Photo: Mack Male/Flickr
While some real estate professionals have been thrilled about NYC’s robust new construction market, many worry that City infrastructure is not keeping up.
In a recent study of statistics from Dodge Data & Analytics, the New York Building Congress (NYBC) discovered that the total value of 2015 New York City construction starts, which includes new construction and renovations, was almost $41 billion. That’s 53 percent higher than 2014.
Despite the massive increase, infrastructure spending was down in the same period. Public works starts (projects like bridges, roads and sewer systems) were down 11 percent to $3.4 billion.
In a statement to The Real Deal, NYBC president Richard Anderson urged caution moving forward. “Perhaps never before in New York City has so much new housing been in the pipeline at one time,” he said, questioning the sustainability of the “boom,” especially in the absence of the 421a subsidy and a possible softening market.
Mayor de Blasio has made numerous infrastructure pledges, but spending levels are simply not keeping up with new construction and growing urbanization. Although the official City Financial Plan has provisions that put housing and infrastructure center stage, those movements do not match the real estate boom.
That’s not to say there have not been significant infrastructure investments. Last September, the de Blasio administration secured $100 million in infrastructure for Lower Manhattan to prevent flooding and massive transit projects like the Brooklyn-Queens streetcar system hope to serve shifting populations and growing neighborhoods.