Testimony

The Real Estate Board of New York to The New York City Department of Buildings Regarding a Major Projects Development Program

Alexander Shapanka

Assistant Vice President of Policy

November 21, 2021

Real estate development is essential to New York City. Not only does development create a space where New Yorkers live, work, learn, socialize, or more, it contributes to the city’s vitality and directly helps our economy by creating good jobs and increasing tax revenue to be used on public services. As the city begins its recovery from the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, development will be crucial.

The major projects development program would allow for certain significant development projects to apply and pay a fee to participate in a program that provides dedicated services and guidance from DOB staff throughout the project development, including pre-review of plans, permits, and occupancy requests. It would also create a dedicated staff member to help shepherd participating projects through DOB processes, giving the developer a single point of contact assigned to that end. Qualified projects would include:

  • New buildings 20 stories or greater;

  • New buildings with a total floor area of 500,000 square feet or more;

  • New buildings that increase the existing floor area by 100,000 square feet or more; and

  • New or existing buildings facing unique hazards associated with demolition or construction.

REBNY strongly supports this proposed rule, which will be a benefit to economic development and also help improve public safety by working more directly with developers and ensuring compliance with Code and safety standards.

To improve the program, REBNY encourages the DOB to consider the below, which we believe complement the program’s intention and would help strengthen its impact.