Dallas’ building permit department is making final preparations ahead of its long-overdue office relocation.
The Development Services Department (DSD), which oversees, processes, and issues building permits in Dallas, announced Tuesday that operations at its Northwest District Office (NWDO) will be temporarily relocated to the Oak Cliff Municipal Center effective Friday, October 27.
The last day for customers to receive permitting and inspection services at NWDO will be October 26. DSD said its other district offices will remain open to customers.e
“This temporary relocation is in preparation for the Development Services Department’s move to our new office located at 7800 N. Stemmons Expressway,” DSD said in an email. “Once the move is complete, the NWDO will be absorbed into our existing operation.”
DSD will keep three district offices open until the official move: the Northeast Office at 11910 Greenville Ave., the Southeast Office at 4850 Olson Dr., and the Southwest Office at 2730 Coombs Creek Dr.
DSD’s phase-one transition to its North Stemmons office high-rise was meant to take place over the summer, but an alleged ransomware attack on City computer systems in May purportedly delayed the move until the fall of this year.
“A lot of the IT resources were redirected to putting [DSD] back online as opposed to getting us set up [in the new building],” DSD Director Andrew Espinoza told The Dallas Express over the summer.
DSD said it was also working through design features and awaiting building renovations to be completed.
Infrastructure like “mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and IT infrastructure were all set up brand new,” said Espinoza. “So, that does take a considerable amount of time and resources.”
By bringing together DSD’s various sub-departments under a single roof and offering a one-stop shop for related services, the City could reduce the numerous inefficiencies in the permitting process, at least according to the Dallas Builders Association’s former executive officer, Phil Crone.
“Too many different departments are interacting with each other during the building permit process, which can leave builders stranded at inopportune times,” Crone previously told The Dallas Express.
Despite the importance of having an efficient permitting process, City permitting under City Manager T.C. Broadnax has been prone to delays and long cycle times.
“What I want to see is Development Services become the go-to place for all services related to development in Dallas,” Crone said. “I hope the Department’s new office building will accomplish that.”
While the problem of long delays has slightly improved over the past 24 months, the issue of excessive turnaround times is still a point of frustration for developers with large commercial projects, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
DSD did not provide an exact date for when it will begin relocating staff and resources to the new office building, but Espinoza previously said he anticipates phase one to occur before the end of 2023.