The borough of Queens used to be dismissed as a stopping-over point for people who fly into New York City through one of the major airports. But over the past few years, there has been a series of positive financial news that has made a lot of people excited about the future of Queens. Residential and commercial construction is on the rise, and more people are discovering that there is a lot to Queens that they may have missed in the past.
Sustained Growth In Queens
According to the office of New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Queens has seen sustained growth in population and economic development for the past several years. The population of Queens has been steadily growing for decades, and that growth represents a rate that is faster than the other boroughs in New York City.
Queens has also seen a significant growth in job opportunities over the past few years as more businesses start to move into the area and build new locations. Crime in the borough has dropped by nearly 80 percent since 2011, which is helping to attract more businesses to the area.
One of the problems Queens has experienced in recent years is a significant lack of rental housing units to accommodate the growing population. To help solve this problem, it is estimated that 3,500 new rental units will be built in Queens by 2018 in future construction projects. Other key construction projects in Queens include a 160,000 square foot retail store, a 500-car parking garage and the redevelopment of the former Mary Immaculate Hospital area into residential housing.
Project Start-Ups Are On The Rise
According to BuildingCongress.com, 10 percent of the top construction project start-ups in New York City in 2014 were located in Queens. The average cost per unit in Queens of a new construction project was $93,500, which represents an increase over previous years.
A significant issue for financial growth in Queens continues to be the rezoning of existing properties to allow for development. While Queens has plans for several new projects in the coming years, it is still working closely with the New York City government to iron out zoning issues that are preventing much-needed building permits from being issued.
Hotels Are Playing A Role In Queens Construction
Crains New York indicates that Queens is accommodating its increase in visitors by building more hotel rooms. In 2014, developers in Queens added 500 hotel rooms in the first four months of the year, which represented a nine percent increase over previous years. In all, no less than 20 percent of all new hotel construction in New York City in 2015 is expected to take place in Queens.
While development and construction are strong in the Queens hotel industry, attractions that will bring in visitors to fill those rooms are still under development. The lack of activities is currently damaging the profitability of the new Queens hotel rooms as the average hotel room in Queens is $129 per night, compared to $153 per night in Brooklyn. But with development projects underway in Queens, there should be plenty of reasons for people to want to pay top dollar to stay in the new Queens hotels.
The future of Queens construction and economic development looks solid. With plenty of financial growth on the horizon, the pace of future construction in Queens looks to pick up as more people are finding their way to a borough that is getting a lot more attention these days.