Why is it so expensive to build in Manhattan?
My name is James Mansfield and this is Building in Manhattan.
I’m often asked, “James why is it so expensive to build here?”
Manhattan, New York City is the most expensive city in the world to build in.
Well, besides having the world’s second highest labor rate, everything that comes onto this island, every toothpick, every roll of toilet paper, every sheet of sheetrock, every door knob, every light switch – has to come over or under, that river.
And, it’s not often that you see an 18 wheeler in New York City.
So all of that stuff has to come here in small batches, small trucks. And unlike the suburbs, we don’t have 50-60,000 square foot storage facilities to keep all of this stuff that’s needed which means everything is brought in on a day to day as needed basis.
Once it gets here, it then has to be delivered into the building.
If it’s a smaller building (up to 9 stories) it’s physically boomed up through the windows with a crane or, it’s dismantled and put into varying sizes of elevator and taken up to where it’s needed.
Now, varying sizes of elevator can mean that if you’re in an old building, very small indeed.
On top of that, the buildings have all kinds of rules, especially residential buildings, about when and what times you can work.
You can’t work weekends and most buildings start work at 9 and 10 am and they finish between 3 and 4:30.
You can end up with a six hour work day.
So between the second highest labor rate, having a giant river, having no storage space, and having rules in buildings that only allow you to work a very short period of time and no weekends, it means that the cost of construction in New York, is sky high.
In fact, it went up 3.5% year over year in 2018.
I hope that was useful! If you want more information, give us a call 212-649-4632 or click on westvillagegc.com.