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2.7 million square metres of new property to be built in New York City, despite pandemic

Dan Cortese

03 August 2020

DESPITE economic uncertainty generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, a report has found more than 2.7 million square metres of new development is planned for New York City.

YIMBY’s second quarterly report for 2020 has revealed 476 new building permits were filed between April and June of this year.

Of those permits, which include everything from single-car garages to large-scale distribution centres, there were 9,309 residential units.

This is down somewhat from 2019’s second quarter of 12,123 residential units, but it was far better than what experts had anticipated.

This makes half of all permits submitted residential, one-third commercial, and the rest either for education, utilities or miscellaneous.

Above: New York is still experiencing a residential boom, towers like the above 9 DeKalb Avenue will continue to be built (image courtesy of SHoP Architects)

The lack of commercial development has been described as jarring, but expected.

As people continue to work from home there has been substantially less demand for office space. The market for commercial development is expected to shrink by as much as 15% in the United States.

There are a number of high-profile commercial projects on the horizon that will still break ground. The USD $2BN Innovation QNS Complex and the Anable Basin development both give hope that there will be plenty more office towers in New York’s future.

The report also makes note of the lack of hotel developments. Only two permits were for hotels, a serious departure from the hotel boom the city has seen over the past decade.

Above: Supertall commercial towers like those at Hudson Yards may not be seen in New York again for while.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, the construction industry has been finding innovative ways to respond. From the expedition of prefabricated buildings to “pandemic-proof” office towers.

There have also been a number of world governments investing in infrastructure and approving projects on a mass scale so as to boost economies. The United Kingdom and Australia have both seen the acceleration of high profile projects.


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