Work has stopped on 515 formerly active construction sites throughout New York City�s five boroughs, according to a New York Building Congress analysis. Inspection records for the New York City Dept.. of Buildings inspection record showed that as of November 29 the number dropped slightly from the beginning of the month, when 531 stalled projects were reported. This reverses a trend in which the number of stalled building projects was accelerating.
The DOB first began tracking stalled sites back in July. While no breakdown of building type is available, almost all of the stalled projects are residential developments. In July, the DOB identified 398 projects on hold and a 17% increase in the number of stalled projects since September, in which 444 projects were reported as being stalled.
Among the five boroughs, Brooklyn was hit the hardest—237 projects, or 46% of the total number of stalled buildings in New York City. The Northern Brooklyn neighborhoods Williamsburg, East Williamsburg, Greenpoint and North Side-South Side, a hotbed of intense residential development in recent years, account for 30% of the stalled Brooklyn projects.
The borough with the second highest level of stalled construction projects is Queens, making up 27% of the citywide total with 140 stalled projects, down from a peak of 147 at the beginning of November, and up only slightly from July’s 136.
As of late November, a total of 80 stalled projects were reported in Manhattan making up 16% of the citywide total and up from 57 in July. One neighborhood, the Turtle Bay-East Midtown area of Manhattan, contains 11 stalled buildings.
In Staten Island, the number of stalled projects more than doubled over the past three months, from 15% in July to 34 at the end of November.
And in the Bronx, the number of stalled projects has remained relatively steady according to the DOB’s weekly inspection data, rising slightly from 22 in July to 24 as of late November.
“Though the late November numbers offer some encouragement, it is important for government and the development community to continue working together to minimize the immediate environmental and quality-of-life impacts of these stalled projects on the hardest hit communities,” said Building Congress President Richard T. Anderson.
As an incentive for owners of stalled sites to submit comprehensive site safety plans to DOB, the mayor and the city council recently enacted legislation in which owners will be able to renew their building permits for up to four additional years, thus allowing construction to restart at these sites without having to go through the lengthy permitting process a second time.
“The city should consider further incentives to encourage developers to re-start stalled projects. These could include new tax credits, zoning modifications and related steps to help get development back on track,” added Anderson. “A great deal is at stake when jobs and tax revenues, more than ever, need to be jump-started.”