The rush to build in recently rezoned residential neighborhoods caused such complaints to skyrocket just over 18 percent in 2007 to 21,971. That's both the largest number of complaints and greatest year-over-year increase for all five boroughs, according to the New York City Department of Buildings.
Shoddy construction watch
The statistic measures complaints related to active construction sites—the Department of Buildings and other city agencies don't track complaints about finished apartment buildings—but construction-related filings can be the best indicator of structural problems that new buildings will face several years down the line, government officials said.
Brooklyn is not the only borough experiencing an increase in construction problems. In 2007, Queens logged a nearly 24 percent year-over-year increase in construction-related complaints, according to the Department of Buildings.
"The economic return that some of these developers can get for properties in Queens is driving hasty construction," said Queens Council member Tony Avella. "Property values in Queens have stayed more stable than other boroughs."
The most prevalent complaints he has witnessed include the violation of height restrictions, after-hours construction, and poor construction techniques, such as excavations that undermine neighboring properties.
"Down the line, we will find that a lot of this rushed new construction has been done improperly," Avella said.