7,781 Permits Approved in Month Before 421-a Expired

As the 421-a tax break program was set to expire on Jan. 15 of this year, developers pushed applications through the city's Department of Buildings. A total of 7,781 permits were approved for 299 different projects, which represents the third highest monthly total in the past seven years. The 421-a tax abatement program allowed developers tax exemptions on the development of vacant land into a residential building with at least 20 percent affordable units. The program expired because developers were unable to reach an agreement with unionized workers on wages for construction.

Of the 7,781 permits that were issued, 4,599 were in Brooklyn. Queens was second with 26 percent of the total permits. Manhattan accounted for only 4 percent, which may be attributed to more stringent 421-a guidelines that applied to the borough.