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Development Boom Continues; Will Construction Accidents Do the Same?

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Construction in New York City isn’t going to slow any time soon, according to Mayor Bill DeBlasio. Projects in the pipeline will continue. These include a Whole Foods in Harlem and moves by high end retailers to Hudson Yards. The construction at the World Trade Center will continue, and the conversion of the AIG tower to luxury housing will not stop. The construction of Queens Commons will start soon, and the Manhattan West Project on top of the Amtrak Yards will continue.

This is the good news. Some real estate developers have voiced concerns that the new mayor’s agenda may require them to include affordable housing with each project that is completed in the city – a requirement that could make development projects less attractive.

These developers are jittery that the new mayor will eventually get around to implementing his agenda that includes more affordable housing in the city. However, the mayor has no way to require this feature in future projects unless a zoning change is needed or a tax break is requested in order for a project to move forward.

Some other concerned that what is seen as DeBlasio’s anti-development or progressive rhetoric could stifle construction generally. However, others have predicted that 2014 will be a great year for investment in New York City real estate.

Of course, there are downsides to this rush to develop. Congestion of city streets and the traffic accidents that result is a by-product of construction that will not get better. Another is the injuries that occur, especially when contractors and developers are racing to finish projects so they can begin to reap the rewards of their investments. Time will tell whether the benefits of increased jobs and more profits for developers will outweigh the negatives that fast-paced development seems to carry with it.

Source: New York Post, “NYC development surge to continue under de Blasio,” Jan. 15, 2014.