ABO Developments - Spring 2013 - (Page 12)

2012 Awards Luncheon The ABO A BO presented two distinguished New Yorkers with awards honoring their outstanding contributions to the building industry at a special luncheon at the Princeton Club on January 29th. The Awards ceremony was a few months late this year as our Annual Dinner Dance was canceled along with so many events in New York at the time due to the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. The ABO 2012 Award for Developer of the Year went to David Von Spreckelsen, Sr. VP of Toll Brothers City Living. The 2012 Award for Public Servant of the Year went to Department of Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri. Under David Von Spreckelsen’s guidance, Toll Brothers City Living has spent some $1 billion developing more than 1,100 luxury condominium units in New York City since 2004. Over the past year it has sold more condos than any other developer in the boroughs. The Touraine, its 15-story condominium tower on Lexington Avenue and East 65th Street, sold 21 of its 22 units in preconstruction — a feat rarely seen since 2006 at the heyday of the market — at nearly $3,000 per square foot. As head of Toll Brothers City Living, Von Spreckelsen’s responsibilities range from identifying and acquiring sites through managing design and construction to marketing and selling residences. Prior to Toll Brothers, Von Spreckelsen worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the New York City Economic Development Corp. Robert LiMandri joined the Department of Buildings in 2002 and was appointed commissioner in 2008. “He’s my favorite bureaucratic hero,” said ABO executive director Dan Margulies, introducing LiMondri, which, he explained, is high praise indeed. “What Bob has done at the DOB is cut red tape and introduce the latest technology. I can’t imagine anything more we would want from a city agency.” LiMandri created the New York City Development Hub, a state-of-the-art facility which allows owners to get building and renovation permits online. “More than 150,000 12 | A B O D E V E L O P ME NTS • www.abogny.com documents are now prepared and submitted online every year — a tremendous achievement,” added Margulies. LiMandri was the featured speaker at the luncheon. “I see a time when there will no one being paid to wait on line at the department,” LiMandri told the audience. And he’s well on the way. “You can fi le 90% of all documents with us online now,” he said. Documents requiring professional certification as part of an application package can be downloaded, signed by the architect or engineer, uploaded to the DOB’s site, “and within 12 to 24 hours they actually get approved. And if you haven’t chosen the contractor yet, you can get your approval and come back into the system later. It is essentially self-service.” The Hub enables an agent at the DOB to meet the principals of a job virtually, explained LiMandri, “where the architect is in his office, the owner is in his, and your expediter is in theirs. You can actually participate from your office with a webcam and gotomeeting.com.” LiMandri presented some good news on the development front. While the number of projects completed today are not up to 2007 levels, he reported, “total permits are way beyond the 2007 levels. Last year we saw a 72 percent increase in building permits over the previous year in Manhattan.” And there was a 22% gain in residential properties produced in 2012 over 2011. Increased building activity means more accidents. LiMandri claimed the DOB has worked to provide greater regulation and increased inspections to reduce worker casualties, but urged builders to improve their oversight. “Developers can lead by example,” he said, “hiring the right people and supervising the people you hire.” To signal its seriousness about bringing the agency into the 21st century, the DOB has also created a smartphone app. “The Buildings Department app allows you to search by address, block and lot to follow a particular permit,” explained LaMandri. “It’s the Buildings Department at a glance. It’s something we’re going to use heavily to communicate with owners and the public, which will be our primary focus.” ● http://www.gotomeeting.com http://www.abogny.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABO Developments - Spring 2013

A Message from ABO Executive Director Dan Margulies
BuildingsNY The Bigger, The Better…2013
Workshops and Seminars
Making Room New Models for Housing
ABO 2012 Awards Luncheon
Rats A Success S tory
Index of Advertisers

ABO Developments - Spring 2013