NEW YORK—New construction projects in New York City grew by 5 percent from 2011 to 2012 to reach $16.1 billion, according to a report released by the New York Building Congress.
The report analyzed McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge data and tallied the total estimated value of all new construction projects, including renovations and alterations.
The overall growth in new construction was driven by a 54 percent surge in new residential construction in 2012, which totaled $5.1 billion—more than double the amount in 2010. New residential construction starts grew for the second consecutive year, yet they are still 14 percent below 2008 levels.
“It looks very promising because the Buildings Department continues to report increasing building permit data. So our estimate is that it will continue to grow and could reach as much as 15,000 units this year,” said Richard Anderson, president of the New York Building Congress.
New construction starts are up overall, despite declines in the public works and non-residential sectors by 12 and 7 percent, respectively. New construction projects have been declining for 3 years in the non-residential sector and for 4 years in the public works sector.
“I don’t think the infrastructure is going to turn around because it’s on a slow decline, and the big public agencies are seeking to maintain what they have,” said Anderson. “I don’t think we will see an increase.”
Biggest Projects in 2012
New construction projects in public works and nonresidential took the top spots for the biggest in 2012. The renovation of Macy’s Herald Square retail flagship ranked number one at $400 million, followed by a $325-million project to build entrances to the 96th Street subway station along Second Avenue and a $250-million renovation of the Winter Garden in Lower Manhattan.
Four residential high-rises dotted the top 15 list, including the $211-million Avalon West Chelsea, which broke ground in February 2012, and the $200-million Baccarat luxury hotel and condominium.
Office towers were absent from the list of biggest projects, but Anderson noted that 2013 is off to a promising start. Related Real Estate began work on its 1.7 million-square-foot tower in the Hudson Yards project, while Brookfield broke ground on a platform above the rail yard platform nearby that will one day support up to 4 million square feet of office space.
“The nonresidential could turn around,” said Anderson. “There are quite a few major office projects on the drawing board, and they are waiting for enough demand for the owners to go forward.”
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