Photo: 70pine.com

New York City construction starts hit $18.8 billion in 2013, an 11 percent gain from 2012.

The increase in starts was largely due to the surging residential sector and the initiation of three major bridge projects, according to a New York Building Congress analysis.

The report analyzed McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge construction data between 2009 and 2013, including brand-new construction and alternations or renovations to existing structures.

Housing starts reached $6.3 billion in 2013, a 17 percent increase from $5.3 billion in 2012. The dollar value of 2013 residential starts was up 138 percent from 2009 and was just two percent below the $6.4 billion in starts at the peak of the housing boom in 2007.

Construction starts for public works, which includes roads, bridges, water systems and other infrastructure, shot up in value by 82 percent last year to $4.3 billion, up from $2.3 billion in 2012. The leap can be attributed to three major bridge projects: the first phase of the Goethals Bridge replacement ($750 million), the raising of the roadway leading to the Bayonne Bridge in Staten Island ($372 million) and the replacement of the upper level deck of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge ($236 million).

The non-residential sector, which encompasses offices, hotels, schools, hospitals, transit stations and other institutional buildings, was not as hot. Starts in this sector were $8.3 billion in 2013, a 10 percent decline from $9.3 billion in 2012. This is the third consecutive year of declines.

Aside from the three major bridge projects, the top 10 starts by value were dominated by Manhattan residential developments. The Goethals Bridge replacement was No. 1, while the second priciest project of the year was the $450 million conversion of the landmarked 70 Pine Street tower from offices to luxury rental apartments and a hotel. Third was the $390 million Greenwich Lane condominiums. The Bayonne Bridge was fourth, and Durst Organization’s pyramid rental building at 625 West 57th Street was fifth.

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