Buildings Commish: It's the Little Things That Count

bob limandri Buildings Commish: It's the Little Things That Count  We’ve been worried about a double dip (or a single-dip, unending collapse, depending on your perspective) for the past few months now. As Department of Buildings permits continued to decline for the fifth straight year in 2010, things don’t look promising for 2011. But with that kind of attitude, we’ll never get out of the recession. In an interview with The Times, DOB Commissioner Robert LiMandri says you have to look for the silver lining where you can, and before we know it, the worst will be over:

It’s in pockets. Permits for new buildings and major alterations fell around 19 percent last year, to 13,000 from 16,000. But permits for small-scale alterations – like moving a wall – rose 6 percent, to nearly 103,000. People are still doing smaller work, and that drives the economy as well.

We’re starting to see pockets of demolitions. We just had seven or eight sites in the last couple of weeks. When you see demolitions come back, it’s a leading indicator that development is coming.

Also, in Manhattan there are four or five large sites, where maybe they slowed construction, that are starting to pick up. It’s the heart of the winter so it’s going to be slow anyway, but we’re hoping that the spring will bring a set of new buildings.

So people are working with what they’ve got. As LiMandri said, it’s better than nothing, and the recovery has to start somewhere. If the snow ever stops and the ice thaws, maybe we can get back to building.

mchaban [at] observer.com | @mc_nyo

Article continues below
More from Politics
(FILES): These two file photos show then Labor Secretary Thomas Perez (L) speaking to reporters about the minimum wage for federal contractors at the White House in Washington, DC, on Feburary 12, 2014; and Minnesota Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison (R) during a press conference about Islamophobia at the National Press Club on May 24, 2016 in Washington, DC.


US Democrats, licking their wounds from last year's election debacle, will pick a new leader on February 25, 2017 to take the fight to President Donald Trump and his Republicans. The race to chair the Democratic National Committee (DNC) features front-runners Tom Perez, a Hispanic-American and former secretary of labor under Barack Obama who is the establishment pick, and Keith Ellison, a black Muslim congressman from the party's progressive wing who has left open the prospect of pushing to impeach Trump. / AFP / Mandel NGAN AND Brendan SMIALOWSKI        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN,BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Sanders 2020 Just Became Much More Likely With Tom Perez as DNC Chair