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Got Land? New York Desperately Needs It To Build More Public Schools

The city will need about 45,000 seats in the next five years

Faced with a dire need to build new public schools and few suitable sites, New York City will now start recruiting property sellers to fix the problem.

The city is going to need about 45,000 seats for students in the next five years, The Wall Street Journal reports. That means it needs about 70 sites for new schools — but an examination of 7,000 of the city’s properties turned up just two possible locations.

The city’s School Construction Authority plans to issue a request for proposals for property in the next few weeks, the WSJ reports. The sites have to be a minimum of 20K SF, on solid ground and able to fit 300 students.

The areas of District 20 in southwest Brooklyn and District 24 in Queens are among the places that need the most seats. Neighborhoods that have seen a lot of development, in particular, need school space, and the city has trouble keeping up with the way student populations change with the times.

The city has experienced the wide-ranging impact of a significant population increase over the last decade. Between 2000 and 2016, the number of jobs in the city went up by nearly 17%, but the housing units went up by just 8%, according to NYU's Furman Center.

While the increase in jobs amid the longest local economic expansion since the end of World War II has paid dividends to the office leasing market, the city has been experiencing a housing affordability crisis in recent years.

The job growth does not show signs of slowing down, tech talent employment increased 44% between 2011 and 2018 in the city, according to CBRE’s Tech Talent ViewPoint report released yesterday. Many of those tech workers are millennials, who are starting families later, but still yearning to stay in the cities they have helped to revitalize.