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Mayor Bloomberg's Legacy:The Construction Boom of NYC

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's twelve years in office will leave an undeniable impression on the physical landscape of the city for future generations.  The new and revised policies of this administration have encouraged unprecedented growth of New York City and its outer boroughs in the years following 9/11.  According to a new series called The Bloomberg Years by WNYC and this article by Matthew Schuerman, Bloomberg's three consecutive terms have made New York City's skyline taller, have made the city more attractive and in turn, more expensive.

Join us for more after the break.

One of the mayor's major motivations for running aggressive policies that promote growth came from a need to sustain the city's fiscal health during the shaky times that followed the attacks of 9/11. Aside from the major work that has been done by the Port Authority at the World Trade Center site, the city has boomed with new buildings soaring to new heights, covering revitalized neighborhoods throughout the boroughs.  During the past twelve years, 7 of the 20 tallest buildings in New York City were built under Bloomberg.  Most Community Boards in all five boroughs have seen a rise in building heights, as well. 

Manhattan West; Courtesy of Brookfield Development
Manhattan West; Courtesy of Brookfield Development

The rezoning permitted the construction of taller buildings and allowed residential and commercial development in former manufacturing districts that were no longer in use.  The rising heights and escalated growth of condominiums, luxury apartments, and affordable housing can be attributed to this massive rezoning of nearly 40% of the city's land mass.  Since the early 2000s, construction and development of new high-rise housing has been unceasing.

Hudson Yards; Photo: Rendering by Visualhouse
Hudson Yards; Photo: Rendering by Visualhouse

Manhattan's West Side is going through a complete makeover as the rezoning of of  Midtown West has encouraged two major projects currently underway: Manhattan West and Hudson Yards.  Both promise new residential and commercial opportunities.  The tallest residential towers in New York City are rising under this administration's policies.  Now Midtown East is going through its own stages of rezoning and redevelopment.  For years, Frank Gehry's New York (also known as Beekman Tower and 8 Spruce Street) was the tallest residential building.  One57, to be completed in 2013, will surpass it at 1,005 feet.  Shortly after that, in 2015, 432 Park Ave will rise above that to 1,398 feet.

Atlantic Yards; Courtesy of SHoP Architects
Atlantic Yards; Courtesy of SHoP Architects

North Brooklyn has gone through a series of transformations of its own.  Downtown Brooklyn has been redeveloped with condos rising along Flatbush Ave near the Manhattan Bridge and Metrotech BID, the city's third largest business district.  The old manufacturing blocks of Williamsburg along Kent Ave have been transformed into towering condos, like The Edge, with views of the New York City skyline just across the East River.  Atlantic Yards, which encompasses Barclay's Center, is part of a large rezoning project that promised additional housing and commercial venues that is still being settled to comply with community demands.

Hunter’s Point South Housing Development © nycmayorsoffice
Hunter’s Point South Housing Development © nycmayorsoffice

Meanwhile, Long Island City, Queens, a neighborhood largely marked by old manufacturing buildings, factories and relics of industry turned sculpture (like the gantry at Gantry Plaza State Park) has transformed into a series of condos and plazas rising along the banks of the East River.

With all this construction, the development of new residential buildings and commercial spaces, the city housing units for an additional 310,000 people.  Despite this greater supply of housing, prices have not been driven down.  The growing attraction of NYC has made it more expensive than ever.  This may be attributed to Bloomberg's social policies.  The mayor has taken a stance on public health through sustainable construction policies.  He has been pushing for the development of bicycle infrastructure and has encouraged and instated the first stages of the CitiBike bike-share program.  Under his administration the Highline became a reality and has since encouraged development in the Meatpacking District.

The next several mayors will be running a city shaped by the past twelve years of policy developed by Mayor Bloomberg - a mixture of administrative and social policies that have altered the physical landscape of the city and has shaped its future priorities as a sustainable, fiscally-driven city.

via WNYC: New York, the Vertical City, Kept Rising Under Bloomberg by Matthew Schuerman

Cite:Irina Vinnitskaya. "Mayor Bloomberg's Legacy:The Construction Boom of NYC " 27 Jul 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/405955/bloomberg-s-legacy/>