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Digital Plan Reviews By DOB Make Building Permits Easier To Acquire

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Filing for a permit with the city's Department of Buildings is easier than ever, thanks to an online service that not many New Yorkers know about. NY1's Real Estate reporter Jill Urban filed the following report.

Many people who have tried to file plans for a permit with the city know they have to wait and wait and maybe even hiring an expediter to do the waiting for you. Now there is an service that can really help expedite the process by allowing applicants to go online instead of waiting in line.

"It's possible for you to file plans with the Department Of Buildings, pay and actually get a permit online," says city Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri.

Many people are not aware of the Department of Buildings online digital plan review system, NYC Development Hub, allows projects both big and small can be reviewed by the city virtually and easily.

"The Hub allows for a virtual collaboration," LiMandri says. "Architects and engineers go online, download documents, upload some plans, and ultimately the department can review those with you without you leaving your office

At their Lower Manhattan headquarters, DOB technicians rely on television, smart boards and webcams to virtually meet with engineers or architects to review virtual plans.

Smaller jobs are submitted through the Hub's self service program and permits can often be pulled within 24 hours. The Hub's development program is for larger projects and allows for an easy communication and transparency. Architects and their teams are also welcome to come into the headquarters for a consultation.

Aside from being a place to go to help expedite the process with the DOB, the Hub is also a centralized location where users can collaborate with multiple city agencies to make sure their plans meet all citywide requirements.

That is something architect Margaret Castillo, a former president of the American Institute of Architects in New York (AIA-NY), says is a game-changer.

"The best thing is the idea that they have brought all the other agencies involved in the approval process because and we have no mechanism to get everyone on the same page," says Castillo.

In just over a year, more than 330 jobs and $1.3 billion worth for economic activity have come through the Hub's virtual doors. LiMandri says he hopes this is just the beginning as more architects and engineers get on board and online with the program.

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