Department of Buildings Expands Online Filings and Approvals

The New York City Department of Buildings (“DOB”) recently announced the expansion of its online NYC Development Hub. Introduced by the DOB to facilitate the review and approval process on major construction projects, the Development Hub is a high-tech plan processing center offering faster approvals, fewer office visits to DOB and reduced paper submissions. Since its inception in October 2011, the Hub has approved more than 300 new buildings and major renovation projects.

Under the expanded program, known as Hub Self-Service, small construction projects will also be able to benefit from the expedited filing and approval process. Previously, the Development Hub only accepted electronic filing for major construction projects. Now, licensed architects and engineers will be able to file applications and obtain permits online for minor projects such as home renovations, office improvements, facade repairs, construction fences and scaffolding. All applicable fees can also be paid online.

More than 50,000 applications are submitted to the Buildings Department each year for small construction projects. The Hub Self-Service program will provide a fast and efficient approval process by permitting licensed design professionals to file plans and obtain approvals in a virtual environment for smaller projects. This new online approach is expected to save the industry millions of dollars each year in labor costs. Click here for the Hub Self-Service Industry Guide. You can click on the following links to DOB’s website to learn more about the NYC Development Hub and filing electronically.

Jose A. Aquino is a Special Counsel in the New York Office of Duane Morris LLP, where he focuses his practice on commercial litigation with a concentration in construction law, mechanics’ lien law and government procurement law.