LiMandri: small rehabs, demos rebounding

January 28, 2011 09:50AM

While major construction is still experiencing a slowdown in New York City, smaller renovations and demolitions are on the upswing, Department of Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri told the New York Times. His department just released its annual report, which shows small-scale alterations up 6 percent despite the 19 percent drop in permits for new buildings and major alterations, and there have been seven or eight site demolitions within the past several weeks. “When you see demolitions come back, it’s a leading indicator that development is coming,” LiMandri said. And when construction does ultimately rebound, developers may be able to go through the permitting process entirely online, which can save time and costs. Electricians were able to get their permits online as of last year, and construction permits are slated to follow suit in 2011. A pilot program for getting plans reviewed online is also in the works. “You open an account with us, send [the plan] to us electronically. We look at it when we’re available — we might ask questions or note objections — and e-mail it back to you,” LiMandri explained. [NYT]