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Mansion Construction In All Boroughs Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon

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Ornate chandelier in a mansion under construction in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn (Photo: Shutter stock)

In the runup to the 2008 financial crisis, it seemed like there would be no end to the surging real estate market. Even people without much money were able to move into mansions, though of course that was because of subprime lending and rampant fraud.

Despite what people thought about the future being one without mansions, anyone who takes a walk through some New York neighborhoods like many in southern Brooklyn will see mansion construction. Many of the streets are already lined with all sorts of different mansions, with some even featuring sports courts or other special amenities rarely found in the city. Hot tub on a second-floor deck while looking out at the lit-up Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge at night? Sign me up.

These properties may still be out of the reach of the majority of people, but the houses are still surely nice to look at. The millionaire and billionaire class are still moving more in the direction of these large properties rather than Manhattan apartment, and developers are trying to keep up. The Real Deal found that census data showed that this trend started in 2011 and applies nationally.

The median size of Northeast houses built between 2015-2017 was the largest in the country’s history. The Real Deal’s cross-examination of building permits found that the city follows the trend too. The one caveat is that downzoning and limited space make it harder for the biggest of homes to be built.

“[Demand] is definitely moving on the upside again,” Gregory Kyroglou, a residential broker at Queens-based Modern Spaces said to The Real Deal. “People are looking for space. We’re back to that.” He gave one example where a space with 4,000 square feet in northern Queens could go for over $1 million.

The current market conditions are actually pushing people out to the bigger homes.

“What happened is the land became much more expensive,” homebuilder R. Randy Lee said. “If you have expensive land, you have to have an expensive house.” He is based out of Staten Island, an area that still has open land, though commercialization over the years has taken over almost all of the island. The neighborhood of Charleston, at the end of the southern shore by Tottenville, is one of the few remaining places left with some undisturbed areas, but even those are threatened by development.

Development outside of Manhattan has outpaced the borough, and Queens, now looking to cash in on Amazon, is a prime spot to build and sell luxury properties, as The Jewish Voice has reported. The biggest sale belongs to a fund managed by Carlyle Group, who will pay $284 million for 1 QPS Tower. Long Island City may be getting big, but even this deal is noteworthy as it would be the biggest real estate deal in the neighborhood’s history.

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