December 10, 2009 / 5:14 PM / 9 years ago

Recession stalls construction in New York City

NEW YORK (Reuters) - More than 500 construction projects in New York City have stalled during the recession, the majority of them in the borough of Brooklyn, according to a report released on Thursday.

Work had halted on 515 construction sites as of November 29, the bulk of which were residential developments, said the report by the New York Building Congress which was based on an analysis of Department of Buildings data.

“Apparently, the economic contagion has now spread to residential projects that were already permitted and where construction already began,” Richard Anderson, president of the Building Congress coalition, said in a statement.

The coalition of business, labor and government organizations promotes the city’s construction industry.

As of early November, there were 531 projects that had stalled, up 33 percent from July 21 when the city counted 398 developments on hold.

Brooklyn had 237 stalled projects, followed by the borough of Queens with 140. There were 80 projects on hold in Manhattan, 34 in Staten Island, and 24 in the Bronx.

The coalition called for the city to consider incentives to restart stalled projects, including tax credits, zoning changes and other measures.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council recently approved legislation that would allow owners to submit site safety plans in exchange for a renewal of building permits for up to four extra years. That allows construction to be restarted without owners needing to reapply for a permit.

“These efforts could represent one of the best stimulus programs available to New York City and an important way to prepare for economic recovery,” said Anderson.

Reporting by Ciara Linnane; Editing by Leslie Adler

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