2019 Outlook: Continuing Opportunities for Construction & Communities

By Frank Fortino

As we kick off the New Year, the future looks bright not only for our industry, but also for New Yorkers in general. The New York City building boom, now in its fifth year, is still going strong. Here at Metropolis Group, we’ve seen an extraordinary level of construction activity. Our experience, based on the additional filings of very large development projects, supports the findings of the New York Building Congress in its latest Construction Outlook, which estimates more than $177 billion in construction spending between 2018 and 2020. Even though the assemblage deals are not slowing down, much more zoning analysis is being done throughout the tri-state area.

More Housing, More Jobs, More Opportunities

According to the report, published last October, the city expects 60,000 new housing units to be constructed by the end of 2020. Residential spending of $14 billion, which includes both new construction and alterations to existing buildings, represents less than one-quarter of the year’s total forecasted construction spending, $61.5 billion (a 25% increase over 2017, and the highest in New York City history). The remaining $47.5 billion is split between non-residential construction spending of $39 billion—including office space, institutional development, government buildings, and hotels—and government investments in the infrastructure.

All told, these new developments and renovations created nearly 158,000 jobs throughout the five boroughs last year. This activity helps our local communities, creating strength and balance in families and households. As investors and private builders continue to capitalize on the opportunities in our city, we’ll add more housing with community amenities, which in turn will decrease crime.

Supporting Our Communities

In addition to these economic opportunities, nonprofit organizations continue to shine as beacons of hope.

The Madison Square Boys & Girls Club has just completed their newest clubhouse at 250 Bradhurst in Harlem. This facility will soon open its doors to offer children ages 6 to 18 after-school education, as well as sports, music, and art programs. As a Board of Trustees member, I am very proud that our organization has been able to help provide this wonderful place that the community can call a second home.

Looking Ahead

It’s an exciting time for our industry and our city. The challenges we face are far outnumbered by the opportunities. Most exciting of all, the growth in construction and real estate development has a direct impact on improving quality of life in our local communities.

My wishes are for everyone to have a wonderful and prosperous New Year.