DOB commissioner to step down at the end of month

Deputy Commissioner Thomas Fariello will take over

New York /
Jan.January 04, 2019 03:00 PM

Rick Chandler (Credit: Emily Assiran)

Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler is stepping down at the end of this month.

Chandler, 58, will retire February 1, he confirmed to The Real Deal on Friday. First Deputy Commissioner Thomas Fariello will take over as acting commissioner until the mayor appoints Chandler’s replacement. Chandler said he’s long planned to retire between the ages of 55 and 60. He doesn’t have immediate plans but is leaving the “door open” to future opportunities.

Thomas Fariello

“It’s been an agonizing decision for me,” he told TRD. “I’m pulling the trigger on my life plan.”

“After 31 years of public service I might add, and my body shows it,” he added.

Mayor Bill de Blasio named Chandler DOB commissioner in 2014. Chandler previously served as DOB borough commissioner in Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He later worked for the city’s Department of Homeless Services and at Hunter College.

As commissioner, Chandler headed an agency tasked with assuring 1.1 million buildings and more than 45,000 active construction sites abided by the city’s building codes. While in office, he oversaw the agency’s modernization efforts, which included digitizing construction filings and inspection records.

He’s also seen historic levels of construction, as well as an uptick in construction-related deaths. The agency is now charged with assuring compliance with a new law that requires additional safety training for construction workers.

“I think we’ve done a very good job of focusing on safety with the realization that there’s more to do,” he said.

John Banks, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, called Chandler a “tough negotiator” who also worked to make sure the DOB wasn’t a “bureaucratic dead-end.” Banks, who was on de Blasio’s transition team when he first became mayor, said it will likely be a challenge to find a replacement for Chandler.

“It was very difficult to find a commissioner who met what the mayor’s needs were,” he said.

Chandler’s exit follows other high-profile departures from the de Blasio administration. In December, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen confirmed that she will be leaving sometime in 2019. A few weeks prior, Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito was ousted, and in November 2017, Anthony Shorris, de Blasio’s first deputy mayor, announced he would leave. Chandler said these exits weren’t related to his decision to leave.

“While I’m sad to see Rick go, I thank him for his decades of service to the city and wish him well in his future endeavors,” the mayor said in a statement.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Mack Real Estate CEO Richard Mack and one of his new hotels at 51 Nassau Street. (Getty, ING)
Mack Real Estate takes over 7 distressed Manhattan hotels
Mack Real Estate takes over 7 distressed Manhattan hotels
1440 Broadway and CIM Group’s Shaul Kuba (Google Maps, Getty)
CIM closes on $400M refi for 1440 Broadway
CIM closes on $400M refi for 1440 Broadway
Theaters in some cities are opening with restrictions. (Getty, Photo Illustration by Alison Bushor for The Real Deal)
Coming attraction: Movie theaters reopen in New York, San Fran
Coming attraction: Movie theaters reopen in New York, San Fran
Hedge fund manager Robert Citrone (Getty)
This “Tiger Cub” hedge funder owns nearly 10% of Compass
This “Tiger Cub” hedge funder owns nearly 10% of Compass
Innovo Property Group's Andrew Chung with 23-30 Borden Avenue in Long Island City (Google Maps)
Innovo lands $155M construction loan for LIC warehouse
Innovo lands $155M construction loan for LIC warehouse
Restaurants and bars accounted for a majority of the gains in February (iStock)
Leisure, hospitality big winners in February job gains
Leisure, hospitality big winners in February job gains
Zynga founder Mark Pincus, Hippo founders Assaf Wand and Eyal Navon, and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman (Getty, LinkedIn)
Hippo strikes $5B SPAC deal with LinkedIn, Zynga founders
Hippo strikes $5B SPAC deal with LinkedIn, Zynga founders
The company currently operates 761 stores, and intends to open 100 new stores this fiscal year. (iStock)
Retailer Burlington plans to double store count
Retailer Burlington plans to double store count
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...