Just How Many Condo Projects Are Unfilled And Unfinished In New York City?
Just how bad is the condo situation in New York? Right to the City-New York, an alliance of grassroots community organizations, has identified a total of 601 condominium buildings in a half dozen neighborhoods in New York City that have either stopped construction or have a great deal of vacant units. That number is a lot higher than the 454 recorded by the Department of Buildings for the city as a whole.
Members of Right to the City went through six neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn finding buildings that aren't being fully utilized in order to show the city how big the problem is. Over the summer the city began a $20 million pilot program called the Housing Asset Renewal Program in order to turn residential buildings into as many as 400 affordable housing units. Among the buildings that Right to the City identified are Be@Schermerhorn, a 246-unit luxury condo, with a vacancy rate of more than 93 percent, and Forté, a 108-unit luxury condo, with a vacancy rate of more than 60 percent. Both buildings have been on the market for at least a year and Forté was recently taken over by its lender Eurohypo bank.
As Crains New York points out, it's not quite clear how many developers might want to participate in the Housing Asset Renewal Program in order to help finish their stalled projects. Many may prefer to simply wait out the current economic doldrums and begin building again when the market picks up.