrastructure is key to our long-term economic success.”
Projects were off to their slowest start in more than a decade during the first quarter of this year, with 407 developments spanning about 5.4 million square feet overall. The number of new developments was even lower during the second quarter, at 356, although their total size was higher, at roughly 8.9 million square feet, thanks in part to companies filing plans for four projects encompassing more than 300,000 square feet. The number of residential units also was higher during the second quarter: 7,850.
Queens was the most popular borough for new projects during the third quarter, with 160, followed by Brooklyn, at 151, the report says. Brooklyn came in first in terms of square feet, with projects in the borough comprising about 60% of the total, followed by Queens at about 21%. Brooklyn got the most new residential units as well, 3,721, followed by Queens at 1,492.
The article was published on crainsnewyork.com