Real estate development in the Big Apple has reached boom proportions in 2014. In fact, the level of construction activity for the year hasn’t been seen like this since 2007-2008. The reason, real estate experts say, is an expanded rate of construction of luxury condos. According to the New York Building Congress, $32.9 billion has been spent by October. That’s an increase of 17 percent over 2013. It is expected to top off at $35.3 billion this year and $35.6 billion in 2016. Here are the biggest in our city:
Three New York City real estate projects that are close to completion and starting to attract tenants include:
1.55-million-square-foot building just east of Grand Central Terminal and bordered by 42nd and 43rd Streets and Vanderbilt and Madison Avenues. The square footage would be broken up into 1,079 square feet of office space, 53,000 square feet of retail, 27,000 square feet of restaurants, and 55,000 square feet of rooftop comforts including an observation deck. Construction has progressed to the point where businesses are beginning to commit to renting space. On November 17 of this year SL Green confirmed that TD Bank will “anchor” the building and move into 200,000-square-feet of space in 2020. The facility will include retail space for a bank branch at the northeast corner of 42nd Street and Madison Avenue.
70 Pine Street
The headquarters of American International Group, also known as AIG, the colossal insurance company that fell victim of the economic meltdown in 2008. On June 9, 2009 developer Youngwoo & Associates purchased the property for $150 million ($105 per square foot) and made plans to convert it into condominiums. The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the 66-story structure a landmark. Rose Associates ultimately got control of the property and said it planned to develop 1,000 rental apartments in 750,000 square feet and create retail units in 40,000 square feet. On November 4, 2014, construction was almost complete and leasing is expected to begin this winter. Rents are anticipated to be as much as $66 per square foot.
7 Bryant Park
Hines, a real estate development firm based in Houston, Texas, and J.P. Morgan Chase were bullish about the development of a new midtown Manhattan office tower without pre-leasing. Chase had promised to invest more than $200 million in equity with the amount making up most of the project’s cost and a 470,000-square-foot building was planned. The 30-story tower was to feature 10-foot ceilings and two large outdoor terraces on the tenth floor with a view of Bryant Park. Last July it was announced that the Bank of China would be the anchor tenant. The 471,000 square foot tower was topped off in July and the project is on schedule to be occupied in early 2015. The issuing of housing permits has increased every year since its dramatic drop in 2009. In fact, the 2014 Housing Supply Report notes that in 2013 permits for 17,995 units were allotted, an increase of 74.1 percent over 2012. While increases have occurred for four consecutive years, the level of permits issued is about 16,000 below 2008 numbers.
A sample of projects that have been given permits as 2014 comes to a close include:
401 Ninth Avenue
Skidmore, Owings and Merrill will design the project, a commercial edifice of more than 1.6 million square feet, 69 stories or a height of 995 feet. It is destined for the Hudson Yards neighborhood of NYC.
227 Cherry Street
Extell Development was awarded a permit to build a 13-story (140 foot tall), 1.1 million square-foot residential tower with 25,516 square feet being dedicated to commercial space. Plans call for the project to include 205 residential units and 137 parking spaces. Dattner Architects will design the building.
420 Albee Square
JEMB Realty is preparing to construct a 751,548-square foot, 65-story commercial-residential building in Brooklyn. When completed it is expected to be the tallest residential tower in the borough. It will feature 620 apartments in 480,345-square feet with commercial space encompassing 271,203-square feet.
86 Fleet Place
The property will be the largest part of the Red Apple Group’s Myrtle Avenue development with 32 floors in a 346-foot tower. About 384,240- square feet, will include 191 residential units and 10,619-square feet will be commercial. As construction soars the purchase price for units have also increased. For example, in the second quarter of 2014 the median purchase price of a condo unit in Manhattan was $1.7 million. That’s more than the peak purchase price in 2008.
It appears that the NYC housing market has just about climbed out of the hole it was in since the advent of the Great 2008 Recession.