From NY Observer:
Mayor Bill de Blasio has yet to pick a new commissioner for the Department of Buildings nearly four-and-a-half months into his tenure, but that doesn’t seem to have affected the pace of construction in the city.
Construction approvals are up significantly in the first four months of this year compared to the same period in 2013, according to DOB records. Approvals for new buildings rose 38.2 percent over last year, with 500 permits issued versus 691, while approvals for demolition permits rose 24.8 percent, from 602 permits to 751.
The numbers are yet another sign of the city’s continuing recovery from the last recession, which stalled construction across the city, observers say.
The DOB also credited improvements in its own operations.
“The Department’s online permitting services are facilitating more approvals and we are seeing shovels hit the ground faster,” said a department spokeswoman. “This contributes to the growth of our city and translates into good paying construction jobs for New Yorkers.”
When it comes to approvals for new buildings, the borough of Queens saw the biggest increase, with 251 permits issued in the first four months of this year, versus 139 last year–an increase of 80.6 percent.