New apartment permits in Brooklyn reach two-year high

May saw the most permits issued in one month since 2008, excluding spikes caused by 421-a expiration

A map of newly permitted apartment buildings in Brooklyn, May 2018 (Credit: Google Maps)
A map of newly permitted apartment buildings in Brooklyn, May 2018 (Credit: Google Maps)

Brooklyn has long been ahead of the other boroughs in terms of new multifamily construction. It recently added to its lead, with more new apartment permits issued in May than any month since 2015.

There were 54 new apartment building permits issued in Brooklyn last month, according to an analysis of Department of Buildings permitting data by The Real Deal. Half of those were in Bedford-Stuyvesant, East Flatbush and Bushwick.

The last time more than 50 new apartment building permits were issued in a single month was back in 2015, when the imminent expiration of the 421-a tax exemption — first slated for July of that year, then moved to January 2016 — saw dramatic spikes in permit issuance. In May, June and December of that year there were 83, 199 and 168 permits issued, respectively.

Outside of those anomalies, May’s batch of new apartment permits is the largest since June 2008, which saw another 421-a-induced permitting rush.

Citywide, the 74 new apartment projects that received permits in May are expected to add 1.7 million square feet of residential space across 1,958 residential units, according to the analysis. In addition, six new office buildings will add 2.6 million square feet in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.

Here are all of the permits issued in May, broken down by borough and property type:


–Three new apartment buildings with 102 units totaling 155,000 square feet

–Two new office buildings totaling 2.5 million square feet

–Largest new building: Tishman Speyer’s The Spiral at 66 Hudson Boulevard


–54 new apartment buildings with 1,351 units totaling 1.1 million square feet

–Two new hotels with 132 rooms totaling 36,000 square feet

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–Three new office buildings totaling 154,000 square feet

–One new retail building with 2,960 square feet

–Largest new building: A large affordable housing complex from Arker Companies in East New York


–10 new apartment buildings with 200 units totaling 218,000 square feet

–One new hotel with 38 units totaling 14,000 square feet

–One new office building with 2,500 square feet

–Two new retail buildings with 8,700 square feet

–Largest new building: A seven-story mixed-used building from Onex Real Estate Partners in Flushing


–Seven new apartment buildings with 305 units totaling 265,000 square feet

–Largest new building: A 12-story affordable building from Phipps Houses in the South Bronx

Staten Island

–One new retail building with 1,412 square feet