The number of stalled construction sites throughout New York City fell by eight percent from October 2010 to October 2011 but remains 40 percent above the number recorded two years ago, according to a New York Building Congress analysis of Department of Buildings (DOB) inspection records.
An average of 638 construction sites were identified as stalled in October of this year, compared to 693 in October 2010 and 454 in October 2009.
In a sign of progress, the average number of stalled sites in the five boroughs has either fallen or remained steady in each of the past 11 months. This is in direct contrast to the prior period (January through November of 2010), which saw 11 consecutive months of increases in stalled sites. Overall, Brooklyn remains the leader in stalled sites with a total of 299 (47 percent of the Citywide total).
Queens is second with 131, followed closely by Manhattan (126 stalled sites). Staten Island is home to 52 stalled sites.
With the exception of the Bronx, which is holding steady at 30, each of the boroughs experienced a modest decrease in its number of stalled construction sites over the past year.
The most progress has been made in Queens, where the number of stalled sites has dropped over the past 12 months by 14% (from 153 to 131). The number of stalled Brooklyn sites declined by six percent (319 to 299). Staten Island dropped by 13% (from 60 to 52). The stock in Manhattan barely budged, from 130 to 126 (a 3% decline).
According to further Building Congress analysis of DOB permits and Department of Finance records, residential projects continue to dominate the stalled project list. Of the projects where work was started and subsequently halted, 62 percent are residential (down from 67 percent a year ago), with the majority falling in the multi-family category.
The Building Congress also found that 37% of the stalled sites Citywide remain vacant, meaning that developers have obtained land and construction permits but have yet to commence work.
Taken together, the New York City Department of Finance estimates that the 638 stalled sites, including vacant land, have an aggregate market value of $1.3 billion.
“It is encouraging to see that we have stemmed the flow of stalled sites and that at least a portion of these projects are moving once again,” said New York Building Congress president Richard T. Anderson.
“The Bloomberg administration and the City Council deserve credit as their recent efforts in this area have had a positive effect.
“Still, a great deal of potential value, in terms of job creation, economic development and increased tax revenues, remains trapped inside these 638 dormant sites. The New York Building Congress has contended for some time that the City should put together a more comprehensive program including tax incentives, zoning adjustments and other steps to re-start stalled sites.”