There are certain things that will always take us by surprise in a move, but mercifully, local construction projects—and the disruptive noise and minor air pollution that tend to come along with them—don't have to be on the list.
Apartment data site AddressReport, which lets users get the lowdown on potential apartments before they make a move, has just rolled out a new feature that tracks past, present, and potential future construction projects in your neighborhood, the company tells BrickUnderground.
As with the other features on their site, you can plug in your address, and AddressReport will pull from its cache of public data to pinpoint nearby demolitions within the last year (foreshadowing construction); scaffolding that's up within a five block radius (indicating current projects); the exact nature of the construction projects in your building since 2003 (which you may want to ask about before you move); and new buildings that've gone up in the past year within 8 blocks of your place (to get a sense of whether the area is a hot spot for development).
This can come in handy for issues both inside and outside your building—with data on past work in your apartment (or neighboring units), you can come to a meeting with your landlord or property manager armed with information, specific questions, and maybe even the ability to haggle on the price.
It can also give you some sense of the pace of building in your neighborhood. Near our Bed-Stuy apartment, for instance, there were four recent demolitions—i.e. sites that are likely to turn into construction projects sooner rather than later—and a map dotted with new buildings that have gone up in the past year. (The site has also put together larger Manhattan and Brooklyn demolition maps that have been making the rounds this week, and track every building in each borough that's been taken down since 2003.)
It may be cold comfort if you've already signed off on a place or don't feel like splashing out for ever-expensive soundproofing, but then, information—and the ability to buy earplugs ahead of time—is power.