The Real Deal:
Within the past month the DOB removed from its website links to hundreds of spreadsheets that formed a weekly accounting of properties that were identified as stalled sites. The spreadsheets debuted in July 2009 after the DOB formed the Stalled Sites Unit to track the growing number of distressed construction parcels as development ground to a halt during the recession.
That same year, the city launched the Stalled Sites Program, to help developers extend their permits and then restart their projects. The webpage for stalled construction sites was the repository for those spreadsheets, and became a resource for both communities to track derailed projects and for investors to looks for troubled developments.
That webpage remains in place, but the long list of the spreadsheets going back to July 21, 2009, has been removed and the agency has stopped providing public updates to it. The last list available, through August 17 shows more than 530 addresses on it.
That figure of more than 530 stalled sites is misleading, a review last month by The Real Deal found. Many of those buildings have changed hands or new plans have been filed or the projects have been recapitalized. They can remain on the list, however, until construction actually starts again and a DOB inspector visits the site to ascertain that it is active.
Brokers once scoured the weekly lists looking for potential deals, but as the economy improved, fewer and fewer of the properties remained distressed. So the list today is less valuable.
A spokesman for the agency said the city continues to maintain a stalled sites list internally, but officials did not see the need to continue to update the list publicly after the Stalled Sites program ended in mid-2013 during the economic recovery, which made stalled sites rarer.