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Lengthy approval process remains challenging for LI builders


A panel of Long Island construction industry executives said the sector continues to be challenged by the area’s plodding entitlement process and rising insurance costs.

More than 225 people came to hear the panel at the event titled “Challenges in a Changing Construction Environment,” hosted by the Real Estate Institute at Stony Brook University College of Business on Friday, March 8 at the Heritage Club at Bethpage in Farmingdale.

Moderated by Scott Burman, principal of Burman RE, the panel included Kelly Coughlan-Heck, executive vice president and partner at Tritec Real Estate; attorney Jason Samuels, shareholder at Polsinelli PC; Marvin Rosen, insurance advisor at Rampart Insurance Services/ HILB Group; and Frank Vero, CEO of Aurora Contractors.

Panelists said one of the biggest obstacles to the construction industry here is the amount of time it takes to get projects approved.

“Long Island is a challenge,” Samuels said. “There are so many layers of government you have to go through. “Other areas might take six months as opposed to six years. You have to convince everyone that there’s a benefit to them, where elsewhere they see that.”

Coughlan-Heck talked about how Tritec is working on a 424-acre mixed-use project called Kincora in northern Virginia, where the company had to build $180 million in infrastructure.

“If we were doing that here, our grandkids would still be talking about the entitlement process,” she said.

Read the full article in Long Island Business News.