buildings, city, New York City

Over the past 10 years, the five boroughs of New York City have recovered from the recession, two major hurricanes, and on the brink of 2020, reached a 25-year milestone in construction spending. At the dawn of the decade, the city of over 8 million stories had nowhere to go but up in residential construction. In 2010, The New York City Department of Buildings authorized permits for 6,727 units in 1,074 buildings, which was extremely low for the metropolis that issued permits for 33,911 units in 2,434 in 2008. [1] However, since then, thousands upon thousands of units have been developed throughout the city and our construction safety experts go into detail on New York City’s construction boom.

The Rise of High-Rises

New York City’s construction boom over the past decade greatly influenced a method of construction the metropolis helped innovate – supertall residential buildings. This construction style first began on Manhattan’s 57th Street, also known as Billionaire’s Row, where condominium towers exceeded 1,000 feet – starting with Extell Development’s One57, Harry Macklowe’s 432 Park Avenue, Extell’s Central Park Tower, and JDS Development’s 111 West 57th Street. Other supertall residential buildings include 53 West 53rd Street, a 1,050-foot-tall condo building adjacent to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 220 Central Park South designed by Robert A.M. Stern.

“I think the numbers are very clear: It’s been a phenomenal time for construction,” said NYBC President Carlo Scissura. “It’s been a period of job growth and new construction on all levels — hospitals, institutional, government.” He pointed out that construction spending has doubled over the past 10 years, from an estimated $30 billion in 2010 to $56 billion in 2018. [2]

Rezoning Outside Manhattan

However, most of New York City’s construction boom did not consist of shiny, supertall buildings only people with more than one comma in their bank account can afford. In the early 2000s, most of the new construction started during rezonings issued by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration. Neighborhoods such as Downtown Brooklyn, Park Slope, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint were rezoned, which drove the construction of thousands of new units in Brooklyn over the past 10 years.

In western Queens, neighborhoods such as Long Island City have drastically evolved from being an industrial neighborhood to a jungle of high-rises and hotels. Since 2006, Long Island City has added more than 20,400 new residential units and currently has more than 350 ongoing development projects in the western Queens neighborhood, according to the Long Island City Partnership. [3]


It looks like the New York construction market is showing no signs of slowing down into the new decade. So, if you’re looking to be part of one of the city’s many construction projects, enroll in our construction training programs in NYC by contacting The Safety Group, LTD. at 212-933-9071 today!





[1] New York Building Congress – New York City residential building permits rose by 33 percent in 2011 but remain 74 percent below 2008 peak

[2] Commercial Observer – Ten Years of New York City’s Construction Boom

[3] The City – LIC Luxury Tower Leaves Behind People with Disabilities, Lawsuit Alleges