May DOB Report: Manhattan has its biggest month of 2015

In a new monthly feature, TRD analyzes all types of city development applications

TRD New York /
Jun.June 03, 2015 11:00 AM

Manhattan ruled the roost in terms of residential permits filed with the Department of Buildings in May, getting a boost from the largest residential property filed in the borough this year, according to The Real Deal‘s analysis of permit applications.

During May, Manhattan had more qualifying filings, units and square feet than any other borough, with its proposed 1.5 million square feet accounting for nearly 40 percent of the total residential space filed in Manhattan so far this year. On the commercial side, too, Manhattan led the city in terms of filings. TRD looked at buildings with at least 15 units or 15,000 square feet.

GID’s nearly 600-unit application at 400 West 61st Street, also known as Riverside Center Building 1, accounted for the lion’s share of Manhattan’s residential square footage and units. The nearly 900,000-square-foot project is almost twice as large as the 457,000-square-foot 180 Water Street, the next largest future Manhattan building filed so far in 2015.

(Source: TRD analysis of DOB filings with at least 15 units or 15,000 square feet)

Overall, residential units across New York City came back strong during the month of May after hitting a 12-month low in April. City-wide, more than 2,000 qualifying residential units were filed with the Department of Buildings in May, nearly three times as many as the previous month.

Although May showed a significant rebound for residential units in Manhattan, the greatest share of new development activity in the city this year has been in Brooklyn. At 71 projects, Brooklyn has registered twice the number of qualifying permits filed as Manhattan or Queens. But megaprojects, like the above-mentioned Riverside Center Building 1, can tip the unit and square footage scales in a moment’s notice. In terms of total square footage, Brooklyn now has only a slight advantage.

As for Queens, since January 1 DOB filings show even more projects and slightly more units planned than in Manhattan. The month of May saw a 170-unit permit application by the F&T Group for Two Fulton Square in Flushing, while in Long Island City, Property Markets Group’s gargantuan 930-unit plan for 29-37 41st Avenue remains the largest New York filing by unit count this year.

Additionally, TRD identified four qualifying hotel projects during the month, with two of them going up on opposing sides of the Morgan Avenue L stop in Bushwick. The future hotels at 232 Seigel Street and 27 Stewart Avenue will each hold about 140 rooms, and are likely to offer a unique vibe for guests, as much of the area is still dotted with active industrial properties, such as the Boar’s Head meat distribution center and its block-long loading dock, which lies along the fashionable retail corridor of Bogart Street.

For commercial developments, the largest permit filed in May came from Vornado Realty Trust, for a new office and retail building at 61 Ninth Avenue in the Meatpacking District. That building will be designed by Rafael Viñoly, and although there are no renderings yet available, we do now know of at least one major source of Viñoly’s artistic inspiration.

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