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NEW YORK CITY-Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed that he intends to appoint Robert LiMandri to serve as New York City’s Buildings Commissioner. LiMandri, who has more than 19 years of engineering, real estate and construction management experience in the private and nonprofit sectors, has served as Acting Commissioner since April 2008 and has been part of the DOB’s senior management since 2002.

The Mayor will formally appoint LiMandri after signing into law Introduction 755-A, which passed the City Council Thursday. That legislation requires that either the Commissioner or First Deputy Commissioner of the DOB be a licensed Architect or Engineer. According to a prepared press release, signing into law Introduction 755-A will give Mayors needed flexibility in choosing the person that will run the DOB, “while also ensuring that an individual with the technical expertise of a licensed architect or engineer is in the department’s highest leadership levels.”

Mayor Bloomberg says in the statement that as Acting Buildings Commissioner, LiMandri “launched new strategies for rigorously implementing worksite safety, hired new inspectors and auditors to staff new multi-disciplinary investigative and enforcement teams, and cracked down on illegal after-hours construction, unsafe demolitions of the interiors of buildings, dangerous sidewalk sheds and other serious construction site problems.”

As GlobeSt.com previously reported, LiMandri has significantly increased the agency’s enforcement presence by targeting resources to areas most at risk of noncompliance. In July, he revealed a series of changes regarding tower crane safety designed to strengthen maintenance and inspection requirements to advance safety in and around construction sites with tower cranes. LiMandri launched an analysis of three high-risk areas of construction: concrete, excavations and cranes operations to identify ways to make New York City construction safer. Under this $4 million Construction Analysis and Oversight Plan, about 20 engineering experts are examining the systems, protocols, tools and management of these forms of high-risk construction, while simultaneously studying the Department’s own processes–ultimately enabling the DOB to determine what areas the industry needs to improve to minimize risk and how the agency can best oversee and regulate these types of construction.

As Commissioner, LiMandri will be responsible for setting local construction standards, enforcing the Building Code and Zoning Resolution, and regulating New York City’s construction industry to further the safe and lawful use of New York City’s 975,000 buildings and properties. According to the release, as Acting Commissioner, Limandri strengthened the DOB’s infrastructure, bringing in new management and reorganizing the agency to empower borough leadership and hold management more accountable. LiMandri also “increased the overall efficiency and quality of the agency’s processes by streamlining and reworking operational procedures at nearly every level,” according to the release.

The DOB recently launched its Special Enforcement Plan, dedicating 10 newly-formed teams to advance construction safety by aggressively halting dangerous work and raising the construction industry’s level of care. The plan was backed up with $12 million in new funding for 144 dedicated staff lines, including new inspectors and auditors, organized into multi-disciplinary investigative and enforcement teams.

In June, LiMandri, Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Christine Quinn, and Deputy Mayor for Operations Edward Skyler–with the support of construction developers, contractors and organized labor–rolled out a legislative agenda that will equip the DOB with additional oversight and enforcement powers to further the safety of New Yorkers and construction workers. Several parts of this comprehensive reform plan have already passed the Council and either have been or shortly will be signed into law.

LiMandri joined the DOB as Deputy Commissioner of Operations and was appointed First Deputy Commissioner in July 2005. Prior to joining the DOB, LiMandri was a director at Real Foundations, a management-consulting firm, where he counseled real estate companies in areas including leasing, deal analysis, management and construction. He was a VP at OpsXchange, an e-procurement solution firm, from 2000 to 2002. From 1997 to 2000, LiMandri was a VP at Jones Lang LaSalle, where he was a manager and consultant to leading firms and was responsible for class A office buildings. Prior to JLL, LiMandri managed the Science and Engineering buildings at Columbia University from 1990 to 1997.

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