Photo Courtesy of John McCarten
“I will be laser-focused on raising safety standards on job sites, delivering the customer service our city deserves, and making our building industry the most sustainable in the nation,” incoming Commissioner Ulrich said.
By Forum Staff
Mayor Eric Adams today appointed Eric Ulrich as commissioner of the Department of Buildings and Kazimir Vilenchik, P.E. as first deputy commissioner.
As the leadership team at DOB, they will enforce the city’s construction codes and zoning resolution, as well as the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law, to protect workers and the public on construction sites and in the city’s nearly 1.1 million buildings. They will also play a key role in advancing the city’s sustainability goals, including through the enforcement of Local Law 97.
A former three-term New York City councilmember who served on the City Council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings, Ulrich was a leader in the city’s rebuilding effort after Hurricane Sandy, passing legislation to accelerate the rebuilding process while using the council’s oversight powers to improve the Rapid Repairs and Build It Back programs. Currently, Ulrich serves as a senior advisor to Adams.
“Eric Ulrich and Kazimir Vilenchik are the right leadership team at the right time for the Department of Buildings,” Adams said. “Our city and our economy cannot recover from the COVID-19 pandemic without a strong construction industry, and this team will deliver while prioritizing worker safety and customer service. I want to thank Acting Commissioner Gus Sirakis for his deep commitment and ongoing service to DOB, and I look forward to continuing my work with Commissioner Ulrich and First Deputy Commissioner Vilenchik to move our city forward.”
Vilenchik is currently the Brooklyn borough commissioner at DOB, having served as deputy borough commissioner in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. He has worked at DOB for 14 years and brings over two decades of additional private sector experience.
Prior to joining the Adams administration, Ulrich represented District 32 in Queens on the New York City Council from 2009 to 2021, serving on the Committee on Housing and Buildings. In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, he coordinated a massive relief effort to help area residents rebuild their homes and businesses. He introduced and passed legislation to accelerate the rebuilding process using the best available flood maps and led the effort to create a special coastal risk district in the zoning resolution to provide a planning tool for signifying flood risk in the areas of the city most vulnerable to projected future tidal flooding. He also utilized the Council’s oversight authority to improve the operations of the Rapid Repairs and Built It Back programs.
Ulrich attended St. Francis College in Brooklyn and Baruch College School of Public Affairs. He grew up in Ozone Park and now lives in Rockaway Park. He is the first member of his family to earn a college degree.
“From day one, Mayor Adams has made ‘Get Stuff Done’ the motto of his administration, and this is the spirit I bring to the Department of Buildings,” Ulrich said. “I will be laser-focused on raising safety standards on job sites, delivering the customer service our city deserves, and making our building industry the most sustainable in the nation. I look forward to working collaboratively across the agency and with all of the stakeholders to move our city forward.”