Capital Region contractors head back to work in Phase One of reopening


GLENMONT, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the Capital Region will begin reopening their economy on Wednesday.

The Capital Region will be able to start Phase One of reopening to allow for careful reopening of businesses in several essential industries such as construction, agriculture, forestry, pickup/dropoff retail, manufacturing and wholesale trade.

After being shut down for two months, the Capital Region Builders and Remodelers Association have their hard hats ready to build homes as soon as Wednesday.

“They are definitely ready to go, and it’s been a long time. I know there’s a lot of other industries that can’t open up, and we feel for them, but our industry has definitely been chomping to go,” said Gregg Biche, President at Quality Property Management INC.

Biche says they have been working for weeks on a list of protocols to reopen safely.

“We took guidance from the CDC, the National Association Home Builders and different state agencies. Together we came up with what ended up being a list of 14 protocols. When we were done with it, we realized that our industry really was uniquely set up to deal with a situation like COVID-19,” he said.

Biche says all job sites will have reminders of the measures that should be taken to stop the spread during Phase One of reopening the Capital Region.

“Remodelers and home builders are very accustomed to different job site hazards. So they are going to wear gloves, eye protection, and masks on a very regular basis,” he said.

Construction may start Wednesday, but realtors are not out of the woods, yet. Realtor Kareem Jandali, of Jandali Realty, says realtors can not officially go back to work until Phase Two. Jandali says they have been selling homes virtually, and he is awaiting approval to sell homes in person.  

“For the time being, virtual showings are all we can do. But then at some point we have to have the person get into the house before they want to write up a physical offer on it,” said Jandali.

Biche says, with getting the approval to start building so late in the season, there will be a backlog on building. He says they definitely have their hands full getting back on track to get all their jobs done.

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