New report shows that Manhattan construction spending is trending upward

A new report found that despite a decrease in new projects due to the pandemic, construction activity in Manhattan is still seeing an upward trend.

The report, released by the New York Building Congress, takes a look at Manhattan’s construction spending and activity from 2018 to 2021, highlighting the economic impact that the building industry has had on New York City’s pandemic recovery. Manhattan’s construction starts are valued at $7 billion, a $1 billion increase since 2020. Current projects in the pre-design, design and bidding phases are valued at $29.5 billion.

According to the report’s findings, from 2018 through the third quarter 2021, construction spending in Manhattan was valued at $27.5 billion across 12,300 residential, commercial and infrastructure projects.  

“New York City’s building industry, which employs hundreds of thousands of people, showed its true strength and resiliency over the last two years, and we aren’t slowing down in 2022,” said Carlo A. Scissura, President and CEO of the New York Building Congress. “We’ve seen the way the industry kickstarts economic growth and puts New York City on pace for an equitable and robust recovery in the face of extreme hardship. We are ready to bring the nearly 2 million New Yorkers in Manhattan the high-quality infrastructure, housing and public space they deserve.”

In 2020, construction starts began to double in June following an 11-week pause on non-essential activity. Despite the increase, the Building Congress showed a downward trend in construction in Manhattan during the first seven months of 2020, dropping to $3.75 billion, which is 37% fewer projects than the same time period the year before.

Manhattan’s highest values were in non-residential commercial and institutional construction, making up 65% of the borough’s total project value. Non-residential project spending was valued at $17.8 billion through September 2021.

The report found that Manhattan currently represents 15% of recent affordable housing construction in the entire city. From 2018 to September 2021, construction began on 2,980 new affordable housing units and 19,520 preserved units in Manhattan. 

In terms of infrastructure, some of the highest-value projects were found in Manhattan since 2018. Infrastructure construction spending valued at $2.9 million in 2021, and improvements made to the Brooklyn, George Washington and Queensboro bridges totaled $100 million each.

Click here to read the full report.