Friday, June 22, 2012

City designs system to save developers money

From Crains:

In a move designed to streamline the hugely cumbersome process by which developers apply to get their projects approved, the Department of City Planning rolled out a new system that will make things easier, faster and more predictable.

"This is a total transformation of how we review all land-use applications," said City Planning Director Amanda Burden. "We think it will foster growth in the city and get projects in the ground faster."

Dubbed BluePRint, which stands for Business Process Reform, the new system will be used in what is known as projects' pre-certification review period, during which they undergo complex environmental and land-use analyses. That process can drag on for several years — if not longer. Following that, projects enter the formal city public review known as the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, which typically takes another six months or so.

Deputy Mayor Robert Steel, who played a key role in the creation of BluePRint, announced its launch Thursday morning at a forum sponsored by the Association for a Better New York. The system will go live July 2, and by the time it is fully implemented in about two years, it is expected to allow City Planning to review two-thirds of all applications 25% to 50% faster than it does today. What's more, the streamlining is expected to save developers up to $100 million annually in various costs.

"Streamlining the review of development applications is exactly what New York City needs to build upon the economic progress we've made and help us prepare for the future," Mr. Steel said, in a statement. "More development means more jobs for New Yorkers, and BluePRint simplifies the way applications are reviewed so those jobs can be created as soon as possible."

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