While the overall residential permits issued in the city dropped by over 50 percent in the last year, the Bronx has emerged on top among the boroughs for the most number of permits issued in the first six months of this year, DNAinfo reports, based on a recently issued report by the Building Congress of New York.
The drop in permits was expectedly the result of the 421-a tax break program expiring at the start of the year, and the anticipation that it would not be renewed for the few months before that.
Between July 1, 2015 and June 30th this year, the city’s Department of Buildings issued permits to authorize the construction of 20,144 units housing. Over the same timeframe the previous year, the DOB authorized the construction of 52,618 units.
That might seem like a dramatic drop, but developers had made a beeline to file plans that year anticipating that 421-a would expire, so 2014-2015 experienced a relative surge regardless. The over 20,000 units of housing authorized is in line with the yearly average of 19,928 units of housing authorized between 2005-2014.
After leading the race among the boroughs for the last four years consecutively, Brooklyn fell to second place behind the Bronx. The DOB authorized 1,926 units of housing in the borough in the first six months of this year, followed by Brooklyn at 1,394. Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island were in the third, fourth, and fifth place respectively.
The Bronx accounted for 32 percent of all new permits, which is a huge increase on its average over the past five years which hovered at about 11 percent.
"Brooklyn has been on an epic run over the last few years with Manhattan and Queens right behind it," Richard T. Anderson, the president of the Building Congress, said in a statement. "But as of now, 2016 is shaping up to be the year that the development community finally rediscovered the Bronx."
The massive surge in development in the Bronx has of course raised several concerns as well. A recent feature by the Village Voice examined a proposed rezoning along Jerome Avenue and the impact it would have on working class jobs in the borough.