By Morris Moinian
Principal and Founder
Fortuna Realty Group
As we welcome in 2015, there is a raw emotional edge to New York that few developers have seen since the catastrophe of 9/11 when no one knew whether this proud, resilient but grieving city had the means to come back.
And yet the real estate community continues to display its full faith and confidence in this diverse metropolis by sustaining its investment in a wide spectrum of projects that range from office construction to residential housing.
Perhaps nowhere is that investment as evident as in our city’s tourism industry and the hotel construction required to support it.
Consider the statistics. In 2014, there were over 55 million visitors to the city, an increase of 15 percent over the past five years.
There have been approximately 30,000 rooms added to the New York City landscape in order to meet this demand over the last seven years. That is a $60 billion contribution to the city’s economy which relies largely upon the investments of the real estate industry.
In addition, New York City hotels averaged close to 90 percent occupancy of its more than 110,000 hotel rooms through most of 2014. In addition, there were 30 million hotel room nights sold which represents an increase of one million over last year.
Presently, Manhattan is experiencing an extraordinary hotel boom with commitments of multimillion dollar make-overs for existing hotels and new construction which is being experienced throughout Manhattan, the outer boroughs and Long Island.
Most telling, this consistent trend is in the face of rising construction costs and increased land prices.
Regardless of those challenges, our real estate development group, Fortuna Realty, has increased its hotel investments and room availability.
Our strategic business decision reflects that, this past September, New York saw an increase of almost six percent of room supply over last year which, at the time, marked the largest growth of any city in the country.
December 2014, saw much hurt in our beloved city. It cast a pall over who we are, our celebration of diversity, the respect we have for the individual, for the rule of law and those who protect our society.
This developer, who has the opportunity to invest anywhere here in the United States or around the globe, chooses to continue to place his faith, confidence and dollars in the future of New York.
Judging from the number of cranes and construction crews now hard at work at building sites throughout our city, I am not alone in my abiding confidence in the future of New York. ■