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NYC real estate braces for coronavirus disruptions

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Plus, East New York could become Brooklyn’s first “cease-and-desist” zone—and more intel in today’s New York Minute news roundup

Max Touhey

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NYC real estate prepares for coronavirus impacts

As the novel coronavirus outbreak continues its global spread, New York City’s real estate and construction worlds are bracing for project delays and rising costs of materials as Chinese manufactures and shipping slows to crawl, the Commercial Observer reports.

The city’s construction industry faces perhaps the biggest threat with mounting concerns over ordering supplies and fixtures from China—where the sprawling industrial city of Wuhan is the heart of the outbreak. In the coming months, some contractors may have to turn to other more expensive sources—risking project cost overruns—if they’re unable to purchase materials from Chinese manufactures, according to industry experts.

“The biggest concern is supply chain issues—steel, millwork, plumbing fixtures, electrical fixtures, concrete boards, flooring tiles, steel,” Joseph Natarelli, the head of the construction industry practice group at accounting firm Marcum LLP., told the Commercial Observer. “It takes about three weeks to get something from China to the U.S., and any delay could stretch it out much more.”

Projects underway likely won’t be impacted, Natarelli notes, as contractors tend to order their supplies years in advance, but an outbreak could spell trouble for future development. And panic may drive up prices, too. Some alarmed contractors are “chasing the market and trying to ensure they buy up materials before everyone else,” said Natarelli. “The market is starting to get saturated; supply could be an issue.”

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