Number of Stalled Construction Sites Increasing, Study Finds

By Paul DeBenedetto on November 29, 2012 7:41pm 

 A fence surrounded the stalled condo-hotel construction site at 99 Church St.
A fence surrounded the stalled condo-hotel construction site at 99 Church St.
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DNAinfo/Julie Shapiro

NEW YORK CITY — The number of stalled construction projects in the city has increased by 17 percent since February, according to an analysis of Buildings Department records by the New York Building Congress.

The report identified an average of 691 sites stalled in November, up from 592 in February, and 180 of those were added to the list in 2012, erasing the gains made by an influx of new development in the last 15 months, according to NYBC President Richard T. Anderson.

The increase, Anderson said, coincided with a period of steep declines in the stock market and worry about the world economy.

"There seem to be a number of factors at work here," Anderson said. "To me, it calls for a concerted program on the part of the city."

Of the five boroughs, Brooklyn was hit the hardest with 323 stalls, followed by Queens with 169. Manhattan has 123 stalled sites, Staten Island has 50 and The Bronx has 26.

All together, the sites have a market value of $883 million, which is down from $1.3 billion one year ago, according to the NYBC.

“It is interesting to note that while the raw number of stalled sites has increased, the estimated market value has dropped by nearly half a billion dollars,” Anderson said in a press release. "This suggests that the luxury residential market was home to an outsized percentage of the projects that have resumed in 2012.”

The November number is the worst showing since January 2011, Anderson said, adding that tax incentives and zoning changes could help create activity in the market.

But Hurricane Sandy could cause the number of stalled sites to rise, Anderson said.

"It's no secret that there were a large number of projects in Brooklyn and Queens," Anderson said. "And Brooklyn and Queens were impacted by the storm quite a bit."

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