Building Congress Prez: Mayor ‘Should Pay More Attention to Office Development’


Richard Anderson
Richard Anderson

A day after the New York City Building Congress forecasted the largest three-year growth in office space since 1990, the president of the organization, Richard Anderson, called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to do more to foster office construction in the city.

The influential organization of real estate developers, construction firms, union officials and academics predicted Monday that new developments would create 9 million square feet of new space between 2013 and 2015 and a total of 24.4 million square feet between 2010 and 2019. But Mr. Anderson cautioned that emerging trends might threaten new construction and said he wants the mayor to devote more energy to office space.

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“We’d like to see the new administration pay more attention to office development and not be preoccupied just by affordable housing,” said Mr. Anderson, who has been the nonprofit’s president since 1994.

He said the new space planned at large-scale developments like the World Trade Center and Hudson Yards as well as the city’s record total of 1.8 million office employees are “good news, but grounded good news” due to shifts in the market like the lag in the growth of financial services jobs and the smaller amount of office floor space companies are buying these days. Mr. Anderson predicts the city will need to create at least 20,000 office jobs a year to keep vacancy rates from growing and he wants the mayor to proceed with rezoning efforts in areas like Midtown East.

“Almost 50 percent of employment in New York City takes place in offices,” said Mr. Anderson. “So this deserves a great deal of attention from the mayor.”

Mayor de Blasio’s office didn’t respond to phone and email requests for comment.