Called to order like a secret society of superheroes back in February, what, exactly, does the Buildings Department's five-man stalled sites task force do? Apparently, they sit around and update an Excel spreadsheet. But what an Excel spreadsheet! In an inspired move sure to please photobloggers and all lovers of urban decay, the DOB is now publishing the stalled construction sites list online. (Hat tip to the ArchPaper Blog for digging the list up.) In early July the count was at 362 sites, but according to the 7/26 update there are now 395 troubled projects across the city. Of course these are just the developments officially branded as such by the task force, so in reality there are probably many more. How high will the number climb?
Whether this is just the beginning or the end of the task force’s work also remains to be seen, or, as we put it to Scalfani, Are we looking at 400 to 500 projects or 4,000 to 5,000? “In terms of identifying where the trend is, I couldn’t say,” he replied. “Obviously the numbers have gone up, but it’s a little too early to say.” Furthermore, they’re in flux. Prior to this week’s database entry, dated July 26, there’s one before it, from July 21. In it, 398 buildings were listed as stalled, meaning three came off the list between last week and this week.
We're setting the over/under for next week's update at 410. Which way you betting?