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Construction & Design

Every crane in the city right now is being used to build apartments

A crane count has found high rise condo development is driving the national construction boom.

In New York City, all 70 cranes currently operating are being used for high-rise residential development and mixed-use developments such as 215 Chrystie, The Renwick and 50 West Street, according to a new report from construction consultants Rider Levett Bucknall.

Rider Levett Bucknall counted cranes across America

“Our findings indicate that residential developments are driving high-rise construction activity with a significant lead over other project types,” said Julian Anderson, president of Rider Levett Bucknall North America.

The firm’s North American RLB Crane Index measures construction activity in major cities across North America and predicts the health of the U. S. construction industry.

According to the new issue of the Index, the residential market – specifically high-rise condominium and apartment developments – will continue to lead growth in the overall industry throughout 2015. Commercial and mixed-use developments are also contributing to crane activity.

“While commercial and mixed-use projects are also showing increases, collectively, we are seeing over 50 percent more cranes working on residential projects than those working on projects in all of the other sectors combined,” said Anderson.

The North American RLB Crane Index identifies Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Denver, Honolulu, New York, San Francisco, and Toronto as having 50 percent to 83 percent of cranes on major residential developments, followed by commercial and mixed-use projects.

Toronto leads the count with 83 percent of cranes dedicated to high-rise condominium projects.


In New York, 70 cranes are being used to build nearly 5,377 new condominiums this year — twice as many as last year, according to the report.

Los Angeles’ increase of 11 cranes over the past six months is dominated by mixed-use (21 cranes) and condominium/apartment projects (18 cranes)

Washington, D.C., shows 31 cranes in its skyline, an increase of five over the past few months, with 58 percent of them on residential and mixed-use developments

Mixed-use and commercial developments are also contributing to crane counts in Phoenix, Portland, and Seattle where, with Amazon on the first phase of a 4.1 million square-foot high-rise campus, developers are rushing to build office, retail and housing for Amazon, Expedia, and other companies that are expanding in the state.

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