Construction workers are showing up to work as usual in New York City, despite many projects in other major cities shutting down.
According to Cranes New York Business, the pounding of jackhammers can be heard in Williamsburg, Queens, and Manhattan where projects on high-rise buildings continue.
At the iconic Waldorf Astoria on Park Avenue, workers were busy fixing the facade. The hotel is being turned into high-end condos.
Near the Brooklyn Bridge, roughly 300 workers are putting up a luxury condominium at 130 William St. The developer, Lightstone, is expecting to receive a shipment of cabinets, vanities, and marble slabs from Italy—which he ordered before the virus shut down the country.
Boston has suspended all construction projects in the city, while San Francisco’s new shelter-in-place order has left cranes and construction sites deserted.
In New York, Elizabeth Velez, chair of the New York Building Congress, an industry trade group, said, “It’s largely business as usual, though some workers have been calling out because they’re worried about the virus.”
In the Hudson Yards area, about 500 crew members were working on the Javits Convention Center. That could change soon, with local officials considering stricter rules that would require most New Yorkers to stay home.
If construction projects in the city are halted, the economic repercussions could be devastating. There are currently more than 6,800 active construction sites across the city, employing tens of thousands of workers.
Shutting down the projects could bankrupt construction firms and lead to massive layoffs, issues that other industries are contending with as the virus roils the U.S. economy.