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New York Daily News
Michael Gartland

The amount of new construction proposed in New York City plummeted in 2020, diving 28% when compared with the previous year, a new analysis shows.

The report, expected to be released Monday by the Real Estate Board of New York, estimates that new construction projects in the city are at the lowest they’ve been since 2012, when measured by square footage.

“The reality is that our city is not currently getting enough construction projects underway — and it is not creating enough housing, including affordable housing, to address immediate and long-term needs,” said board President James Whelan.
According to the Real Estate Board, the number of proposed housing units dipped significantly in 2020, dropping 17% compared with 2019.

The report is based on new building applications submitted to the city Buildings Department.

It also found that the most applications for new construction filed with the agency were for projects in Queens, with a total of 169 applications. Brooklyn saw the second-highest total with 146, and Manhattan had the fewest, 21.

The sagging numbers come as the city and state continue to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic and as attempts to vaccinate millions of residents remain stalled due to shortages.

But they also come as President Biden and Gov. Cuomo are mapping out infrastructure plans that could give the construction industry a boost.

During his recent State of the State address, Cuomo laid out a $306 billion plan as well as proposals to convert underused office space for residential use. And with Democrats in control of Congress and Sen. Chuck Schumer now leading the Senate, leaders in the construction industry are hopeful business will begin to pick up.

But industry leaders are also hoping for an infrastructure plan that’s extremely ambitious.

“Gov. Cuomo, Sen. Schumer and President Biden have all expressed the need to invest in infrastructure, and now is the time for a comprehensive, national building plan on the scale of or greater than the New Deal,” said Carlo Scissura, president of the New York Building Congress. “Investing in building will put New York and the United States on the path to economic recovery.” 

Published on

Jan 24, 2021 by New York Building Congress