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In 2019, NYC approved a ton of new residential units

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Plus, Williamsburg’s East River State Park will be named after LGBTQ activist Marsha P. Johnson—and more intel in today’s New York Minute news roundup

Max Touhey |

Good morning, and welcome to New York Minute, a roundup of the New York City news you need to know about today. Send stories you think should be included to

NYC new building permits surge significantly

New York City real estate may be in a bit of a slump—overall home prices are down and there’s a surplus of luxury condos—but the number of building permits issued is on the rise. The Wall Street Journal reports that in 2019, new building permits increased to the second-highest levels since the end of the 2008 building boom.

According to preliminary data from the U.S. Census Bureau, permits to create 26,547 housing units were issued in 2019, around 27 percent more than the year before. The last time permits surged to those levels was in 2015, when developers feared a tax abatement program would end, WSJ says.

This surge was most noticeable in the Bronx, according to WSJ, as permits increased by 50 percent to around 5,500—which is the most the borough has seen since at least the mid-1980s. For instance, the Department of Buildings recently approved plans for a 25-story tower in Mott Haven, part of a Brookfield Properties development known as Bankside, which will bring a total of 1,350 apartments to the area.

And in other news...

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo will rename East River State Park in Williamsburg after LGBTQ activist Marsha P. Johnson.
  • Winners and losers of the possible NYC property tax overhaul.
  • A privately-owned escalator at Lexington Avenue-53rd Street subway station has been broken for over a year.
  • A 19-year-old jumped to his death from Hudson Yards’s Vessel on Saturday.
  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo is truly channeling his inner Robert Moses these days.
  • Significant investment may be coming to some of New York City’s 306 federally designated opportunity zones.
  • NYC doesn’t have enough serviced apartments, or places that offer flexible leases for furnished apartments.
  • A first look at the “adult tree house” amenity at Extell’s One Manhattan Square.
  • And, finally, Staten Island Chuck predicts an early spring. And, thankfully, Mayor Bill de Blasio wasn’t there for the Groundhog Day celebrations this year. We’ll let the El Bloombito Twitter account explain: