Noted Brooklyn architect and all-around life of the party Robert Scarano recently sat down—er, stood up—for a video interview with The Real Deal, the second part of which exploded across the interweb today. Just in case you lack the patience to sit through over 10 minutes of hard-hitting questions and expertly-dodged answers, we did it for you. Thank us later!
Here are excerpts from the interview, ranked on our patented Absurd-O-Meterâ„¢:
On the loss of his ability to self-certify buildings: "I strongly believe that everything we do is without reproach. However, again, based on the fact that this industry is one of interpretations and evaluations of codes and laws, it would be in everyone's interest to not create a like long, drawn-out occurrence of hearings and go to, um, surrender the self-cert."
Absurd-o-Meter Ranking: 6 (scale of 10)
On Brooklyn's historic housing stock: "No, I'm not a big fan of leaving things the way they are. There are definitely times when landmarking of structures or neighborhoods will help preserve a certain character that people want to keep, like something in a museum, but generally there has to be a moving forward, otherwise there's a tremendous amount of stagnation."
Absurd-o-Meter Ranking: 6.5
On his buildings having a higher percentage of stop-work orders than other buildings in 2007: "You know, 2006 and 2007 were very interesting years because that was just about the time when the DOB started to focus more heavily on the operations that were taking place."
Absurd-o-Meter Ranking: 7
On regulation: "There are such a multitude of regulations that while you could be complying in certain arenas, it may appear you're not complying in other areas when in fact the general intent of the planning commission or the people who founded the code are being met."
Absurd-o-Meter Ranking: 8
On how his business is doing in these tough times: "We had such a large backlog of business going back to 2005 and 2006... so a lot of these jobs have been carrying us through and not only us, other people. I'm hoping that 2009 is going to be a good year for the real estate industry. I think the stimulus package will definitely start to jump-start a lot of things that are happening. Also as things start to settle down, people will get back in their old groove or mindset of doing things."
Absurd-o-Meter Ranking: 8.5
On not being identified by some developers as the architect of buildings he's designed: "I feel a little hurt personally by it."
Absurd-o-Meter Ranking: 9
On his general awesomeness: "The buildings that we design typically have been a lot more successful than other buildings around us. Part of the reason for that is that the aesthetics of the building, the livability of the building, has been at a higher level. That, coupled with our ability to look into the code and the zoning, and see avenues to pursue that haven't been pursued, were what gave us, me specifically, the reputation of doing that."
Absurd-o-Meter Ranking: Perfect 10!