Total construction starts in the New York City region grew 14% last year to reach $29.1 billion but are expected to pull back in 2011, partly due to the sluggish economy but also because 2010 received a boost from several large projects, says Robert Murray, vice president of economic affairs at McGraw-Hill Construction. Full-year NYC starts are forecast to recede 11% to $25.9 billion. Total U.S. construction starts are forecast to reach $422.5 billion for full-year 2011, a slight dip from 2010’s $423.7 billion, he adds.

Gains in the multifamily housing, manufacturing buildings, and electric utilities sectors are expected to be offset by declines in the commercial building, institutional building, and public works sectors, Murray says.

Work began in February on the $140 million XChange at Secaucus Apartment Building D in Secaucus, N.J., which will contribute to the 21% gain in multifamily housing. Also, the store, warehouse, and hotel sectors are gaining momentum, Murray says. Large projects include the 133-sq-ft store portion of the World Trade Center Tower 3, valued at $39.3 million, as well as renovations at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, valued at $100 million.