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Restoring New York City’s Building Sector

Despite being one of the first industries allowed to resume work after the shutdown 15 months ago, New York City’s building sector remains 25,000 jobs below its pre-coronavirus peak.

Hopes to plow through the withering backlog of planned construction largely rest on President Joe Biden’s efforts to pass an infrastructure plan with a price tag of around $1 trillion. Meanwhile, uncertainty over who the next mayor will be and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s political fate injects more unknowns at a critical time.

The city added 41,300 jobs in May, the fourth consecutive month of increases as the unemployment rate fell to 10.9% from 11.4% in April, the state Labor Department reported last week. The biggest gains came in restaurants and the arts — the two sectors hit the hardest by the coronavirus crisis — and transportation.

Still, New York remains 510,000 jobs below its pre-pandemic total of almost 4.7 million. On a percentage basis, only San Francisco and Los Angeles have regained fewer jobs than New York among the nation’s 10 largest cities, according to an analysis by James Parrott, an economist at the New School.

The construction industry is crucial because it provides relatively high-paying jobs that don’t require advanced degrees, becoming an economic lifeline for many immigrants and workers of color.

The average salary in the industry reached $87,200 in 2020, the fourth highest of any sector in the city, according to a new report from the state comptroller’s office. Immigrants hold about half the jobs, most from Latin America and the Caribbean.

The industry added jobs for eight consecutive years through 2019, bringing the total to an all-time high of 161,300 — making construction the fastest-growing sector over that period. Construction spending grew an average of 20% during that time, reaching a record of $61 billion in 2019.

Then the bottom fell out.

Spending plunged by $5 billion the next year and is expected to remain flat for at least two years. Only two new projects of more than 300,000 square feet pursued permits in the first three months of the year. That’s compared to applications for 405 such projects last year.

Even maintaining current levels of activity and jobs depends primarily on government spending. Insiders expect a post-pandemic travel boom will spur an acceleration of the Cuomo-pushed $15 billion Kennedy Airport overhaul. But last week, the governor’s controversial plan to build a $2 billion AirTrain to LaGuardia Airport got delayed by the feds.

The industry is also counting on the city’s $8.5 billion program to replace Rikers Island with smaller jails in four of the five boroughs, though it isn’t clear if the next mayor will be committed to the plan — the major candidates have a variety of stances.

The long-delayed federal approval of the Gateway tunnel project under Hudson River offered a potential boost for construction jobs, pending an infrastructure package passage. But elsewhere on the transportation front, the MTA’s ambitious $51 billion capital plan remains precarious given the agency’s financial woes as ridership improves, but remains well below pre-pandemic levels.

Also at risk are 100 hotel projects that remain in the pipeline — half of which are in the boroughs outside of Manhattan.

The key to the construction industry’s fortunes, stakeholders say, will be the size of whatever infrastructure program the Biden Administration is able to get through Congress and where the money will go. You can read more here.

Infrastructure is a big topic right now. We are paying close attention to the infrastructure package that will be passed in Washington. We will continue to keep you updated on all things that affect our incredible city.

Best wishes,
Stacey Froelich

Samantha Wortmann
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

Samantha Wortmann is a born and bred Manhattanite with Real Estate in her blood. As a member of the Stacey Froelich Team, Samantha brings a fresh new perspective and millennial skillset to a team with 20+ years of experience. With an unwavering work ethic and honest nature, Samantha is passionate about her product and creative in the approach. She creates strong relationships and elevates the experience for buyers and sellers alike.


With a keen eye for style, Samantha provides an imaginative vision for her clients. Along with natural talent, she brings an education from the New York School of Interior Design to the table making her an excellent advisor and executor of impactful home staging and interior design.


Samantha currently splits her time between the Upper East Side in a co-op that she personally designed and renovated, and a beautiful historic home in Ridgewood, NJ with her husband Robert and their newborn son, Tripp. In their spare time, the Wortmanns can be found playing with their dog, Goose, in Central Park, skiing in the Catskills, or boating off the coast of Connecticut.

Melina Marini
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

From the first photo-shoot to the final page of an impeccable board package, Melina Marini is there with her clients every step of the way. Her passion and expertise for the NYC market make her a valuable resource for anyone from first time buyers/sellers to seasoned real estate investors. Her approach to real estate consists of 4 major components: service, attention to detail, market knowledge, and integrity.


Melina is a dedicated professional who helps sellers by crafting a detailed marketing and pricing plan to attract financially qualified buyers, and gives each listing the time and attention it requires to sell quickly, and for the best price. When working with buyers, she relies on a combination of listening to and interpreting the buyer’s needs, in order to find the ideal home at the ideal price, in the most convenient timeline. She lives by a steadfast rule of being accurate and efficient, which has made her a client favorite.

Prior to obtaining her real estate license, Melina worked as a project manager for a Downtown Brooklyn condominium conversion. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College with a B.A. in Music Performance. During her down time, Melina enjoys spending time with her wife and
australian shepherd, Lyon, in their cooperative in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and performs internationally with her six person vocal band, Concrete.

Carolyn Levitan
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

As real estate is one of the most important and emotional decisions a person can make, Carolyn Levitan forges a true partnership with each client, understanding their unique needs in order to help them reach their goals. Carolyn acts as a trusted adviser through every stage of buying or selling a home. Seeing her clients appropriately invested and comfortably settled is Carolyn’s foremost priority. Her clients include everyone from first-time buyers to dedicated clients she has
helped through numerous purchases, sales, and investments throughout her 25+ years in the real estate industry. Each deal and each client are equally as important to Carolyn, and it shows.

Carolyn’s impeccable reputation, unparalleled knowledge, professionalism, and passion for the industry mean she is a go-to source not only among her clients, but also her colleagues. From
sitting on condo and co-op boards, to renovations and interior design, to handling new development projects from the ground up, Carolyn understands every facet of real estate from both professional and personal experience.

Originally from Sands Point, Long Island, Carolyn was raised by parents whose favorite hobby was buying and selling homes. Sunday family outings consisted of visiting model homes and real estate chatter. After raising her daughter on East 72 nd Street, Carolyn moved to Flatiron, where she has resided for the last ten years.

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Mike Biryla
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

Michael understands how life-changing and stressful buying, selling or renting a home can be. He goes above and beyond for his clients in every aspect of the process, to ensure that this decision is easy and stress is minimized. “I treat your real estate needs with the ultimate level of care and attention, as if it were my own home. Quality service is always number one. I’ll work tirelessly on your behalf to protect your best interest and deliver results you’re thrilled with.”

A Licensed Real Estate Salesperson in the vibrant New York City market since 2013, Michael catapulted to success as a top-producing agent at his previous rental firm. He was the number one agent in his Upper West Side office two years in a row, and expanded into residential sales arena when joining The Stacey Froelich Team at Compass.

Michael specializes in sales and rentals in all Manhattan neighborhoods and is sensitive to the urgent nature of securing or selling real estate in New York. He is a skilled listener and negotiator with a flair for what he does, and great persistency to achieve success. Years in the hospitality industry taught Michael to be extremely detailed and customer oriented. Michael has the ability to relate to people from all backgrounds and walks of life. He makes a point to remember the little things about a client, from their kids’ and pets’ names to birthdays and anniversaries; because to him, relationships will continue long after deals are closed.Michael is a native New Yorker from Long Island. He lived in North Carolina for a short time but knew New York was his true home. Michael currently resides in Astoria, an area bustling with new development. Outside of real estate, Muay Thai is his biggest passion. Being a longtime competitive Muay Thai Boxer has fueled his desire to push himself to the limit and outperform under pressure. Family means the world to Michael and consumes much of his free time.

Robert Godby
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

New York is a city of serendipity, a fact Robert Godby can personally attest to. The path he walked to and from his former job at Mount Sinai Hospital led him past a real estate office window each day. “I would always stop and look at the floor plans and photos,” he says. In 2010, Robert decided to take the leap into real estate himself, starting as the executive assistant to the CEO of one of New York’s top firms and then as a licensed salesperson. Robert is a proud member of the Stacey Froelich Team at Compass since 2013.

Since then, he’s separated himself from the pack with his tenacious dedication, detail-oriented focus, and ability to maintain calm during any stressful situation. Robert specializes in sales and rentals in Manhattan and prides himself on being available to his clients, even after a transaction is complete. “I want to make the process smooth and fun,” he explains. “My favorite part of this job is meeting people.”

Robert combines his love for working with people, technology, and marketing expertise in order to make the buying and selling process as seamless as possible. A Philadelphia native, Robert holds a bachelor’s in political science from Radford University in Virginia. He has called New York City home since 2009, and in his free time, he enjoys running and staying physically active, reading and traveling.

Carla Slocum-Friedman
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker

Her love of architecture, interior design, and the elements of home are what most draw Carla to the world of selling real estate. This, combined with her passion for life in New York City and her in-depth knowledge of Manhattan make her a powerful partner for anyone seeking a home or apartment here. Carla believes that the purchase of any piece of real estate should ideally be two-fold. It should afford an opportunity for investment and capital appreciation, while acting as a sanctuary and emotional haven for the owner. Her goal is to deliver the highest possible quality service to enable both buyers and sellers to seamlessly achieve their financial and personal goals. Carla brings skill, dedication, honesty, and integrity to her work, as well as a sense of humor.

Having lived in Manhattan since graduating magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh, Carla has spent the last thirty years exploring the diversity of each of the neighborhoods within the city, and is well-versed on the landmarks and distinctive attributes of each, especially parks, restaurants, transportation, and services. Prior to entering real estate, Carla spent twenty-five years as a senior fashion executive who successfully built brands and grew revenue and profit within a variety of retail and wholesale venues. Carla’s expertise in design, merchandising, and marketing serves her extremely in real estate. Outside of work, Carla spends leisure time with her fearless Wire Fox Terrier, Asta, her husband David, and her two children. She enjoys working on design projects, theatre, antiquing, and spending as much time as allowed at her home in Bridgehampton.

Stacey Froelich
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Stacey grew up in New York and moved back to live in Manhattan after graduating from the University of Florida in 1995. Stacey began her career in residential real estate in 2001.  Real estate is the perfect career for Stacey due to her ability to connect with people, her ability to balance a fast-paced business, juggling many balls at once, and maintaining focus and organization throughout the process. Stacey heads her team of dedicated, hard-working, driven agents. Stacey is extremely conscientious in making sure all of her endeavors yield successful results for her clients, with no exception. She is driven to ensure her buyers find a place that feels like home and that her sellers receive maximum exposure with a goal to procure the most qualified buyer at the highest possible price.
 
Stacey truly sees the value in building long-standing relationships with her clients. She spends time with each of them to ensure they know she is there to support and guide them throughout this process. Stacey’s motto is that relationships are the key to her success, which is what makes her personal and professional life so fulfilling.

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