The Real Deal New York

Construction tab for NYC’s cultural meccas? $1.3B since 2010

Study shows that the projects, among them the new Whitney Museum, created 10,000 jobs

January 29, 2015 08:30AM

From left: the David H. Koch Plaza in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the new Whitney Museum of American Art in the Meatpacking District

From left: the David H. Koch Plaza in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the new Whitney Museum of American Art in the Meatpacking District

Cultural institutions across the city spent $1.3 billion on new construction over a five-year span that ended in 2014.

Last year, total construction costs topped $208 million, a 46 percent increase from the year before, according to a New York Building Congress analysis of information from Dodge Data & Analytics, cited by Crain’s. The building tab was highest in 2011, when $491 million in new projects were launched, according to the website. The $422 million construction of the new Whitney Museum of American Art — which is set to open in the Meatpacking District later this year — contributed to that peak. 

Other major projects included the $81.3 million renovation of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the $65 million renovation of the fountains and area in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and an expansion of the Queens Museum.

The projects employed roughly 10,000 people over the five years. Still, at $1.3 billion over five years, these cultural projects represent only a small part of the $32 billion construction tab that New York developers rung up in 2014. [Crain’s] — Claire Moses

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