15 Million Square Feet and Rising

July 31, 2005


A most astonishing and useful article is online at The Architect’s Newspaper, which summarizes 43 new development projects underway in New York City for a total of approximately 15 million square feet of new residential and commercial space (only a handful of these projects are adaptive reuse). As I type this, I am in Cleveland, Ohio, where 15,000 square-foot residential building conversions require tax breaks in order to make them economically viable, and not a single new commercial building has been built downtown in more than ten years. The overview of New York City projects in AN – which isn’t even comprehensive (no WTC projects are included), and the vast majority of which are actually going to get built – is truly, truly astonishing. Real estate bubble or no bubble, the “development friendly” era we currently live in is going to have an impact on New York the likes of which not even Robert Moses could have imagined. Except this time, there’s no iron-fisted uber-planner that easily lends himself to David and Goliath-like jeremiads (the only possible exception might be Alan Greenspan). The sheer volume that is being built in New York is astonishing all on its own, but in contrast to what is NOT being built elsewhere, it is just mind-boggling. (Via Curbed, of course.)