With the looming 421-a tax break program expiring on January 15th, developers set out to gain approval for upwards of 8,000 permits for 299 development projects. According to the Wall Street Journal, this was the third highest monthly total since 2010.
The program provided tax exemptions to developers on vacant land that would be turned into residential buildings as long as at least 20 percent of the projects provided affordable units. Ultimately the plan expired because developers could not reach an agreement with unionized workers for on-site construction wages.
With no clear solution, developers seemingly raced to the finish to capitalize on the impending changes. Though there were a whopping 7,781 permits issued, Manhattan only accounted for four percent of the total permits. This however, is most likely due to stricter regulations for the borough.
In total, permits issued for 2015 surpassed the previous record high of 2008, with 2016 sure to be an ever stronger contender.