August 31, 2015
By Stephanie West
New York, NY. – Buoyed by increasing employment, low interest rates, and a large supply of shovel-ready development sites at Hudson Yards and the World Trade Center, office construction in New York City is at its highest level since 1990.
In 2015 and 2016, a total of 9.7 million square feet of new office space will be constructed in 19 separate buildings across Manhattan, including 7.4 million square feet combined in Midtown West and the World Trade Center. This newly-constructed space will gradually come on line as these 19 buildings are completed. The biggest wave of openings will occur in 2018, when six different towers are projected to be fully or substantially complete.
The New York Building Congress forecasts construction of 4.3 million square feet of new office space this year, up from 2.4 million in 2014. The Building Congress further estimates 5.4 million square feet of new office space will be built in 2016, followed by 4.9 million square feet in 2017 and 4.0 million in 2018.
For the 10 years between 2010 and 2019, its projected that a total of 29.5 million square feet of new office space will be built. In the period between 2000 and 2009, New York City added 22.3 million square feet of newly-built office space, which was offset by the loss of more than 10 million square feet in the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
While the pace of new office construction is at its greatest level in a quarter of a century, the numbers still pale in comparison to the period between 1968 and 1973, when 72 million square feet of new office space was delivered; or the 51 million square feet that were added in the nine-years between 1956 and 1965, and again between 1982 and1990.
“After years of planning and upfront investment, the vision of a new World Trade Center and Hudson Yards are coming to fruition and in a big way. Even beyond those two mega-projects, it is obvious that the development community is bullish on New York City’s commercial future,” said New York Building Congress President Richard T. Anderson. “At the same time, we are not seeing the sort of irrational exuberance that led to a wave of speculative projects and gluts in the office market during periods of the 20th century.”