John Caravella - The Law Office of John Caravella, P.C.



John Caravella
The Law Office of John Caravella, P.C.
626 RexCorp Plaza, 6th Fl, West Tower
Uniondale, NY 11556

516-462-7051

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John Caravella
The Law Office of John Caravella, P.C.

Attorney Profile
Law School

Nova Southeastern University
1997 - 2000

Website

liconstructionlaw.com

516-462-7051


JOHN CARAVELLA, ESQ

 

As a dedicated and experienced Construction Law Attorney, I help Homeowners, Contractors, and Design Professionals with their legal needs in construction litigation and arbitration.

The Law Offices of John Caravella, P.C., practices primarily in Construction Litigation, Supplier Disputes, Construction Contract Claims, Construction Defects, Construction Disputes, Labor Laws, House Lifting Cases, Real Estate Services, Construction Arbitration and Construction Contract Advising.

Based in Long Island, our firm has three offices in Uniondale, Melville, and Ft Lauderdale, FL.

We have a singular focus on construction law and place an emphasis on communication with our clients to better understand their needs. Clients can expect honesty and trust from every member of our team. It’s this trust and confidence from clients, that always comes first. This serves as a foundational principle for the firm, acting as a driving force for growth since our establishment in 2008.

I developed a passion early on for architecture. As a high school student, I was driven to learn and inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, my father, and my whole family. My dedication to education and hard work led to a successful career in the field, giving me invaluable experience and skills that serve as not only a unique differentiator, but also as a scaffolding for success in the construction industry.

I’ve been committed to excellence in construction law for two decades.

Credentials & Experience includes:

American Arbitration Association Construction Industry Panel of Neutrals, Nassau County Bar Association Arbitration and Mediation Panel, as well as the Eastern District of New York Hurricane Sandy ADR panels. I’m also a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Nassau County Bar Association Construction Law Committee.

__________

I maintain an “open door” office policy and always provide free, no-obligation telephone consultations.

> Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.


John Caravella's Law Posts

New Guidance Indicates Construction Not Likely To Be Shut Down In New York Long Island Construction Law does not own this content. This content was created by Jenn Goodman and was published to Construction Drive on December 18th, 2020. New York officials have issued additional guidance about construction’s essential status that seems to indicate that even in the areas hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak, construction will most likely remain essential. Based on the latest clarification, the Associated General Contractors of New York State told its members in an emailed update yesterday that it believes the following applies: If a region becomes a “Red Zone,” the guidance at this link on essential business applies. This guidance deems construction broadly essential, saying that projects may continue, but any work that can be done remotely such as office-based work must proceed remotely to the extent practicable. Employees who are not directly involved in in-person work at the business location/construction site are prohibited. If the state moves to a full shutdown such as happened with this spring’s “NY on Pause,” then the more restrictive definition of essential construction would apply, halting projects across the state but allowing for the continuation of school, infrastructure and healthcare construction among other types of projects. AGC NYS CEO Mike Elmendorf said the changing guidance is not surprising, because the industry and government officials are navigating the effects of a surging pandemic while balancing safety and jobs. “The governor and his team are making adjustments and changes as the facts and data warrant, and at times that means things get confusing. It is to a significant degree unavoidable. We are in uncharted waters here,” he said. “We certainly understand that and have been communicating regularly with the administration on these matters since the start — and we appreciate the clarity that has been brought to this from the start,” he added. “We have come a long way on clarity since the spring.” The construction industry has been broadly deemed essential from the beginning of the pandemic, Elmendorf noted. “We have kept working and the data shows we have done it safely,” he said. “In doing so, we have kept a critical component of our economy and critical supply chains online. We are prepared to continue doing that — safely.” Dive Brief: Much like during the early days of the pandemic, new COVID-19 guidance from New York State puts renewed focus on whether businesses, including construction, are essential. This weekend, the state updated its guidance for its COVID Cluster Action Initiative indicating that all but essential businesses will be shut down if a region reaches Red Zone status. The initiative divides clusters and the areas around them into three categories with successively higher restrictions: Yellow Zones, Orange Zones and Red Zones. For contractors, the new guidance relies on a more restrictive definition of essential construction (item 9 here) in Red Zone areas, eliminating previous language that appeared to broadly deem construction as essential, according to a letter from the Associated General Contractors of New York State to its members. Dive Insight: The zones are designed to help control COVID-19 spread and protect hospital capacity in New York, which has seen rising caseloads since the fall. According to an online tracker, no areas are deemed Red Zones but there are several Orange and Yellow areas. The metrics used for each are: Red Zone: A Red Zone will be implemented when a region, after the cancellation of elective procedures and a 50% increase in hospital capacity, is 21 days away from reaching 90% hospital capacity on the current seven-day growth rate. Orange Zone: A geographic area will be eligible to an Orange Zone if it has a 4% positivity rate (seven-day average) over the last 10 days and it is located in a region that has reached 85% hospital capacity. Alternatively, an area may also become an Orange Zone if the New York State Department of Health determines the region’s rate of hospital admissions is unacceptably high and a zone designation is appropriate to control the rate of growth. Yellow Zone: A geographic area will be eligible to enter a Yellow Zone if it has a 3% positivity rate (seven-day average) over the past 10 days and is in the top 10% in the state for hospital admissions per capita over the past week and is experiencing week-over-week growth in daily admissions. As national virus case counts spike, and daily death tolls reach their highest levels since the spring, contractors around the country are worried about the potential for more stop-work orders to prevent the continued spread of COVID-19, similar to initial shutdowns that were put in place in the first weeks of the pandemic, prior to construction being deemed essential in most regions. The AGC NYS last week led a statewide coalition of industry groups calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to continue to deem construction essential in all zones. “As COVID-19 cases continue to spike throughout New York State and the nation, the construction industry has worked in a safe and essential manner,” read a letter signed by the leaders of 21 construction-focused groups and trade unions. “We strongly urge you to keep construction as an essential business so that we can keep this critical sector of the economy working.” In a briefing last week, Cuomo provided data that showed construction as the source of exposure in only .66% of COVID-19 cases from September to November, according to contact tracing data. AGC NYS CEO Mike Elmendorf noted, in the letter to members, that the situation is evolving and said that he anticipates the industry is re-entering a period of frequent changes to rules and guidance.

New York officials have issued additional guidance about construction’s essential status that seems to indicate that even in the areas hardest hit by the coronavirus.
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John Caravella’s Article on Affirmative Action for Contractors to be Featured in Nassau County Bar Association’s “The Nassau Lawyer” Publication In January 2021, The Nassau Lawyer will publish an article written by Mr. Caravella, regarding protected classes and anti-discrimination laws within New York State. Business Owners and Contractors are encouraged to stay informed of these issues and reform efforts. To obtain a copy of this topic article, please visit www.nassaubar.org, or please scroll down below. Primer on Affirmative Action for Construction Contractors By John Caravella All businesses must avoid discriminating against members of protected classes when making employment decisions, but federal contractors, including construction contractors, must also take affirmative steps to ensure that they hire and promote members of protected classes. As discussed below, these affirmative action requirements derive from several discrete legal authorities and carry a range of undesirable sanctions for violators. Moreover, recent changes in antidiscrimination law suggest a growing tension between affirmative action and color- and gender-blindness that may further complicate matters for construction contractors in the future. While the laws discussed herein apply to all federal contractors, provisions vary between construction and non-construction contractors. This article focuses on affirmative action as it pertains to construction contractors in particular. There are three primary sources of affirmative action requirements: Executive Order 11246; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (the “VEVRAA”). Executive Order 11246, as amended, applies to equal opportunity regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin and requires federal contractors to take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and employees are treated during employment, without regard to the foregoing classes.[i] The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires federal contractors to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities.[ii] The VEVRAA requires federal contractors to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified covered veterans, including disabled veterans and recently separated veterans.[iii] The three schemes of affirmative action requirements affect construction contractors differently and impose different requirements. Executive Order 11246’s coverage spans all construction contracts with the federal government and its agencies, and all contracts undertaken with federal funds, where the contract sum is at least $10,000.00.[iv] Relevant exceptions include contracts for work to be performed outside the United States by workers from outside the United States and contractors giving hiring preference to Native American Indians with respect to projects on or near Native American Indian reservations.[v] Given the narrow field of applicable exemptions, essentially all construction contracts with federal authorities will be subject to equal opportunity and affirmative action requirements as to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin. Where Executive Order 11246 applies, the contractor must initially maintain personnel records for up to two years from the date of making the record or the personnel action involved, including not only documentation as to employees but also job applications, postings, and submissions from applicants.[vi] The contractor must be able to identify the gender, race, and ethnicity of employees and applicants in connection with these records.[vii] While construction contractors are not required to develop a written affirmative action plan under Executive Order 11246 and its regulations,[viii] they must take affirmative actions including the following: Making employment opportunities known to minority and female recruitment sources; Reviewing equal employment opportunity policies with all minority and female employees; Specifically directing recruitment efforts to minority, female, and community organizations, schools with minority and female students, and minority and female recruitment and training organizations; Encouraging present minority and female employees to recruit other minorities and women; and Annually evaluating all minority and female employees for promotional opportunities and encouraging minority and female employees to seek or prepare for such opportunities through training.[ix] Much like Executive Order 11246, the Rehabilitation Act applies to construction contracts where the contract sum is more than $10,000, including subcontracts where the project owner is the federal government or one of its agencies.[x] There is also a similar exclusion for employment activities outside the United States.[xi] Unlike Executive Order 11246, however, the Rehabilitation Act imposes greater requirements, in the form of a written affirmative action plan, where the above criteria are met and where the employer has more than 50 employees and a covered contract for least $50,000.[xii] Under the Rehabilitation Act and its regulations, there is a similar two-year record-keeping requirement concerning personnel actions, with the same abbreviated period for smaller employers.[xiii] Above and beyond that, however, the regulations require contractors to expressly invite applicants and employees to self-identify as a person with a disability.[xiv] Where the size of the employer and contract necessitate a written affirmative action plan, its requirements include: Ensuring that personnel practices allow for the consideration of applicants and employees with disabilities for hiring or promotion; Ensuring that physical and mental job requirements that might screen out persons with disabilities are related to the job in question and born of business necessity; Addressing performance problems of individuals with known disabilities by inquiring whether the problem is related to the disability and whether the individual requires a reasonable accommodation; Specifically recruiting qualified individuals with disabilities, such as by sharing job openings with a state developmental services office or a private organization that specializes in training and placement of individuals with disabilities; and Maintaining records of hiring activities with respect to individuals with disabilities for three years.[xv] As opposed to Executive Order 11246 and the Rehabilitation Act, VEVRAA has its own, distinct application. Construction contracts with the federal government and its agencies of more than $150,000 are subject to VEVRAA.[xvi] Like the laws discussed above, VEVRAA applies only to employment activities within the United States, [xvii] and like the Rehabilitation Act, the requirement for a written affirmative action plan only applies to contractors with more than 50 employees.[xviii] VEVRAA requires substantially similar actions to those under the Rehabilitation Act but for the fact that they apply to covered veterans rather than individuals with disabilities. The two-year record-keeping requirements for general personnel records are the same, with the same reduced record-keeping requirement for smaller employers.[xix] Contractors must invite applicants and employees to self-identify as covered veterans,[xx] and where required, an affirmative action plan must ensure that personnel processes permit advancement, direct outreach efforts to appropriate agencies, and maintain hiring records for three years, albeit geared toward protected veterans in this instance.[xxi] Additionally, contractors must list employment opportunities with employment service delivery systems so qualified covered veterans may be referred,[xxii] and finally, contractors must set benchmarks for hiring qualified covered veterans, which may be calculated in alternative ways, and retain records concerning their setting of benchmarks for three years.[xxiii] While the foregoing laws concern employment actions vis a vis minority groups, contractors must nevertheless avoid giving the impression of hostility to what might be considered “majority” groups. Recently, President Donald J. Trump signed into law Executive Order 13950, which contains several provisions relevant to affirmative action programs and applicable to federal construction contracts. With respect to all federal construction contracts except those exempt from Executive Order 11246, contractors are forbidden from using “any workplace training that inculcates in [their] employees any form of race or sex stereotyping or any form of race or sex scapegoating[.]”[xxiv] Race or sex stereotyping is defined as “ascribing character traits, moral and ethical codes, privileges, status, or beliefs to a race or sex, or to an individual because of his or her race or sex.”[xxv] Race or sex scapegoating is defined as “assigning fault, blame, or bias to a race or sex, or to members of a race or sex, or to an individual because of his or her race or sex.”[xxvi] Executive Order 13950 might seem like it is at odds with a statutory and regulatory scheme geared toward affording advancement opportunities for minority workers, but these provisions can be reconciled. Executive Order 13950 does not mandate treatment of workers regardless of race or sex, which would of course preclude affirmative action. Rather, it requires neutrality in training, which cannot assign any particular characteristics, including fault for the necessity of affirmative action laws, to any race or gender. Ultimately, both as a matter of compliance with Executive Order 13950 and avoiding workplace conflict, construction contractors should discuss race and sex discrimination and affirmative action only in terms of the employer’s obligation without offering any opinions on whether—or why—such measures are proper or necessary. Noncompliance, whether with Executive Order 13950, Executive Order 11246, the Rehabilitation Act, or VEVRAA, carries a series of penalties. Under all of these laws, a construction contract may be cancelled, suspended, or terminated in the event of a violation, and the contractor may be debarred from being awarded federal contracts.[xxvii] Other potential penalties include backpay to employees with interest and injunctions against further violations,[xxviii] as well as the withholding of progress payments.[xxix] Earlier this year, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which enforces the affirmative action laws, resolved a complaint against federal construction subcontractor EnviroVantage Inc. for failing to hire 12 eligible female workers, resulting in the contractor paying $100,000 in back wages and interest and agreeing to hire 12 eligible female workers as positions became open.[xxx] The resolution of a complaint for Fort Myer Construction Corp.’s violations, including violating the affirmative action laws by failing to hire qualified female and African American applicants, involved a payment of $900,000 and a commitment to offer positions to 7 qualified women and 30 qualified African Americans as positions become available.[xxxi] Under the threat of the foregoing sanctions, construction contractors must walk a proverbial tightrope to comply with affirmative action requirements. Although the introduction of Executive Order 13950 does not outright contradict those requirements, it suggests the idea of a departure from affirmative action that may or may not take off. Ultimately, this field of law continues to evolve, and navigating it successfully will continue to require extraordinary tact on the part of construction contractors and their attorneys John Caravella, Esq. is a construction attorney and formerly practicing project architect at The Law Office of John Caravella, P.C., representing architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, and owners in all phases of contract preparation, litigation, and arbitration across New York and Florida. He also serves as an arbitrator to the American Arbitration Association Construction Industry Panel. Mr. Caravella can be reached by email at [email protected] or by telephone at (516) 462-7051. [i] Exec. Order No. 11,246, 30 Fed. Reg. 12319 (Sep. 24, 1965); as amended by Exec. Order No. 11,375, 32 Fed. Reg. 14303 (Oct. 13, 1967); Exec. Order No. 12068, 43 Fed. Reg. 46501 (Oct. 5, 1978); Exec. Order No. 13,665, 79 Fed. Reg. 20749 (Apr. 8, 2014); and Exec. Order No. 13,672, 79 Fed. Reg. 42971 (Jul. 21, 2014). [ii] 29 U.S.C. § 793(a). [iii] 38 U.S.C. § 4212(1). [iv] 41 C.F.R. § 60-1.5(a)(1); 41 C.F.R. § 60-4.1. [v] 41 C.F.R. § 60-1.5(a)(3) and (7). [vi] 41 C.F.R. § 60-1.12(a). The time period is one year from the date of making the record or the personnel action involved if the contractor has fewer than 150 employees or its contract sum is less than $150,000. [vii] 41 C.F.R. § 60-1.12(c). [viii] 41 C.F.R. § 60-2.1(b). [ix] 41 C.F.R. § 60-4.3(a). [x] 29 U.S.C. § 793(a). [xi] 41 CFR § 60-741.4. [xii] 41 CFR § 60-741.40. [xiii] 41 CFR § 60-741.80. [xiv] 41 CFR § 60-741.42. [xv] 41 CFR § 60-741.44. [xvi] 38 U.S.C. § 4212. The figure of $150,000 is adjusted from $100,000 in the original VEVRAA to account for inflation per 48 CFR § 1.109. [xvii] 41 CFR § 60-300.4. [xviii] 41 CFR § 60-300.40(a). The regulations specify that the affirmative action plan requirement also applies only where the contractor has a contract in excess of $100,000, but this is presently redundant, given the current threshold dollar amount for VEVRAA to apply at all. [xix] 41 CFR § 60-300.80(a). [xx] 41 CFR § 60-300.42. [xxi] 41 CFR § 60-300.44. [xxii] 38 U.S.C. § 4212. [xxiii] 41 CFR § 60-300.45. [xxiv] Exec. Order No. 13950, 85 Fed. Reg. 60683 (Sep. 22, 2020). [xxv] Id. [xxvi] Id. [xxvii] Id.; Executive Order 11246 Secs. 207(7), 209; 41 CFR § 60-1-27(b); 41 CFR § 60-300.66; 41 CFR § 60-741.66(a). [xxviii] 41 CFR § 60-1-26(2); 41 CFR § 60-300.65 (a)(1). [xxix] 41 CFR § 60-300.66. [xxx] U.S. Department of Labor. New Hampshire Federal Construction Subcontractor Enters Agreement to Settle Hiring Discrimination Found by U.S. Department of Labor. https://bit.ly/3oujX1E. [xxxi] U.S. Department of Labor. Fort Myer Construction Will Pay $900K to Settle Discrimination and Harassment Case Involving 371 Women and Minorities, https://bit.ly/3oIlYaJ.

The Nassau Lawyer will publish an article written by Mr. Caravella, in regard to protected classes and anti discrimination laws within New York State.
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US construction spending increases solid 0.9% in November Spending on U.S. construction projects increased 0.9% in November as strength in home building offset weakness in other parts of the construction industry. The November gain followed a bigger 1.6% rise in October and left construction spending up 4.4% through the first 11 months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, according to the Commerce Department. For November, spending on residential construction rose 2.7% with single-family construction surging 5.1 percent while apartment construction was flat, according to the new data released Monday. Record low mortgage rates have spurred strong demand for housing even as a global pandemic resulted in widespread lock downs for other parts of the economy. Spending on non-residential projects fell 0.8% with spending for office buildings dropping a sharp 8.1%. Spending on government projects dipped 0.2% in November. Many state and local governments are facing severe budget constraints as a sharp recession has cut into tax revenues. Construction employment on Long Island still lags behind last year. The number of construction jobs in Nassau and Suffolk counties fell 6 percent year over year, dropping from 84,400 in Nov. 2019 to 79,600 in Nov. 2020, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. Regionally, construction employment in New York City decreased by 11 percent from Nov. 2019 to Nov. 2020, losing 16,700 construction jobs year over year. Construction employment in the Orange-Rockland-Westchester area fell by 3,500 jobs from Nov. 2019 to Nov. 2020, for an 8 percent drop. Nationwide, construction employment declined in 203 out of 358 metro areas, between Nov. 2019 to Nov. 2020, the AGCA reports. Construction employment still behind last year Construction employment on Long Island still lags behind last year. The number of construction jobs in Nassau and Suffolk counties fell 6 percent year over year, dropping from 84,400 in Nov. 2019 to 79,600 in Nov. 2020, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. Regionally, construction employment in New York City decreased by 11 percent from Nov. 2019 to Nov. 2020, losing 16,700 construction jobs year over year. Construction employment in the Orange-Rockland-Westchester area fell by 3,500 jobs from Nov. 2019 to Nov. 2020, for an 8 percent drop. Nationwide, construction employment declined in 203 out of 358 metro areas, between Nov. 2019 to Nov. 2020, the AGCA reports. Besides New York City, the metro areas seeing the largest year-over-year drops in construction employment in November include the Houston area, which lost 22,500 jobs for a 9 percent drop; the Midland, Texas area, which lost 9,800 jobs for a 25 percent decline; and the Montgomery/Bucks/Chester counties area in Pennsylvania, which lost 8,800 construction jobs for a 16 percent drop. Long Island Construction Law does not own this content. This content was created by David Winzelberg and The Associated Press and was published to the Long Island Business New.

The November gain followed a bigger 1.6% rise in October and left construction spending up 4.4% through the first 11 months of 2020.
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Law has an impact on almost all aspects of life, from personal injury, family disputes, and real estate. Construction Law in particular has a far-reaching effect on many people’s lives without them even realizing. To begin with, Construction Law is made up of a broad subset of legal fields, including areas such as contract law, real estate law, administrative law, environmental law, regulatory, and insurance. Construction Law is a segment of law that works with specific industries such as construction, architecture, engineering, and more. Under the construction law umbrella, many construction issues consist of contract creation and negotiation, sureties and bonds, construction claims and defects, employment laws, and even business tune-ups. Within this article, we will specify the areas that are most common in the construction law segment, along with special areas you might not have thought of. Common Issues Construction Law comes in many different shapes and sizes. Between construction professionals, design professionals and homeowners, the list of disputes and complaints that may arise among them are never shocking to our firm, and are typical for this type of law. Some common issues that arise in this area are disputes involving breach of contract, scope of work, and permit issues. The Law Offices of John Caravella, P.C., practices primarily in Construction Litigation, Supplier Disputes, Construction Contract Claims, Construction Defects, Construction Disputes, Labor Laws, House Lifting Cases, Real Estate Services, Construction Arbitration, and Construction Contract Advising. Contact our firm today to find out how best to protect yourself in one or more of these situations. Special Issues Depending on the size of your project or dispute, you could be faced with environmental and irrigation issues, fire codes and regulations, insurance issues, OSHA compliance issues[1], county inspections, embezzlement and fraud, state and local building codes, and safety violations[2]. These issues can lead to licensure loss, property loss, and major monetary loss, and could be avoidable if the right preemptive steps are taken. References to Browse Wikipedia | American Bar Association | American Arbitration Association | Occupational Safety and Health Administration | Find Law Who is John Caravella? Based in Long Island, our firm has three offices in Uniondale, Melville, and Ft Lauderdale, FL. We have a singular focus on construction law and place an emphasis on communication with our clients to better understand their needs. Clients can expect honesty and trust from every member of our team. It is this trust and confidence from clients that is always our first priority. This serves as a foundational principle for the firm, acting as a driving force for growth since our establishment in 2008. The Law Offices of John Caravella, P.C. offers a free initial consultation with a Long Island construction attorney to discuss your legal concerns with no obligation. [1] Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) laws and regulations can be found here: https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs. [2] Additional information on NYS mandatory statewide Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (Uniform Code) and State Energy Conservation Construction Code (Energy Code) can be found here: https://www.dos.ny.gov/DCEA/.

Law has an impact on almost all aspects of life, from personal injury, family disputes, and real estate.  Construction Law in particular has a far-reaching effect.
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Long Island Construction Law did not create this content. This content was created by David Winzelberg, and was published to the Long Island Business News on December 16, 2020. Long Island business and labor groups are praising Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s put the kibosh on a bill that would have essentially outlawed sand mining. Industry leaders say the New York Anti-Sand Mining Bill would have severely restricted mining, halted construction and put union jobs on hold, damaging an already ailing economy and hurting the construction industry. Instead of authorizing the bill, Cuomo is creating a two-year study to analyze the scientific effects of sand mining. “By calling for a scientific study to be performed by the professionals within the Departments of Environmental Conservation and Health, Governor Cuomo rightly is removing politics from a decision that has serious effects for real people,” Marc Herbst, executive director of the Long Island Contractors Association, said in a written statement. “Right now, the need for infrastructure improvement is greater than ever, in these times we need a way to streamline the process, not hurt the industry.” Sand, one of Long Island’s most valuable resources, is big business here. Perfect for making cement, concrete and asphalt, sand mined on Long Island and shipped by barge helped build Manhattan’s skyscrapers, roads, bridges and tunnels, including landmarks like the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center. Once the most prolific sand mine in the country, the Port Washington pits on the banks of Hempstead Harbor yielded nearly 200 million tons of sand before it dried up in the early 1990s. Eventually sand mining moved east, where land is cheaper and underground sand deposits are plentiful. Every day, hundreds of trucks roll down the Long Island Expressway carrying thousands of tons of sand to construction sites and asphalt plants in and around New York City. And because sand supplies are dwindling, prices have skyrocketed in recent years. Sold for about $10 a cubic foot just a decade ago, Long Island sand now sells for more than double that. “The governor took another step towards protecting small businesses during these uncertain times,” said James Barker, president of Roanoke Sand & Gravel Corp., one of the few remaining legal sand mining operations on Long Island. “For that, we thank him. To survive today, businesses need the flexibility to work openly, not be stifled.” Over the years, the growing demand for Long Island sand has prompted several illegal mining operations, which local towns and the state Department of Environmental Conservation have acted to shut down. Local developers have also used sand sales from project excavations to offset their construction costs. Gary LaBarbera, president of the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council and Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York said Cuomo was right to put working people and union jobs front and center in his decision making. “Now is not the time to halt construction and put people out of work,” LaBarbera said in the statement. “Long Island will be stronger, safer, and better because of this compromise.” Matthew Aracich, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, also praised the action. “Putting power in the hands of towns and villages to control the direction of sand mining based on political pressure versus science can decimate a region,” Aracich told LIBN.

Long Island business and labor groups are praising Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s put the kibosh on a bill that would have essentially outlawed sand mining.
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The amount of New York-area construction starts rose in November from the previous month though the value of starts remains behind last year. There were more than $3.455 billion in construction starts in the New York area in Nov. 2020, about 21 percent less than the $4.386 billion in construction starts recorded in Nov. 2019, according to the latest report from Dodge Data & Analytics. Residential construction took the biggest hit with starts falling by 46 percent in November as compared with a year ago, dropping from $2.198 billion in Nov. 2019 to $1.193 billion in Nov. 2020. The nonresidential sector bucked the trend with a slight year-over-year increase. There was about $2.26 billion in nonresidential building starts in Nov. 2020, a rise of 3 percent from the $2.187 billion in starts recorded in Nov. 2019. In the first 11 months of this year, construction starts are down 23 percent from the first 11 months of 2019, falling from $40.85 billion last year to $31.274 billion this year. Nonresidential construction covers office, retail, hotels, warehouses, manufacturing, schools, healthcare, religious, government, recreational, and other buildings. Nonresidential construction also includes streets and highways, bridges, dams and reservoirs, river and harbor developments, sewage and water supply systems, missile and space facilities, power utilities and communication systems. Single-family and multifamily housing are considered residential buildings. The Dodge report covers New York City, northern New Jersey, Hudson, Putnam, Rockland, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties and parts of Pennsylvania. Long Island Construction Law does not own this content. This content was created by David Winzelberg, and was published to the Long Island Business News on December, 23rd.

The amount of New York-area construction starts rose in November from the previous month though the value of starts remains behind last year.
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f you’re an entrepreneur and work out of your home, you’re in good company. Forbes reports that billionaires like Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Markus Persson (Minecraft), Sara Blakely (Spanx), and Frank Wang (DJI Technologies) all started their businesses out of their homes. But did these now Billionaires have standard home offices? Or, did they construct them from scratch to fulfill the needs of their business? While working from home can be convenient, it also has drawbacks. It is easy to get distracted by piles of laundry, dishes, or similar day-to-day tasks. Having a separate office away from your general living space will make it easier to concentrate. Designing your dream office. The right home office design will foster focus. For example, you want to ensure your workspace is well-lit. Research suggests that this improves productivity. Even small aesthetic touches, like office plants, can make a difference. According to Psych Central, studies suggest that having plants in the work environment reduces stress. You’ll also need to buy equipment for your home office. Create an ergonomic workspace, as described by The Mayo Clinic. Among other things, they recommend getting a chair that protects the natural curve of your spine. To make it easier to write-off such business expenses, establish your company as an LLC. It requires less complicated paperwork than a corporation while still protecting your personal liability. You can set up your New York LLC quickly and easily using business formation services. Buying a new home if your current one is too small. If your current house simply doesn’t have the space to accommodate a home office, you can consider moving. This is a more costly option and should be carefully planned. Start by getting your finances in order. Figure out how much you can reasonably afford to pay, keeping in mind that you will need to make a down payment on a new property. If you make a lump-sum payment of at least 20%, you can avoid paying private mortgage insurance. If you own your current house or apartment, the money you make from selling it may be enough to cover this investment. Get an idea of how much your place will sell for by looking at similar properties online. Zillow allows you to search according to factors like neighborhood and square footage. This is also a great way to look up properties to buy. Making renovations to the home you own now. If you want to stay in your current home and have some extra space, you can simply renovate the structure to accommodate an office. You could convert a basement or attic into a usable room, for example, or even construct an addition to the house. If you’re undertaking larger renovations, make sure to check local building regulations before proceeding. Use the Buildings Guide database to find your state’s laws. If you are hiring a contractor to do the job, they will be familiar with your area’s legislation. Your contractor can make or break the success of your project, so do your research before hiring. You want a reputable professional who is licensed, registered, and insured. U.S. News & World Report further recommends checking potential contractors’ credentials and disciplinary history. This helps to avoid potentially pricey legal construction disputes. A well-designed home office will allow you to concentrate on your work and support your business success. With the above guide, you have three options to create the perfect space to suit your needs. For more resources, the website Angie’s List is perfect for finding your dream contractor and designer, that can make your home office dreams a reality.

It is easy to get distracted by piles of laundry, dishes, or similar day-to-day tasks. Having a separate office away from your general living space will make it easier to concentrate.
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Long Island Construction Law does not own this content. This article snippet was written by Shayne Benowitz and was published to the New York Post on December 17, 2020. Talk to anyone who lives on Central Park North in South Harlem and they’ll crow about their views, unattainable from any other vantage point in the city. Residents of the boulevard (also known as West 110th St.) enjoy sweeping panoramas of the park and the Manhattan skyline. “You don’t get that iconic view from Central Park South or Fifth Avenue,” said broker and star of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing” Ryan Serhant, who is marketing the street’s newest luxury condominium at 145 Central Park North, which launched sales last month. “It’s something you need to see to believe.” Joining only a handful of other luxury buildings on the park’s three-block northern perimeter, 145 Central Park North was developed by GRID Group on the former site of a shuttered one-story church. Taking advantage of a uniquely wide and shallow lot — 70 feet deep with 100 feet of Central Park frontage — the team created a 13-story, bronze-clad, glass curtain wall façade that gives every residence a park view via floor-to-ceiling windows. or nearly a century, Central Park North was ignored by NYC’s biggest developers, dismissed as being “too far north” to attract truly wealthy buyers. Today, the thoroughfares to its east, west and south are home to the tallest and many of the most expensive developments in the US. The best sky palaces and white-glove co-ops on Fifth Avenue, Central Park West and Central Park South command prices exceeding $10,000 per square foot. Just across the park, 220 Central Park South set a national sales record when Citadel’s Ken Griffin dropped $238 million on a single residence. But even the top luxury developments along Central Park North garner between just $1,500 and $2,200 per-square-foot, according to StreetEasy data. Yiannes Einhorn, principal at GRID Group, the developer of 145 Central Park North — where one- to four-bedroom units start at $1.25 million and top out at $4.75 million for a four-bedroom, three-bath penthouse with a private rooftop and hot tub — hopes to raise the status of the last affordable Central Park-facing street in the city. “We could feel more activity coming to Harlem,” said Einhorn. “There’s a pulse.” But this isn’t the first time a real estate player has tried to signal change here. The area is also transportation spoiled with the 2, 3 subway lines at the foot of 111 Central Park North and the A, B, C lines at Frederick Douglass Boulevard. As such, it’s become a magnet for families who enjoy close proximity to the prestigious private schools along the Upper East and Upper West sides. The ingredients for a truly upscale street are all there, but Central Park North’s unique and enduring challenges mean that developers won’t be building supertowers here anytime soon. Even with a few glittering new buildings, it’s still a buyer’s market on the north side of the park. “Society moves and mixes,” said Tilley. “Harlem is a great repository of open-minded individuals. That’s what makes it special, this unique blend of people.”

Talk to anyone who lives on Central Park North in South Harlem and they’ll crow about their views, unattainable from any other vantage point in the city. Residents of the boulevard (also known as West 110th St.) enjoy sweeping panoramas of the park and the Manhattan skyline.
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ARBITRATION IN THE TIME OF COVID: THE SURPRISING BENEFITS OF VIRTUAL ARBITRATION COVID-19 has not only created a public health crisis but thrown the legal profession into chaos. Some proceedings and legal remedies have been put on hold indefinitely. On the other hand, COVID-19 has compelled government and private organizations, attorneys, and litigants to innovate new ways of doing business to minimize COVID-related disruptions. One such innovation has been the advent of conducting busines virtually, a process I experienced first-hand in a recent virtual arbitration hearing. Some parties might mistrust virtual arbitration, and in fact one party opposed my recent arbitration being conducted virtually. The fear was that questioning of witnesses would be difficult if witnesses and questioning attorneys were not together in person. In practice, however, counsel were able to interact successfully with witnesses via virtual means without a noticeable disconnect. As arbitrator, I was able to gauge the witnesses’ demeanors and credibility as easily via screen sharing as I would have been in person. Ultimately, even the party that originally opposed virtual arbitration conceded in short order that the virtual arbitration process worked surprisingly well. In addition to being a suitable alternative, I found that virtual arbitration was in fact superior to in-person arbitration in some ways. As in-person arbitrator at the head of a table with parties shuffling exhibits and binders, it can sometimes be challenging for me to clearly note all the fine points under discussion. When the arbitration was conducted virtually and used screen sharing for exhibits, I could easily track evidence and documents as they were discussed and focus on the testimony. Finally, virtual arbitration affords parties a larger pool of resources without increased costs. Because arbitrators and experts can participate virtually, parties can select arbitrators and experts nationwide rather than in one particular geographic area. Initially, this ability to select from a wider field of candidates should eliminate any concerns with selecting from among local arbitrators with business dealings or contractual ties that could create conflicts of interest; an impartial arbitrator is all but guaranteed. Additionally, parties can select arbitrators and experts for their qualifications regardless of geographic location, allowing them to select the most qualified candidates. The latter should prove especially beneficial in the context of larger commercial or complex construction disputes for which experienced arbitrators and experts may not be available in some jurisdictions. While utilizing such out-of-jurisdiction resources might normally impose prohibitive travel and arbitration costs on some claimants, the use of virtual technology all but eliminates such costs. Considering the particular benefits of virtual arbitration, both arbitrators and parties should consider this means of prosecuting disputes. The practical reality of arbitrating virtually should quickly allay any misgivings, and the benefits can be realized through the use of technology that is easily accessible to most parties. In a time when COVID-19 is resurging in the United States and in-person legal proceedings may again be delayed, the usage of virtual arbitration could potentially turn crisis into opportunity.

COVID-19 has compelled government and private organizations, attorneys, and litigants to innovate new ways of doing business.
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Long Island Construction Law does not own this content. This content was created by David Winzelberg and was published to the Long Island Business News on December 14th, 2020. Commercial real estate, particularly sectors requiring in-person contact, will see a strong recovery in the second half of 2021, according to a new report. The report from the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts also predicts a more complete recovery in 2022, as COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available. While some real estate sectors, such as industrial and multifamily, have been less impacted by the pandemic, others have suffered this year. Real estate that houses businesses that require in-person contact, like lodging, restaurants, retail, skilled nursing and senior living, have experienced more significant weakening during the pandemic and face a longer, slower recovery in the months ahead, according to the NAREIT report. Other property segments that don’t require face-to-face interaction, like data centers, cell towers and logistics facilities, recovered quickly from the initial shock of the pandemic last spring and have benefited from a socially distanced, work-and-shop-from-home economy that has created strong demand for digital communications and e-commerce services. “The U.S. economy, including commercial real estate, is on a two-track path made up of businesses that require in-person interaction with customers and businesses that don’t,” NAREIT Senior Economist Calvin Schnure, who authored the report, said in an association statement. One key source of resiliency unique to REITs is that nearly two-thirds of the REIT industry is comprised of sectors with little direct impact from social distancing. REITs, which make up about 20 percent of the value of the broader investment-grade commercial real estate market, also entered the downturn with strong financial positions, defined by low leverage, long debt maturities, and high levels of liquidity on balance sheets. As the industry entered the recession, the slowing of construction has helped limit the supply of new commercial space and buffer the rise of vacancies. The most important factor for REITs and commercial real estate will be broad distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine and progress against the pandemic. Barring further setbacks in this fight, the report expects that conditions will gradually return to normal as the year progresses. Those sectors that were most directly affected by reduced travel, business closures, and social distancing, including lodging/resorts, retail, and healthcare REITs, may have a more robust recovery in 2021, according to the report. While there are some indications that economic activity tends to return to more normal conditions in countries where new cases of COVID-19 have fallen, the report projects longer lasting changes to how commercial real estate is used. For example, teleconferencing and work-from-home may have long-lasting effects on office markets, as well as hotels, apartments, and single-family home rentals. REITs collectively own more than $3.5 trillion in gross assets across the U.S., with stock-exchange listed REITs owning over $2.5 trillion in assets, according to NAREIT. U.S. listed REITs have an equity market capitalization of more than $1 trillion and more than 145 million Americans live in households with REIT investment through their 401(k) and other investment funds.

Commercial real estate, particularly sectors requiring in-person contact, will see a strong recovery in the second half of 2021.
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Long Island Construction Law did not create this content. This content was created by David Winzelberg and was published to the Long Island Business News on December 9th, 2020. Nassau County has filed a bill aimed at speeding up the process of approving building and curb-cut permits. Prompted by complaints from residents and developers about the often lengthy approvals process, the bill would set a 30-day time limit for the county’s Department of Public Works to report to the county Planning Commission and applicable municipality with approval, disapproval or approval subject to stated conditions. Under the proposed legislation, sponsored by Deputy Presiding Officer Howard Kopel, county fees associated with the building permit application will be reduced by 25 percent and a further 25 percent every 10 business days thereafter that the report is late. If fees were collected previously, they will be refunded, according to the bill. If the reductions result in no fees, the application shall be “deemed approved” so long as, at the time of filing, a New York State licensed professional engineer or architect certified that the proposed project plans comply with all applicable rules and regulations. If the commissioner requests additional information or clarification from the applicant, the initial time period will be extended for the number of business days during which the commissioner is awaiting the additional information. “Red tape and governmental delays have cost those doing business in the county, jobs and money, and that is unacceptable especially as many residents struggle with the financial impacts brought on by the pandemic,” Kopel said in a written statement. “The changes we are proposing will streamline the finalization of building and curb cut permits and make it easier to get work done in the county. This will cut through the unnecessary red tape that has plagued residents and businesses.” Known as 239f, the application review by the public works department is mandated by the state to ensure stakeholders are protected from adverse impacts of construction and development. “For years, the 239f process has been a cumbersome hurdle in spurring economic development in Nassau County,” says Kyle Strober, executive director of the Association for a Better Long Island. Strober also serves as co-chair of the county’s 239f Blue Ribbon Panel that’s been created to examine ways to improve the approvals process. “County Executive Curran wisely convened a blue ribbon panel to explore how best to make the process quicker and more efficient,” Strober said. “Legislator Kopel’s bill continues to underscore the need for reform and the panel enthusiastically welcomes suggestions and insight to better the process. In the next few days, the panel will announce its six-month progress report and will reach out to Legislator Kopel regarding his proposal.”

Nassau County has filed a bill aimed at speeding up the process of approving building and curb-cut permits.
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The Holidays – Beautiful, but dangerous? Holiday Safety Tips When it comes to the holidays, we think of food, family and decorations, not necessarily holiday safety tips. Did it ever occur to you that decorations such as lights and candles could become dangerous? According to the ESFI, Electrical Safety Foundation International, damages from the holidays happen more than expected. Though holiday lights are traditional and festive, they should always be under close watch. Though the holiday season represents happiness and channeling positive energy for the New Year, unfortunate events can happen without expecting they will. Below are the most important statistics reported by the ESFi, Electrical Safety Foundation International, as holiday safety tips, a helpful tool of what you should look out for. The National Fire Protection Association indicates that 30% of all home fires and 38% of home fire deaths occur during the holiday months of December, January and February. Around 5,800 individuals are treated annually for injuries sustained from falls involving holiday decorations. Such as, extension cords. These injuries include but are not limited to, fractures, lacerations, contusions and sprains. An average of 260 home fires are started each year by Christmas trees. Another 150 home fires per year were caused by decorative lights. Candles started 45% of home decoration fires. 13% of injuries caused by decorations involved children less than five years old due to electrical burns to the mouth. According to Insuramatch.com, a leading website that covers all types of insurance questions, whatever the culprit, if your Christmas tree or other holiday decorations causes a fire in your home, your standard home insurance will cover the loss if you home is damaged or destroyed. Home insurance also covers smoke damage or any other property damage. Always check with your property insurance provider, as all companies are different. As an example of holiday hazards, in a 2016 New York Court Case, Tenant brought personal injury action against landlord, which was NYC housing authority, for injuries he sustained when he attempted to extinguish a fire from his Christmas tree in his apartment by grabbing the burning tree with his arms. The plaintiff’s argument that defendant breached a duty to the building by negligently performing its annual inspection of his apartment and failing to note that the smoke detector was no longer operational. The landlord, NYC Housing Authority, was not liable for the tenant’s injuries from the burning Christmas tree and the landlord’s negligence, if any, was found not to be the proximate cause of tenant’s injuries. As expected, just like every other forms of electricity, holiday lights can be just as dangerous and can lead to significant structural damage to you home as well as physical harm. If damage to your home occurs any time of the year, it is always best to reach out to your insurance company immediately for next steps. Contacting your local Construction Industry attorney is also a smart recommendation to put you on the track to restoration.

Learn the most important holiday safety tips reported by the ESFi as a helpful tool of what you should look out for to stay safe during the holidays.
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