For Immediate Release: October 3, 2018
CONTACT: DOBCommunications@buildings.nyc.gov, (212) 393-2126


DOB ANNOUNCES OPENING OF NEW CUSTOMER SERVICE ATRIUM

NEW YORK, NY – Today, Buildings Commissioner Rick D. Chandler P.E. announced the opening of DOB’s new Customer Service Atrium. Located on the first floor of the DOB headquarters building at 280 Broadway in Manhattan, this public space is a one-stop shop for DOB customers and will host more than150,000 transactions a year between members of the public and the Department. Commissioner Chandler was joined by Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Lisette Camilo and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer at the event, which coincides with National Customer Service Week.

“Our commitment to serve the people of New York City is central to everything we do at DOB,” said Buildings Commissioner Rick D. Chandler P.E. “We’re modernizing the department to allow customers to do more business with us online, but that means that we need flexible spaces like our new atrium for the business that must be done face-to-face. This new space advances our goal of improving the customer experience and will help us adapt to the new ways we will be interacting with the public in the future.”

“New Yorkers deserve an effective local government that delivers first-rate customer service,” said Lisette Camilo, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services. “This new space provides a modern and efficient way to do business with the Department of Buildings. We were pleased to partner on this exciting project and hope this space will be a terrific resource for many years to come.”

“We are a city of thousands of high-rises, more than a million buildings, and constant construction,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “The Department of Buildings is, in some ways, the most important city agency, with broad and far-reaching responsibilities. It needs to be as accessible to the public as possible, which is why this new customer service center is so vital.”

“The Department of Buildings has made a profound commitment to improving service to the millions of New Yorkers they touch as part of their mandate to administer the City’s building codes,” said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., Chair of the Council’s Committee on Housing & Buildings. “This new Customer Service Atrium stands as an example of the work Commissioner Chandler and the team at DOB continue to do to further improve their ability to effectively and efficiently serve New Yorkers.”

The new Customer Service Atrium is home to the following DOB units:

  • Administrative Enforcement Unit
  • Central Inspections, including Boiler and Elevator Units
  • Limited Alteration Applications/Permit Renewal & HUB Authentication Unit
  • Licensing and Exams Unit
  • Central Cashier
  • Central Filing and Billing

The DOB Customer Service Atrium allows members of the public to conduct much of their business with the department in one central location, with a bright, open-concept layout that allows our staff to collaborate across units to better serve our customers. Working alongside these units in the Customer Service Atrium are specialized Client Managers, whose job is to help homeowners and small business owners navigate our systems, providing one-on-one troubleshooting assistance to members of the public who don’t regularly interact with the department.

“We have worked hard to implement initiatives focused specifically on assisting homeowners, small business owners and tenants including Homeowners Night and the client manager program. This new, welcoming space is an important addition to these efforts, allowing DOB staff to better provide the help and guidance our customers need,” said DOB Chief Customer Officer Jody Kaplan.

Over the last four years, DOB has been hard at work transforming the agency at every level, from hiring hundreds of new plan examiners and inspectors to improve response times and expand our ability to enforce safety rules, to investing in our information-technology platforms to increase efficiency and transparency. Thanks to the launch of DOB NOW, our online filing platform, members of the public can do many of their transactions with the department completely online, reducing the need for a number of in-person office visits. For transactions that still need to be conducted in person, we are working hard to create public spaces that improve the customer experience, cutting down on wait times and demystifying department processes.

Plan ahead for your trip to the new DOB Customer Service Atrium, or any of the agency’s offices across the five boroughs, by checking current DOB office wait times on our website.