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New York City construction spending jumped 26 percent last year

New York City construction spending jumped 26 percent last year to $36 billion, led by a record amount of residential building in a market skewed toward luxury housing, according to the New York Building Congress.

Spending on residential construction surged 73 percent to $11.9 billion in 2014, exceeding an October forecast and marking the first time it has ever topped $7 billion, the trade group said Thursday in a report. The number of new housing units failed to keep pace, increasing 11 percent to 20,329. That compares with more than 30,000 homes created annually between 2005 and 2008.

The numbers suggest a tilt toward building high-end homes at a time when more housing is needed that’s within reach of middle-class residents, said Richard Anderson, the building congress’s president. Mayor Bill de Blasio in February proposed requiring developers to include affordable housing, as well as subsidies for people at risk of losing their properties.

“The mayor has every right to be concerned,” Anderson said in a telephone interview. “We are not building housing in New York City for the upper income. We’re building for the super-rich.”

The most expensive residential construction projects in Manhattan were a Jean Nouvel-designed building at 53 West 53rd St., Extell Development Co.’s Nordstrom tower on West 57th Street, and others rising on Central Park South and Riverside South on the Upper West Side, according to the report.

 

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