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It's Not Enough

New York
It's Not Enough
Boston Properties' Mort Zuckerman
Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow yesterday, so hopefully we’ll see an end to this weather. Despite another storm last week, more than 400 design, construction, and real estate execs attended the New York Building Congress annual luncheon at the Mandarin Oriental, keynoted by Boston Properties’ Mort Zuckerman. After describing an economy that’s still in crisis, Mort advocated major federal infrastructure investment as one of the keys to recovery. He noted that the federal government’s initial stimulus package washeavily tilted in favor of social services spending over infrastructure. “A national infrastructure program would double the amount of jobs that are created by social service spending,” he noted. “We have to find those expenditures that are job-multipliers."
Boston Properties' Mort Zuckerman, STV Group chair Dominick Servedio, and NYBC prez Dick Anderson
Mort with STV Group chair Dominick Servedio and NYBC prez Dick Anderson. Yesterday, the Building Congress released its analysis of infrastructure spending and notes that of the $10B in federal stimulus money distributed to NYC, as of September, just 7% has gone to highway, bridge, mass transit, and other transportation-oriented construction projects. In contrast, $2.6B went to health and human services, $2.4B for unemployment insurance, and $1.8B to education. But on the positive side, actual spending on NYC transportation projects increased significantly. In January ’10, only $857k had been spent on transportation projects, but that jumped to $700M in September. Although Dick praised elected and agency officials for getting money flowing to allocated projects, he says the lion’s share of money has done little to stimulate the broader economy, create new jobs, and prepare the region for renewed growth.