Build, baby, build: New development in Brooklyn far outstrips Manhattan in slow month

April DOB Report: In a new monthly feature, TRD analyzes all types of city development applications

TRD New York /
May.May 06, 2015 08:00 AM

Manhattan accounted for just over 20 percent of new development applications filed last month, according to an analysis of Department of Buildings data by The Real Deal, which looked at all new projects filed in April with at least 15 units or 15,000 square feet.

Comparatively, Brooklyn accounted for 70 percent of the new residential activity included in the TRD analysis.

The most populous borough also lead in number of residential units filed, registering more than six times as many units as Manhattan. And for overall square footage across all development types, Brooklyn placed well ahead too, with over 540,000 total square feet filed.

Filings include the Chetrit Group’s plans in Williamsburg; two new film studios coming to the Bronx; and large health care facilities in Queens.

In Manhattan, the biggest filed project by units is a hotel planned for 456 Greenwich Street in Tribeca, where Western Heritable Investment Company, Caspi Development and Barone Management have teamed up to construct a 100-room luxury hotel spanning more than 66,000 square feet, as previously reported.

But overall, Manhattan registered far fewer applications than its bridge-and-tunnel peers. By residential square footage, Manhattan put up less than 10 percent of the total square feet included in DOB filings.

In Brooklyn, Meyer Chetrit applied to build a five-story residential building at 31 Ainslie Street, also known as 452 Rodney Street, in Williamsburg, in a plan that appears to be connected to Chetrit Group’s 234-unit hotel-apartment project at the adjacent 500 Metropolitan Avenue. According to Chetrit’s most recent filing, the zoning lots for the two projects have been combined.

Up in the Bronx, film and TV production company York Studios filed two building plans for new studio spaces in Soundview, combining for over 120,000 square feet.

In Queens, an 85,000 square-foot health care complex is planned for 131-10 and 131-32 Avery Avenue in Flushing.

But despite new film studios and medical facilities, commercial filings were low across the boroughs, as TRD could identify only seven such filings that fit the size criteria.

Furthermore, the total size of residential projects filed was relatively modest, with most new apartment buildings calling for fewer than 30 units. The largest apartment project filed last month, however, is planned for 2885 West 15th Street in Coney Island, with an expected 86 units across more than 95,000 square feet.

As TRD previously reported, residential units filed with the DOB hit a 12-month low this April, leaving some wondering if the looming decision regarding the expiration of 421a tax abatements was giving developers pause.


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