October 19, 2022
by: Adam Roberts
Construction site with worker on the bottom right corner
Building construction near the High Line in Chelsea. Photo: Timothy Neesam via Flickr.

A core pillar of Mayor Eric Adams’ initiatives is making New York friendlier for business. In particular, he is seeking to reduce burdens that cause design and construction to be so incredibly expensive, both for the private and public sector.

The Adams administration’s largest proposal to bring down construction costs is a series of three zoning text amendments, known as the “City of Yes” initiatives. These are Zoning for Zero Carbon, which will ease compliance with sustainable legislation; Zoning for Economic Opportunity, which will remove various zoning restrictions on small businesses; and Zoning for Housing Opportunity, which is intended to promote housing construction. Reducing limitations imposed by zoning should allow for more flexibility for design and construction, thereby reducing costs and timeframes for design and construction. The NYC Department of City Planning (DCP) is working with AIA New York members and other technical experts to craft the zoning text amendments required to implement these changes.

To improve project delivery for public works, the Mayor has organized a Capital Process Reform Task Force. The Task Force brings together AIANY and other trade associations and unions, as well as numerous city agencies, to examine issues key to architects, including improving the project pipeline, procurement reform, and streamlining approvals. Together, these should help decrease the time and cost overruns that plague city capital projects.

Lastly, the Mayor is looking at the backend of design and construction by refocusing the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) through a 90-Day Commission. AIANY and other groups are supplying experts to advise DOB on how to improve its everyday functioning so that projects may be approved faster and more safely. Doing so is also integral to bringing down the high costs that result from time overruns and liability issues.

AIANY is proud to be working with Mayor Adams on these critical proposals. Together, they will help ensure New Yorkers get the housing, infrastructure, and public buildings they deserve on time and on budget.


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