June DOB Report: Queens reigns

In a new monthly feature, TRD analyzes all types of city development applications
By Will Parker | July 07, 2015 03:12PM

From affordable housing to skyscraper megaprojects, Queens nabbed the spotlight for the majority of large residential projects filed in June with the Department of Buildings.

The borough had 829 residential units in DOB permit applications, more than Manhattan and Brooklyn combined, accounting for nearly 40 percent of total units filed, according to a TRD analysis of DOB data. The analysis includes all applications with at least 15 units or 15,000 square feet.

It was Queens’ biggest month for filings since March, when Kevin Maloney’s Property Markets Group submitted a 930-unit plan for 29-37 41st Avenue. The Durst Organization’s first building in the anticipated Hallets Point Astoria development calls for 224 apartments in a 369,000-square-foot building and is expected to include affordable housing. Yet another megaproject will break ground at 5-43 46th Avenue in Long Island City, where CRE Development plans to construct a 296-unit tower.

Those two buildings push Queens to eleven 100+ unit residential or hotel projects filed since the first of the year, just two fewer than Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The Bronx registered nearly as many qualifying residential units as Brooklyn this June with 529. Prior to June, the Bronx had averaged about 250 qualifying units per month during 2015.

The La Central affordable housing project in the Melrose neighborhood of the South Bronx will account for 160 of the Bronx units. The facility, designed for people living with HIV/AIDS, was one of the largest filed projects in what turned out to be a strong month for affordable and supportive housing.

Apart from La Central, Stagg Group added 61 affordable units when it filed for a 13-story building at 2051 Ryer Avenue. Additionally, the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health submitted plans for a 100-unit residential apartment facility for people living with mental illnesses. That building, planned for 2861 Marion Avenue, would be the organization’s seventh residential property in the Bronx.

In total, supportive and affordable housing projects accounted for nearly 40 percent of the qualifying units submitted in the Bronx during the month. The Bronx also had the city’s largest commercial filing, a 123,000-square-foot warehouse conversion for Silvercup Studios at 275-295 Locust Avenue.

Meanwhile, as it was revealed that property in Manhattan’s Upper East Side is worth more than all the real estate in the Bronx and on Staten Island combined, at least three of the five qualifying Manhattan filings for the month were Lower Manhattan condo projects, including the 25-story plan for 100 Varick Street, developed by Michael Shvo, Bizzi & Partners, and Halpern Real Estate Ventures, who bought the site with partners for $130 million last January.

Despite the surge in filing from Queens and the Bronx, Brooklyn led the boroughs in number of qualifying projects and June’s residential filings show that there is still plenty of new development action in Williamsburg.

Four qualifying residential projects were filed in Williamsburg in just June alone, the most of any New York neighborhood. Three of those projects lie to the neighborhood’s southeast side at the border with Bushwick, close to where two 100+ key hotels were filed just last month, and also close to where Rabsky Group’s plans to include affordable housing at the 370-unit Rheingold Brewery conversion project have been questioned by some officials.

And if June’s filings are any indication, it’s in the Bronx, and not Brooklyn, where we can expect affordable housing to begin construction in the coming weeks.