Numbers are supporting his soothsaying. There was $13.8 billion worth of construction projects that were started in 2011, a 31 percent drop from the previous year, according to the New York Construction Outlook Update issued by the New York Building Congress.
Most of those are the result of a decline in construction projects in the nonresidential sector, including all hospitals, offices, hotels and other institutional buildings.
Construction starts for all government projects in 2011, including roads, bridges and other infrastructure, also dropped by 39 percent, from $13.7 billion in 2010 to $8.4 billion in 2011.
Mr. LePatner believes this is the result of the public’s diminishing interest in fortifying a decaying infrastructure.
“There is a public lack of enthusiasm for investing in infrastructure that was there right after World War II,” said Mr. LePatner.
But these construction projects need to happen in order for businesses to follow.
“When we finish a number 7 line to the Javits Convention Center, businesses will flow there, just like the Hudson Yards. When we finish the Second Avenue Subway, businesses will flourish and new development will happen along that way in much the same way that the High Line triggered $2 billion of investment and assets in an area where it was just nonexistent before.”