According to the cumulative data for permit filings for new construction in New York City in 2022, the Big Apple’s construction scene has some rather positive numbers to report. The data from the Department of Buildings shows that, over the course of the year, the city’s developers filed for a total of 3,225 new buildings, a 60 percent increase over last year’s tally of 2,017 permits. The total volume of new filed-for floor space also rose from 53 million square feet in 2021 to 66 million square feet in 2022. The combined volume of new residential and hotel unit filings increased from 45,019 in 2021 to 49,965 in 2022, and the full report in Excel format is available with a subscription to YIMBY’s Building Wire.
Over the course of the year, the general numbers of monthly new building filings remained consistent, perhaps trending slightly downward toward the end of the year. Although most monthly tallies registered rather close to the yearly average of 269, the highest monthly count (March, with 336 filings) almost doubles the lowest number (December, with 188 filings).
The slight downward trend contrasts with last year, which saw a steady rise in filings over its course. That increase culminated with this year’s outstanding showing, where even the lowest monthly tally easily surpasses 2021’s monthly average of 168. If last year’s best-performing month (December, with 219 filings) were to be counted for this year, it would register as the year’s second-worst performer.
At first glance, the charts for total filings per borough for 2021 and 2022 look almost identical. Just as last year, Queens leads the pack, with moderately decreasing figures for Brooklyn, then Staten Island, The Bronx, and finally, Manhattan.
Although the ratios apparently remained quite stable, the total volume displayed a significant surge. Between 2021 and 2022, the number of filings increased as follows: Queens, from 743 to 1,085; Brooklyn, from 195 to 389; Manhattan, from 93 to 112; The Bronx, from 195 to 389; and Staten Island, from 430 to 717.
The total volume of units filed for in 2022, which registers at 49,965, is only slightly higher than the previous yearly total of 45,019. However, when counted by borough, the distribution is varied from last year’s totals.
Between 2021 and 2022, The Bronx nearly doubled its total filed-for unit count, rising from 6,719 in 2021 to 11,324 in 2022. By contrast, Brooklyn, the undisputed leader for both years, saw its total rise more modestly from 16,515 to 18,197. The figure for Manhattan plummeted by over 50 percent, falling from 11,502 in 2021 down to 5,307 in 2022. As Manhattan slipped from second to fourth place, Queens rose to second place, with an increase from 9,433 units in 2021 to 13,210 units in 2022.
While the count for low-density, transit-underserved Staten Island continues to lag behind its counterparts, the borough saw the greatest relative increase in the city, more than doubling its 2021 unit count of 850 with a 2022 figure of 1,886.
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John Caravella Esq., is a construction attorney and formerly practicing project architect at The Law Office of John Caravella, P.C., representing architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, and owners in all phases of contract preparation, litigation, and arbitration across New York and Florida. He also serves as an arbitrator to the American Arbitration Association Construction Industry Panel. Mr. Caravella can be reached by email: John@LIConstructionLaw.com or (631) 608-1346.
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