Hotel development plans will finish the year ahead of 2015

But there is an asterisk in the form of a 1,200-key project in LIC

The number of hotel units planned so far in New York City this year is up 46 percent from the same period in 2015, according to an analysis of Department of Buildings permit applications for known hotel projects by The Real Deal.

Through October, developers planned 4,961 units in 34 known hotel projects of at least 10 units, up from 3,395 in 31 projects during the first 10 months of 2015.

Hotel development plans peaked in 2014, when developers applied to build more than 9,000 hotel rooms. Last year, plans were cut nearly in half, signaling an end to what had been four consecutive years of year-over-year increases in planned projects, as TRD previously reported.

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But the slide has stabilized and the data show that hotel development has even picked up pace. The hotel units planned so far this year (4,961) is already more than 2015 by year’s end (4,630).

There is, however, a pretty big catch. More than a quarter of the hotel units planned in 2016 come from a single development, the Japanese hotel chain Toyoko Inn’s colossal Long Island City hotel project that will rise 50 stories and fit 1,260 hotel rooms. Additionally, a select number of projects will include units that are residential rentals or condos but which are not specified by building plans, making it difficult to put an exact number on the true hotel pipeline at any given time.

Apart from the volume of planned projects, the geography of hotel development changed over the last year as well. By this time in 2015, only one qualifying hotel plan was filed in the Bronx, a 98-key new construction building in Mott Haven. On the year to date so far, there were nine hotels planned for the Bronx totaling 654 rooms. In Queens, the number of individual hotel buildings planned is notably down from last year, with nine projects in 2016 versus 14 during the period in 2015, perhaps because Long Island City is finally starting to run out of industrial sites to build as-of-right hotels on.