Tag Archives: New York City

New York City Sees Biggest Negative Impact from Pandemic

The construction industry a took huge hit with coronavirus shutdowns and the ensuing economic downturn. But New York City was impacted more than the surrounding area in the first half of 2020, according to a CIS analysis of its projects.

In some of the most revealing numbers: new public projects put out to bid were down 51 percent. That’s more than 20 percent worse than Long Island and an even larger decline compared to Westchester, and New Jersey.

 Most discouraging was the total value of public projects that were bid in the first half of the year. Those numbers were down 61 percent. It is worth noting, however, that New York City’s project numbers were lower in January, February, and March, as well. The state didn’t shut down nonessential construction until March 31.

Employment in New York City building construction fell by more than 35 percent year-over-year in May, according to the state’s Department of Labor. While there was an immediate rush of activity and rehiring once non-essential construction could resume, that was primarily to catch-up on projects that were in progress. With the reduced number of public projects put out to bid, industry leaders worry that the work and hiring won’t continue.

Data from July backs that fear. According to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), construction employment in July was down 66 percent in 358 metro areas across the country compared to the year before. New York City lost the most construction jobs, down 26,500 (or 16 percent) from the previous July, according to the AGC.

Amid fears that the virus numbers will spike, forcing another shutdown in the city, contractors are pushing to finish work on projects in progress, but there is understandable concern that budget issues will kill any hopes of continued recovery. When the city’s budget passed in July – the first budget that has been lower than the previous year since the Great Recession in 2009 – money for affordable housing and public projects was cut. New York City faces a projected $9 billion revenue loss because of the global pandemic, at the same time President Trump is threatening to cut off federal funding to the city. If federal funding doesn’t come, Governor Andrew Cuomo says vital infrastructure projects and some of the city’s biggest construction plans, including projects at LaGuardia and JFK airports and the new Penn Station, could be put on hold. The AGC says that without federal funding, commercial construction companies will be forced to lay off more workers.

The analysis did show one bright spot: The number of new private projects being planned actually increased from 2019.

This could continue, particularly in private healthcare projects. Industry experts predict growth in healthcare construction for New York City over the next few years. There may even be an opportunity for private projects developing outdoor spaces for restaurants and retail.

NYC On Track for Construction to Restart June 8

New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that New York City is on track to begin Phase I of reopening on Monday June 8. Phase I includes nonessential construction and manufacturing.
“We know where the hot spots are in the city, we want to focus on them next week, be ready to open,” Cuomo said.
All reopened businesses must follow health guidelines. Phase I includes retail stores for curbside pick up and in-store where proper distancing is possible. Cuomo signed an executive order this week mandating masks in stores. Agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, gardening and landscape businesses can also reopen in Phase I.

New York Shuts Down Non-Essential Construction

Today governor Andrew Cuomo will order the closure non-essential construction sites around the state, as of Friday April 3. The new order will mean most work at residential and commercial buildings will not continue. Public works, transportation, and infrastructure projects will be exempt, along with construction involving hospitals and medical facilities and work on affordable housing.
All non-essential work must be shut down by Friday April 3 and sites will be closed until April 21.
There had been growing concern for the safety of workers in the pandemic. The Building Trades Employers Association (BTEA) supports the decision, the organization’s president and CEO Louis J. Colletti said in a statement.
“We have supported the governor’s efforts to keep construction sites open,” Colletti said. “However the current state of escalating COVID-19 cases confirms the Governor’s prudent action today.”

Don’t have to Google It: Hudson Square Will See Construction Boom

Since Disney announced in July that it is relocating its New York headquarters to 4 Hudson Square, the downtown New York City neighborhood was primed to be a focus of construction and development over the next couple of years.  CIS Project

But when Google stepped in last week and announced that it plans to invest $1 billion on a 1.7 million-square-foot campus in Hudson Square, well, suddenly the spotlight seems set on the area on the lower west side of Manhattan. CIS Project (With maybe a little attention still finding its way to Amazon in Long Island City if Jeff Bezos has anything to say about it.)

The 1.2 million-square-foot Disney project is expected to create thousands of jobs during development and construction. Starting in the coming year, it will involve the demolition of three buildings for the construction of a state-of-the-art, LEED-certified, energy efficient complex with offices, and production spaces complete with the latest technology and the ability to adapt to the coming technological advances. The site–which Disney reportedly spent $650 million for–is a full city block, bordered by Hudson, Varick, Vandam, and Spring streets.

With these work spaces will come residential and retail needs for the thousands of employees who will flood the neighborhood. Multiple high profile residential projects are underway or recently completed, including neighborhood transforming buildings at 570 Broome CIS Project111 Varick St, CIS Project, and 60 Charlton St. CIS Project

The Jackie Robinson Museum is also coming to the area, set to open in the spring of 2019 at the corner of Canal and Varick streets.  

If there wasn’t enough going on, Google made it certain: Hudson Square will be the place for development and construction in the near future. It is set to be the neighborhood to be in the coming years in New York City.

Economy Brings More Construction Work, Industry Struggles to Find Workers

A strong economy is giving the construction industry so much work it’s having trouble finding enough workers. According to an article on CNBC.com, a boost in spending from consumers and businesses who have more cash on hand for expansions and improvements is exacerbating the industry’s growing inability to fill jobs.

 

In New York City, the coming of Amazon is pushing the industry even harder to fill the existing vacancies, says Bisnow.com. But the Amazon to Long Island City issue is not an isolated case created by the corporate giant.

The Associated General Contractors of America 2018 Workforce Survey revealed that 79 percent of New York firms reported having difficulty finding hourly workers. As part of its recommendations to reduce the labor shortage the AGC of NY suggested that educational reform is part of the process. That includes a proposal to expand federal work-study programs and apprenticeship opportunities, as well as better educate students about employment outcomes, according to a story in the Albany Times Union.

The story continued: The report noted immigration reform as a key issue. With millions of undocumented, able-bodied immigrants who can’t legally work, the AGC says a visa program would alleviate the labor shortage and recommended expanding seasonal worker visas, as well as market-based visas to mitigate the current and future worker shortages.

Amazon’s HQ2 Could Mean Construction Boom in Long Island City

When Amazon announced it chose Long Island City as one of its two, new HQ2 locations, New York officials emphasized the new construction projects and infrastructure improvements that will come with Jeff Bezos’ multi-billion dollar company. According to the press release from NYC mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, the pending projects include:

  • Four million square feet of commercial space on Long Island City’s waterfront over the next 10 years, with expansion opportunities for up to eight million square feet over the next 15 years.
  • A 10,000 square-foot on site employment center
  • A new approximately 600-seat intermediate public school
  • A 3.5-acre waterfront esplanade and park

The construction is expected to create an average of 1300 direct construction jobs annually through 2033, according to city officials. Read the complete press release here.

According to Curbed New York, to fund local infrastructure—streets, sidewalks, open space, etc.—Amazon will utilize the city’s PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) program, estimated to be $600 to $650 million over four decades. The details of how those funds will be allocated will be decided upon via community engagement, the ny.curbed.com article said.