Best Practices

Mayor Dick Greco

Construction Services Center

One of newly-elected Mayor Dick Greco's top priorities is to promote and foster economic development in the City of Tampa. With this goal came the continued commitment to Tampa's Construction Service Center (CSC) which was first opened for business on November 8, 1993. A long-standing goal of former Mayor Sandy Freedman and the building industry, the center houses all permit-related activities for residential and commercial construction. The CSC was established to relocate all 89 permit-related staff under one roof and in a more accessible location. They were previously located on five different floors of City Hall and in four widespread sites around the city. The site is a result of a public-private partnership with multiple beneficiaries. The building was purchased and renovated by WEDU-TV for their future expansion, leasing it to the city in the interim. Its renovation revived a derelict building and the city installed state-of-the-art irrigation and xeriscape to demonstrate water conservation techniques.

On June 6, 1995, Mayor Greco announced changes which will further streamline the development and permitting process. The Center will now provide for one-stop permitting and an expedited review process for commercial and residential projects that include both site and building review. Each division will have a manager who will have "final" authority to make decisions that will assure accountability and a quick response. In addition, a separate division will handle all inspections. Certain minor residential and commercial site-related projects can now be expedited through the permit system by eliminating unnecessary building/site reviews. An express permit process has been implemented allowing for same-day permitting for certain applications and CSC now handles phone-in express permits allowing the public to call in directly for issuance of a permit (issued within 24 hours in most cases). Permits are approved over the phone and then are either faxed or mailed to the customer depending on the method of payment. For the convenience of the public, a computer-assisted call-in system will be available to take the permit information after normal work hours and on weekends and holidays.

In conjunction with the immediate changes at the Center, Mayor Greco also announced the appointment of an advisory committee to study all aspects of the city's development and permitting process. This committee will make recommendations which will provide for an even more efficient, user-friendly system.

The Construction Services Center is intended to be a long-term solution to provide better customer services to the taxpayers and the development industry. Mayor Greco's goal at CSC is to give the best service possible with a friendly, efficient staff that can do whatever it takes to accommodate our customers!

Contact: Fernando Noriega, (813) 274-8901

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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