Thursday, September 1, 2011

NYC Taps New Construction Czar

Veteran Skidmore Owings & Merrill architect to lead charge in new post designed to speed up construction-approval process; will manage efforts to aid development, up efficiency of plan reviews.

In an effort to make the city's construction-approval process easier to navigate, the city's Department of Buildings announced Thursday that it has created and filled a new senior post, whose occupant will oversee the streamlining of the entire process.

Taking the job with the title of deputy commissioner of building development will be Fred Mosher. An architect at Skidmore Owings & Merrill with more than 24 years of design and construction experience, he will be in charge of construction-plan examination operations and the issuing of permits in all five boroughs. In addition, he will manage new efforts to aid development throughout the city and help to increase efficiency of the construction plan review process.

“New development is critical to ensuring that our city continues to grow, and Fred Mosher's expertise will help move more projects forward so more people can go back to work,” said Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri, in a statement. At Skidmore Owings & Merrill, where he worked for nine years, Mr. Mosher was a senior technical architect.

In his new post he will also lead the Buildings Department's “Get it Done Together” pilot program. It launched in May and is designed to eliminate the red tape and speed up the construction-approval process by bringing all the necessary city agencies under one roof to review and approve projects. In June, the city said that 385 construction projects were approved as a result of the new program.

Mr. Mosher has supervised teams of architects and engineers in the design and construction of some of the largest government-sponsored projects in the world, including the Toronto International Airport in Canada, the Kuwait Military Academy in Kuwait City, and the reconstruction of the Cortlandt Street subway station in Lower Manhattan.

By Amanda Fung
Crain's New York Business