The number of dormant construction sites has increased by 50 percent in the past 1-1/2 years despite improvements in the real estate market, according to city buildings department data.
In August 2009, the year the Department of Buildings began tracking stalled construction sites, there were 403 stagnating sites. Last month, the total had climbed to 680.
Because the buildings department created a special unit that monitors stalled construction sites, it's possible part of the spike could be due to increased inspections. Another possibility could be more developers are taking advantage of a four-year extension on building permits for those who report their sites as dormant and comply with safety requirements that went into effect October 2009.
Michael Slattery, of the Real Estate Board of New York, said developers may be coming to the realization that work at their sites won't be starting anytime soon. Slattery said a lack of financing is still a problem, and no developer wants to go through the permit process more than once.