Mapping NYC's hotbeds of construction (hint: buy earplugs in Long Island City)

By Leigh Kamping-Carder  | September 5, 2014 - 11:59AM

Sometimes it seems like every block in the city is crawling with guys in hard hats, jackhammering away to build the next tower of overpriced condos. Well, not exactly. Some blocks are worse than others! New-development blog BuzzBuzzHome pulled data on where new apartments and townhouses are going up in different neighborhoods across Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, and created a nifty interactive map that visualizes the construction hot spots. If you're a light sleeper and thinking of renting in a new 'hood, may we suggest avoiding the following areas?

In Manhattan, the spot with the most residential construction was Hell’s Kitchen (we’d guess that’s partly the result of Hudson Yards, the gargantuan development project that’s bringing a forest of high-rises to the West Side), followed by the Financial District and Midtown East. Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, you’d be wise to buy earplugs in Downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg and Crown Heights.

But, as BuzzBuzzHome notes, the most construction-packed area of them all is Long Island City, where developers are building more than 4,500 new apartments or townhouses. 

Above, the darker areas show the neighborhoods where more residential construction is taking place (Photo credit: BuzzBuzzHome)

We’re guessing that eventually this will mean more housing options in all these areas. But in the meantime: aside from the seemingly constant noise and dust, construction also brings with it a ton of scaffolding, which, as we’ve discovered, comes with its own set of hazards and annoyances. Not to mention, if you’re buying a place, the fact that the empty lot next door is set to become a condo tower could impact your views and/or the experience of your outdoor space. 

Of course, the data don’t take into account other types of construction, like work on existing structures or the building of stores, offices or other commercial properties—not to mention your neighbor’s kitchen renovation. If you want to drill down to what’s going on at a specific address, you can look it up here. Or, if you’re looking for a more permanent (if pricier) fix, there’s always soundproofing


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