By Frank Fortino
After months of consideration and deliberation, Mayor de Blasio officially announced his appointment for the next leader of the DOB – Commissioner Rick Chandler.
I had the great pleasure of meeting Commissioner Chandler back in the 80’s when he first started as a plan examiner, and young engineer in the borough of Manhattan. Fast forward several decades, and he’s now the Buildings Commissioner.
Rick Chandler, a professional engineer, has recently held the position of Assistant Vice-President of Facilities at Hunter College. He brings years of large-scale management experience and deep expertise in the Building Code and Zoning Resolution, and has established a record of harnessing technology to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government operations on housing-related issues. As new Commissioner, he steps into a challenging position that, in the words of outgoing Commissioner LiMandri, requires “nerves of steel.”
Rick Chandler will look to his own experience with the DOB, having served as a Borough Commissioner of Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx from 1995-2002. As Commissioner, he will be tasked with ensuring the safe and lawful use of more than 975,000 buildings and properties in New York City by enforcing the Building Code, Electrical Code, Zoning Resolution, and state labor law and multiple dwelling law.
Commissioner Chandler will take over a DOB that has successfully ridden through a digital transformation under the hand of Commissioner LiMandri. The Department now operates with 30% fewer staff, and relies on both digital workflow and team collaboration to streamline the plan review process.
With real estate prices continuing to spike, there’s more pressure than ever from the development community to build larger, faster and more expensive properties. Commissioner Chandler will need to balance these pressures with the ever critical needs for safety and security.
At Metropolis, we’ve always worked very closely with the Commissioners and helped them to execute their vision for the DOB. We would like to thank outgoing Commissioner LiMandri for his excellent term of service, and look forward to working closely with Commissioner Chandler. Succeeding, as always, will take our full attention. We look forward to the challenge, and continuing to make the Department of Buildings a successful agency.