From the Daily News:
Construction this year in New York City is expected to hit pre-bust levels, according to the New York Building Congress, which represents top contractors and construction firms.
The group projects $31.5 billion in construction spending this year, a 14% rise from last year.
It’s the first time the industry has spent more than $30 billion since the crash and the most spending since 2006.
What could better? A lot actually.
When the numbers are adjusted for inflation, the 2013 total will remain 15% below the 2007 peak in terms of work delivered.
The residential surge is even more problematic because it is based in large part on the construction of those spectacularly tall, thin and expensive apartment towers for the billionaires Mayor Michael Bloomberg loves so much. Just this week, Extell Development and Vornado settled a long-running dispute so they could each build one of those apartments buildings on 57th Street. Extell boss Gary Barnett, sounding like hizzoner, extolled the plan to The New York Times, saying, "This clears the way for the development of two great buildings that will enhance the skyline and contribute greatly to the economy of New York City."
However, the Building Congress report notes that last year New York City produced only 11,000 new housing units from $5.3 billion in residential construction because of the shift in the market to the Extell- and Vornado-type projects. In 2008, the city gained 33,000 units from almost the same amount of money, $5.8 billion.
From the Daily News:
Queens — once known for its Archie Bunker rowhouses and its strong ethnic enclaves — is the next New Thing for developers, a new survey revealed.
When asked where residential growth will be strongest outside Manhattan, roughly 30% of top developers surveyed said Queens. Another 20% specified Long Island City.
The company that conducted the survey wasn’t surprised.
“There is a demand for Queens,” said Martin Brady, a vice president at The Marketing Directors. “The land is cheaper and more available.”
Queens is already popular with urbanites priced out of Manhattan and uber-trendy Brooklyn — and now developers searching for large parcels of available land on the cheap are taking note.
The borough’s close proximity to midtown Manhattan, which can be about a 10 minute train ride in some places, is also a big selling point.
“I call Queens the new Brooklyn,” said real estate appraiser Jonathan Miller. “What you’re seeing is this never-ending search for greater affordability.”
Miller believes northwest Queens, a.k.a. the neighborhoods closest to Manhattan, will benefit the most from the boom.
He envisions more upscale — but not luxury — rental buildings going up in Astoria, Sunnyside, Woodside and Jackson Heights.