New Westchester Builders Group Begins Operations
Real Estate In-Depth | June 2020
ARMONK – The Building and Allied Construction Industries of Westchester, the newest chapter of the New York State Builders Association and the National Association of Home Builders, announced on June 2 that it was officially open for business and accepting new members.
The announcement came one week after Westchester County and the Mid-Hudson Region achieved the state’s approval for phase one of re-opening under the New York Forward Plan. Under the New York Pause, restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19—particularly construction projects—had been deemed “essential construction” and allowed to continue.
As of May 26, the region containing Westchester County had made sufficient progress on the health metrics required by the state, and all construction projects were allowed to resume so long as the business had developed and implemented safety protocols to maintain social distancing wherever possible and to take further steps to protect the health of the workers.
“As I was getting my own business back up and running, I relied heavily on BACI’s expertise on everything from handwashing and sanitation to recommendations on safety protocols and equipment,” said Eric Abraham, a local builder and president of BACI. “With our new home builders association and the discounts, rebates, opportunities and advocacy provided by NYSBA and NAHB, we can offer Westchester builders, developers, and remodelers the support they need to not only get back to work but have their business be stronger than ever.”
Membership in BACI will be open to home builders, multifamily developers, and remodelers, with an associate membership open to businesses working in closely related fields such as mortgage financing and building supplies. As with other chapters statewide, membership in BACI will also convey membership in NYSBA and NAHB, which combined have nearly 200,000 members nationwide.
The kickoff event for the new chapter was a webinar titled “The Challenge of Construction Safety During a Pandemic: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines” held on June 2. The webinar, which was free and open to all, provided the firsthand experience of other regions of New York State who achieved Phase One of re-opening before Westchester, as well as a local developer whose affordable housing project was deemed “essential construction” and permitted to continue.
They related lessons learned, success stories, and best practices for keeping workers and construction sites safe from the spread of the coronavirus.
“We’re so thrilled that Westchester County builders, developers, and remodelers will have a NYSBA and NAHB presence here in the county, and a stronger voice in Albany and Washington D.C.,” said Francine Carmadella, owner of a local remodeling business and one of the new officers for the chapter. “In addition to the member benefits and discounts, government relations and representation, and networking, BACI will provide us access to more educational resources and practical education events like Tuesday’s webinar, plus certification and workforce training programs, access to legal advice, economists, tax and regulatory specialists – everything our businesses will need to come back strong in this challenging time.”
BACI will be administered by The Building and Realty Institute (BRI) of Westchester and the Mid-Hudson Region. The BRI, based in Armonk, has more than 1,800 members in 14 counties of New York State, including home builders, commercial builders, renovators, property managing agents, co-op and condo boards, and owners of multifamily apartment buildings in many communities, as well as suppliers and service providers with a special focus on real estate.