FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 15, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES HIS INTENT TO APPOINT ROBERT LIMANDRI NEW YORK CITY BUILDINGS COMMISSIONER
Nineteen-year Industry Veteran has Served as Acting Commissioner since April
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg this morning announced his intent to appoint Robert LiMandri to serve as New York City's Buildings Commissioner. LiMandri, who has more than nineteen years of engineering, real estate and construction management experience in the private and nonprofit sectors, has served as Acting Commissioner since April 2008 and has been part of the Department of Buildings' senior management of the since 2002. The Mayor will formally appoint LiMandri after signing into law Introduction 755-A, which passed the City Council yesterday. This legislation requires that either the Commissioner or First Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Buildings be a licensed Architect or Engineer. This will give Mayors needed flexibility in choosing the person that will run the Department of Buildings while also ensuring that an individual with the technical expertise of a licensed architect or engineer is in the department's highest leadership levels.
"Bob LiMandri is innovative, tough, and, without any doubt, the most qualified person to lead the New York City Department of Buildings into a new era," Mayor Bloomberg said. "As Acting Buildings Commissioner, Bob launched new strategies for rigorously implementing worksite safety, hired new inspectors and auditors to staff new multi-disciplinary investigative and enforcement teams, and cracked down on illegal after-hours construction, unsafe demolitions of the interiors of buildings, dangerous sidewalk sheds and other serious construction site problems. I want to thank Bob for serving as Acting Commissioner for these last four months, and I want to thank Speaker Quinn and the City Council for passing badly needed Buildings Department and construction reforms that have led to this nomination."
"I would like to thank Mayor Bloomberg for giving me the opportunity to lead this Department at such a critical point in its history," said Commissioner-designate LiMandri. "I also would like to thank the City Council for their continued support as we work to make construction sites safer throughout the City with new enforcement measures and regulations. The Department's mission of public safety requires a commitment from every one of us, including property owners, builders, construction workers and the members of my dedicated staff, and we must combine our efforts to ensure millions of New Yorkers are better protected than ever before. Shortcutting safety in the name of development is not an option, and anyone who puts people at risk will not be tolerated. Now let's get to work."
As Commissioner, LiMandri will be responsible for setting local construction standards, enforcing the Building Code and Zoning Resolution, and regulating New York City's construction industry to further the safe and lawful use of New York City's 975,000 buildings and properties.
As Acting Commissioner, Limandri strengthened the Department of Building's infrastructure, bringing in new management and reorganizing the agency to empower borough leadership and hold management more accountable. LiMandri also increased the overall efficiency and quality of the agency's processes by streamlining and reworking operational procedures at nearly every level. By setting consistent expectations and standardizing methods of measurement, LiMandri's efforts have improved the quality of services and increased productivity to a level not before seen in the agency's history.
To raise construction safety standards and improve industry accountability, LiMandri has significantly increased the agency's enforcement presence by targeting resources to areas most at risk of noncompliance. Under LiMandri's guidance, the Department launched its Special Enforcement Plan, dedicating ten newly-formed teams to advance construction safety by aggressively halting dangerous work and raising the construction industry's level of care. This plan was backed up with $12 million in new funding for 144 dedicated staff lines, including new inspectors and auditors, organized into multi-disciplinary investigative and enforcement teams.
To identify ways to make New York City construction safer, LiMandri also launched an unprecedented top-to-bottom analysis of three high-risk areas of construction: concrete, excavations and cranes operations. Under this $4 million Construction Analysis and Oversight Plan, about 20 engineering experts are examining the systems, protocols, tools and management of these forms of high-risk construction, while simultaneously studying the Department's own processes - ultimately enabling the Buildings Department to determine what areas the industry needs to improve to minimize risk and how the agency can best oversee and regulate these types of construction. Finally, recognizing there is much more to do, LiMandri is implementing the Department's 2006 - 2009 Strategic Plan to continue to increase transparency and accountability at all levels of the agency.
In June, LiMandri, Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Christine Quinn, and Deputy Mayor for Operations Edward Skyler - with the support of construction developers, contractors and organized labor - rolled out an aggressive and comprehensive legislative agenda that will equip the Buildings Department with additional oversight and enforcement powers to further the safety of New Yorkers and construction workers. Several parts of this comprehensive reform plan have already passed the Council and either have been or shortly will be signed into law.
Commissioner-designate LiMandri joined Buildings as Deputy Commissioner of Operations and was appointed First Deputy Commissioner in July 2005. Prior to joining the Buildings Department, LiMandri was a Director at Real Foundations, a management-consulting firm, where he counseled real estate companies in areas including leasing, deal analysis, management and construction. He was a Vice President at OpsXchange, an e-procurement solution firm, from 2000 to 2002. From 1997 to 2000, LiMandri was a Vice President at Jones Lang LaSalle, where he was a manager and consultant to leading firms and was responsible for Class A office buildings. Prior to Jones Lang LaSalle, LiMandri utilized his engineering background, managing the Science and Engineering buildings at Columbia University from 1990 to 1997.
LiMandri received his Master's degree in Real Estate from New York University and his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York. He lives in Queens with his wife and children.
Stu Loeser / Jason Post (Mayor) (212) 788-2958
Tony Sclafani (Buildings) (212) 566-3473