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New Real-Time 'Construction On Your Block' Map Launched By NYC Department Of Buildings

The Hudson Yards buildings, still in progress
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The Hudson Yards buildings, still in progress Andreas Komodromos / Flickr

In many neighborhoods, it feels like a building is under construction on every corner, making you wonder, "What's going on in there?" Now, the Department of Buildings is making it easier to see what projects are in progress with a new interactive, real-time map that tracks "active, major construction."

The DOB says there are currently 7,425 "major projects" happening in the city and the map can "[make] it easier to look up where all that hammering and banging is coming from, and to find out who exactly is responsible for disturbing the neighborhood peace."

The new map gives an overview of the frenzy of construction that has transformed blocks and entire neighborhoods. The buildings department issued 168,233 construction permits in 2017, its most ever — up from 125,579 construction permits in 2007. The largest chunk of those permits, 73,489, was, not surprisingly, for buildings in Manhattan, followed by Brooklyn (42,830) and Queens (32,401). The permits cover both new projects and multiyear projects that require annual permit renewals.

The map pinpoints the largest construction projects — typically new buildings and conversions — with blue dots that can be clicked for detailed information about each project, including its contractor, property history and any violations.

There are different filters for identifying projects (cost, size) as well as "daily Top 10 lists of active sites with the most square footage"—that'd be 500 West 33rd Street, with 3.9 million square feet, aka 30 Hudson Yards—"most expensive"—also 500 West 33rd Street—"tallest"—217 West 57th Street—"and most dwelling units," which is 22-44 Jackson Avenue in Hunters Point, with 1,115 units.

Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler said, "New York has always been defined by change, and that remains true today, with major construction projects taking place in every neighborhood across the five boroughs. This real-time map puts the power of DOB’s data in the hands of all New Yorkers—giving detailed information about construction on your block, your neighborhood, and citywide. The public owns this data, and we are committed to putting it to work for all New Yorkers."

"Buildings officials said the new construction map will be expanded based on feedback from users and as more comprehensive data becomes available. The map will be updated daily — offering a real-time advantage over analyst and industry reports," the NY Times reports.

Andrew Berman, of the non-profit Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, told the Times that the new map was "a useful and long-overdue tool," because the DOB's website has, historically, been difficult to navigate or lacking in information: "Still, Mr. Berman noted that the map alone was not enough, and that other measures were needed to tighten the city’s oversight of the building boom, including more enforcement of safety, zoning and construction regulations."

And have you checked out the DOB's Sidewalk Shed Map? I just found out that two major scaffolding projects that have been plaguing my neighborhood have two-year permits!

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