by AIA New York
Over the last few weeks, Mayor de Blasio has filled numerous high-level positions within his administration. City agencies dealing the construction industry have been particularly hard hit in the past few months by departures of senior officials. The commissioners of the Department of Buildings (DOB) and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), as well as the Deputy Mayor of Housing and Economic Development, all departed since the start of 2019.
Since early April, Mayor de Blasio has filled these positions with the following appointees:
- DOB Commissioner: Melanie La Rocca, a Vice President at the School Construction Authority, will replace Rick Chandler.
- HPD Commissioner: Louise Carroll, general counsel of the Housing Development Corporation, will replace Maria Torres-Springer.
- Deputy Mayor: Vicki Been, former HPD Commissioner, will replace Alicia Glen. Been most recently served as director of New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy and as a professor at NYU’s School of Law
Filling these vacancies should help the City move forward with a number of important projects. Currently, AIANY is collaborating with HPD on its “Big Ideas Small Lots” competition to find buildable and affordable designs for numerous small and oddly shaped lots throughout the city. Meanwhile, DOB will be charged with overseeing the implementation of Int. 1253, a City Council bill mandating retrofitting of all buildings over 25,000 square feet. AIANY was strongly supportive of the bill and looks forward to working with DOB on implementation of its provisions.
- On Thursday, May 16, AIANY is hosting the AIANY Advocacy Workshop and Call to Action. The event will go over the various advocacy priorities of AIANY; the goal is to invite members to actively participate in and support AIANY’s advocacy efforts.
- Last Wednesday, May 8, was AIA’s Albany Advocacy Day. AIA members from throughout New York State moved through the halls of the State Capitol talking with their elected officials on various issues relating to architecture and the built environment. AIANY members emphasized the potential pitfalls of A5026/S3820, a State bill which would limit all residential ceiling heights to 12 feet.