Archived Media Coverage 2010 to 2012

Current News Coverage * 2019 * 2018 * 2017 * 2015 * 2014 * 2012 * 2011 * 2010

As Solomon of the Rockaways, Deciding Which Homes Can't be Saved
New York Times
November 20, 2012

On November 20, 2012, the New York Times reported that in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy Department engineers, architects and inspectors worked tirelessly to assess buildings damaged by Hurricane Sandy in the City's hardest hit areas. For the piece, the Times did a ride-along with Queens Field Operations Chief John Murphy to get a firsthand look at the damage in the Rockaway Beach area.
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As Crane Hung in the Sky, a Drama Unfolded to Prevent a Catastrophe Below

New York Times
November 7, 2012

On November 7, 2012, the New York Times did an in-depth story on the crane that collapsed on West 57th Street during Hurricane Sandy and the work the Department and the construction site's experts did to develop a plan to secure the crane.
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Engineers Assess New York City's Dangling Crane

CBS National News
October 30, 2012

On October 30, 2012, CBS National News interviewed the Department's two engineers, Michael Alacha and Timothy Lynch, who inspected the damaged crane on West 57th Street during the night of Hurricane Sandy. In the piece, Alacha and Lynch discuss how they pushed through severe weather and high winds to examine the crane and what they saw.
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Faster than a Speeding Bullet

Crain's New York Business
October 8, 2012

On October 8, 2012, Crain's New York Business profiled the NYC Development Hub, the City's new state-of-the-art plan exam review center for the facility's one year anniversary. Since opening in October 2011, the Development Hub has approved 339 new building and major construction projects, generating $1.3 billion in estimated economic activity for the City. With the use of digital plans, these projects were approved up to 3 times faster than paper-based plans.
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Amid Collapsing Walls, a Bit of Luck for 3 Families

New York Times
July 9, 2012

On July 9, 2012, the New York Times reported that in the midst of a partial building collapse at 241 Carroll Street in Brooklyn on July 2, Timothy Lynch, the Executive Director of the Department's Forensic Engineering Unit, worked to make sure tenants were safe and help salvage their beloved belongings from the collapsing building.
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Building' Up Brooklyn's Economy

New York Post
May 14, 2012

On May 14, 2012, the New York Post reported that new building permits in Brooklyn increased by 62% in the first four months of 2012 as compared with the same time period in 2011. Majority of the increase was the result of more than 350 new housing units underway in neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant.
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Permits Climb as Developers Up Their Bets

Wall Street Journal
May 5, 2012

On May 5, 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported that Manhattan is starting to shake "Its construction doldrums" as result of the country's economic crisis, after seeing a 169% spike in new building permits in the first four months of 2012 as compared with the same time period in 2011.
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DOB Unveils New Construction Safety Program

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
April 24, 2012

On April 24, 2012, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that the Department unveiled a new program at its 2012 Build Safe/Live Safe conference to increase safety, 3D Site Safety Plans. The new program will allow Department inspectors to take a virtual, step-by-step tour of how a new building or major renovation will be constructed, visualize its complexities and challenges and review critical safety measures. The Real Deal also picked up the story.

NYC Sees Biggest Building Permit Rise Since Crash

Crain's New York Business
March 6, 2012

On March 6, 2012, Crain's New York Business reported that construction permits were up 14% in the first two months of 2012 from the same time period last year and demolition permits, a sign of developments coming down the pipeline, were up 36.7% during the same time frame. The Real Deal and the Huffington Post also picked up the story.
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Al's Heating Service

February 8, 2012

On February 8, 2012, Fox5 produced a story on Al Lakas, an unlicensed contractor who has been cited for performing illegal plumbing work in New York City. Investigators from the Department's Internal Audits and Discipline Unit issued two criminal court summonses to Mr. Lakas for illegal work in 2009 and 2011.

Simplifying the Signage

Wall Street Journal
February 6, 2012

On February 6, 2012, the Wall Street Journal wrote about the Department's new Construction Information Panel Pilot Program, which encourages contractors and building owners to consolidate permit postings and contractor signage into one informational panel, making it easier for New Yorkers to learn about an ongoing construction project.
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2011 News Coverage

Coming Soon to the Sidewalks: A New Look for Scaffolding
New York Times
November 30, 2011

On December 7, 2011, Mayor Bloomberg and Buildings Commissioner LiMandri unveiled the first installation of the urbanSHED International Design Competition winning design, Urban Umbrella, at 100 Broadway in Lower Manhattan. Designed by Young-Hwan Choi and Andrés Cortés, R.A. and Sarrah Khan, P.E. of the Agencie Group, Urban Umbrella is a much needed improvement to the City's landscape. The new design, the first major overhaul of the sidewalk shed in more than 50 years opens up the sidewalk, is made almost completely of recycled materials and uses LED lighting panels with a lifespan of 11 years. The Urban Umbrella installation announcement was also picked up by the New York Post, DNAinfo, amNew York, the Village Voice, NBC4, Ch. 11, WNYC and Curbed.
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Bronx Students Learn Elevator, Escalator Safety

November 14, 2011

The Department's Elevators Unit kicked-off the agency's 8th annual National Elevator Escalator Safety Week by teaching a class on elevator and escalator safety to over 200 students at PS 9 in the Bronx. During the class, students learned tips like remember to tie your shoe laces, don't lean on elevator doors and the Department's safety slogan"Ring, Relax, Wait" which reminds children to stay clam during the event of an emergency and wait for help to arrive.

NYC Official Pledges Crackdown on Illegally Converted Apartments

Daily News
November 10, 2011

On November 10, 2011, Department volunteers distributed flyers at a subway station in Woodside, Queens to educate New Yorkers about the dangers living in illegal apartments can pose. During the month of November, volunteers distributed over 10,000 flyers in 11 different languages at subway stations across the City's five boroughs.

Bloomberg Predicts New Buildings Department Initiative Will Completely Digitize Permits Process

October 12, 2011

NY1 reported that Mayor Bloomberg and Building Commissioner LiMandri have opened a new state-of-the-art review center called the NYC Development Hub to help streamline and accelerate the plan exam review process. At the new development center located in Lower Manhattan, plans are digitally submitted and reviewed by multiple City agencies at once in a virtual environment. The NYC Development Hub announcement was also picked up by Crain's New York Business, DNAinfo, the Real Deal and WNYC.

City Cracks Down on Illegal Apartments

September 25, 2011

CBS2 reported that the Department has been going undercover posing as potential tenants to find and crackdown on illegally converted apartments advertised on Craigslist and similar website. The Department added the new enforcement tool to its arsenal in the spring of 2010 to help it target illegal apartments and those who create them.
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City Taps New Construction-Streamlining Czar

Crain's New York Business
September 1, 2011

Commissioner Robert LiMandri appointed architect Fred S. Mosher, Jr. to the Department's newly created Deputy Commissioner of Building Development position to focus on streamlining the City's construction approval process. In the position, Deputy Commissioner Mosher will oversee the Department's entire plan-exam review and permit issuing processes. The announcement of Mosher's appointment was also picked up by the Real Deal and Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Construction Death Plunge

New York Post
August 1, 2011

Construction-related accidents in New York City continued to decline in the first half of 2011, falling to 56 from 94 in the first half of 2010. Injuries also decreased for the same time period from 96 in 2010 to 59 in 2011. The Department of Buildings attributed the continued decline to increased safety awareness.
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Winning Scaffold Design Provides Lift Above, Movement Below

July 26, 2011

Commissioner LiMandri unveiled a prototype of the urbanSHED International Design Competition winner, Urban Umbrella, to a group of construction and real estate stakeholders at an art studio in Brooklyn. Designed by Young-Hwan Choi and Andrés Cortés, R.A. and Sarrah Khan, P.E. of the Agencie Group, the sleek new Urban Umbrella design is made almost entirely of recycled materials and opens up and brings light to the sidewalk. The unveiling of the urbanSHED winning design prototype was also picked up by amNew York and Architects Newspaper.

Beating the Heat

July 21, 2011

One way to beat the City's summer heat is to prepare in advance and coat your home or building's roof white as part of the Department of Buildings' NYC °Cool Roofs Program. The Program encourages building owners to paint their roofs with a white reflective sealant that repeals the sun's rays, reducing the amount of energy needed to cool a building, a building's electric costs as well as the City's carbon footprint. During its inaugural season in 2010, the program helped to coat over 1 million square-feet of rooftop space in the City.

Sign-Up for Free Deck and Porch Inspections

Queens Gazette
July 20, 2011

In June 2011, the Department launched its annual No-Penalty Deck and Porch Inspection Program, encouraging home owners to inspect these structures before using them in the summer and take advantage of the Department's free inspection program by calling 311 if they have any concerns about their structures.
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Solar Panels Still Rare, Despite Glow of $7 Power Bills

New York Times
July 11, 2011

In its weekly "Appraisal" column, the New York Times reported that there is a growing trend of solar panel installations throughout New York City. Buildings Commissioner LiMandri discussed the uptick with Times reporter Diane Cardwell.
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Coney Island Rides Get Clean Bill of Health

News 12 Brooklyn
June 28, 2011

DOB Inspectors provided a look into how the City monitors amusement park rides and ensures that owners and operators are taking steps to maintain them safely. Inspectors noted that rides are generally safe and parents and children should follow safety precautions to minimize risk.

DOB Molds the Next Generation of Architects and Engineers

Downtown Express
June 22, 2011

A visit to the Department's Manhattan headquarters as part of the Junior Architects and Engineers program was featured in the June 22 issue of Downtown Express. Approximately 30 students toured the facility, met with Senior DOB officials, reviewed building plans for the new high-rise residential tower at 8 Spruce Street and then toured completed parts of the building.
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Department of Buildings' Scaffold Safety Team Featured

April 15, 2011

NBC News reporter Andrew Siff joined Buildings Inspector Joseph Cobian for a behind-the-scenes look at ongoing renovations at the Jacob Javits Center. Cobian, who is part of the Department's Scaffold Safety Team, highlighted aspects of the site's elaborate scaffolding equipment and the Department's role in ensuring work is performed safely.
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DOB Teaches Kids About Architects & Engineers

March 1, 2011

NY1 reported that Commissioner Robert Limandri and Queens Borough Commissioner Ira Gluckman kicked-off the Department's new educational program for elementary students, Junior Architects and Engineers, by teaching a class to fifth graders at PS 31 on Staten Island about what it means to be an architect or engineer. The new program aims to give elementary students in New York City a better understanding of the construction industry and encourage students to start thinking about careers in the construction field. If you are interested in having the Department visit your school or your child's school, send an email to

Quick Response (QR) Codes to be Added to All NYC Construction Permits

February 22, 2011

Commissioner LiMandri and Deputy Mayor Goldsmith appeared on NY1' "Inside City Hall" program to discuss the City's new Quick Response (QR) Codes program. The piece highlights how the Department is using technology and placing QR codes on all NYC construction permits to allow New Yorkers to scan the codes with their smartphones and gain instant access to information about construction sites and buildings. The QR Codes announcement, which Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Goldsmith and Commissioner LiMandri unveiled on Tuesday, February 22, 2011, was also picked up by Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, the New York Observer, the Real Deal, WCBS, Fox5, WNYC, and DNAinfo


The New York Times
January 30, 2011

The New York Times featured a profile of Commissioner LiMandri in the Sunday Real Estate section. The Q&A highlighted important figures from the 2010 Annual Report, along with the Department's accomplishments since his appointment in 2008. The Real Deal, The Brownstoner and the New York Observer also picked up the story.
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Rental Red Flags: 10 Signs You Don't Want That Apartment

January 30, 2011

CBS MoneyWatch.comfeatured Commissioner LiMandri's 10 tips for renters on the homepage, which were issued following the Department's city-wide undercover investigation into illegal conversions in apartments posted on Craigslist.
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2010 News Coverage

Cambridge artist's winning design unveiled in New York City
The Boston Globe
December 10, 2010

The Boston Globe covered the unveiling of the second urbancanvas design installation, which went up at the Hunter College School of Social Work on December 10th. The artwork was created by Boston-based designer Jen Magathan. Urbancanvas is beautifying the City by installing public art on temporary protective structures at construction sites.
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DOB Officials Share How To Spot An Illegal Apartment.

September 28, 2010

Following an undercover investigation into illegal apartments advertised on Craigslist, the Department issued tips for renters that were featured on NY1's "New York One for You" segment.

City Says Investigation Uncovers Illegal Apartments

New York Times: CityRoom Blog
September 23, 2010

Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner LiMandri announced the results of a 5-month long undercover operation to expose illegal conditions in apartments for rent throughout New York City at a September 23 press conference.
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Canvassing for Votes with NYC Construction Fence Finalists

The Architects Newspaper
September 20, 2010

With more than 100 design submissions, the urbancanvas design competition announced eight finalists and encouraged the public to select winning designs to be installed on construction sites across the City.

Great Neck Man Charged With Bribery Attempt

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
August 26, 2010

A tip from a Department of Buildings inspector led to the arrest of a Great Neck businessman for trying to bribe the inspector to overlook electrical violations in a multi-unit residential property in Brooklyn. Since 2003, DOI has arrested 76 individuals in investigations originating from tips from Buildings Department personnel.

Island's Chief Engineer Receives Proclamation from Molinaro

The Staten Island Advance
August 8, 2010

Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro honored Borough Engineer Sai-Yung Wat by declaring "Sai-Yung Wat Day" at a Borough Hall Proclamation ceremony. The proclamation was in recognition of Mr. Wat's individual excellence award at the Department's first-ever Commissioner's Awards for Excellence ceremony in June. The Department also honored six other Staten Island residents at the ceremony: Eyal Amos, Andrew Bruschi, Paul D'Alessio, Gary Grandstaff, Sam Samaan and Gloria Janis.
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Queens Families Move to Solar Energy to Power their Homes

NBC News
July 10, 2010

On July 10, 2010 NBC News reporter Andrew Siff joined Buildings Commissioner LiMandri at the home of a Queens family who installed solar panels on their roof after receiving DOB permits and approvals. The solar panels have lowered the family's monthly electric bills to under $10.00 a month and have inspired others in the community to install solar panels to improve energy efficiency in the area.
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City Design Competition Seeks to Beautify Construction Sites

July 19, 2010

DNAinfo featured a story on the urbancanvas Design Competition, which will give professional artists the opportunity to create a set of printed art designs for temporary protective structures at construction sites throughout the New York City.
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Department of Buildings Volunteers to Build Habitat Homes in Brooklyn

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
June 24, 2010

On June 24, 2010, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri and 20 Department employees volunteered for Habitat for Humanity-New York City to build homes for 16 families in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
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Solar Panel Tax Abatements Available

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
June 11, 2010

On June 11, 2010, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri announced that the City is seeking solar panel tax abatement applications from Brooklyn building owners to encourage the use of sustainable technology.

Video Shows Potentially Unsafe Working Conditions at Construction Site

NBC News
June 9, 2010

On June 9, 2010, NBC News reported that Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri highlighted the importance of safety measures at construction sites after viewing a video of a worker on a scaffold without a harness in midtown Manhattan.
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Construction Safety Week-Watch Your Step

WNYC Radio
April 26, 2010

On April 26, 2010, WNYC Radio reported that the Department of Buildings in partnership with other City agencies hosted several events that educated the community, property owners, and members of the construction industry during the sixth annual Construction Safety Week.

Buildings Department Makes Push for Safety Retaining Walls

Staten Island Advance
April 18, 2010

On April 18, 2010, the Staten Island Advance reported that a Department of Buildings inspector educated residents on how to recognize the signs that a retaining wall is in need of repair. The efforts are part of the Department's initiative to offer penalty free, no charge inspections that will help ensure the proper maintenance of retaining walls.
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Developers Jump on Program for Stalled Projects

Crain's New York Business
March 25, 2010

On March 25, 2010, Crain's New York Business reported that the Department of Building's Stalled Sites program, which aims to facilitate work at construction sites that are not being properly maintained because construction has been stalled.
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More on Stalled Sites:

  • "DOB: Activate Long Idle Work Sites "The Queen' Gazette, April 28, 2010
  • "Buildings Department Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity" ABC News, June 18, 2010 ABC's 5:00 news broadcast featured a segment on the Buildings Department and Habitat and Humanity Buildings Commissioner LiMandri joined 20 volunteers from DOB to build Habitat for Humanity homes for 16 hard working families in Brooklyn.

Fed Up with Scaffolding? New Type Unveiled at MetroTech

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
January 21, 2010

On January 21, 2010, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri unveiled a new design for sidewalk sheds as part of the UrbanSHED program, an International design competition launched by the City of New York.

New Seminars for Backyard Bar Owners

New York Post
January 12, 2010

On January 12, 2010, the New York Post reported that the Department of Buildings and the Small Business Administration worked with Community Board 1 to create a seminar that will educate backyard garden owners about rules and regulations pertaining to their outdoor spaces.
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City plumber Anthony Thompson risks it all as he heads off for reserves duty as G.I. in Afghanistan

Daily News
January 4, 2010

On January 4, 2010, the Daily News reported that Department plumbing inspector, Anthony Thompson, was profiled in the Daily News for his work helping the military build plumbing systems at U.S. bases and in Afghan villages.
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City's New 'Umbrella' Sidewalk Scaffold Design Revealed
January 21. 2010

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Department of Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri reveal the winner of the urbanSHED design competition, sponsored by the Department of Buildings, the American Institute of Architects, the Alliance for Downtown New York and several others. The goal of the new designs is to improve the appearance of sidewalk sheds throughout New York City's construction sites.
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More on UrbanSHED:

°Cool Roofs

City Leaders Launch 'NYC Cool Roofs Program
May 11, 2010

NY1 broadcasted LIVE from the launch of the NYC °Cool Roofs program, collaboration between NYC Service and the NYC Buildings Department to coat 1 million square feet of rooftops around the City with a reflective white coating. Read more.

More on Cool Roofs:


NYC Launches urbancanvas Design Competition
New York Construction
June 24, 2010.

New York Construction News published a story on the urbancanvas Design Competition, a contest that allows professional artists to create designs that will eventually be displayed on temporary protective structures throughout New York City as a way to beautify its streetscapes.
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More on urbancanvas:

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