Expanding Bohler’s Permit Expediting Services in Florida: A Q&A With Mitch Lal

09 November, 2021

Mitch Lal, Permitting Manager, Bohler Florida

Senior Permitting Manager Mitch Lal spent over a decade navigating New York City’s Department of Buildings (DOB). He strategized with owners and developers, guiding them through the City’s complex building process to secure approvals quickly. Without a permitting specialist on their side, both new and experienced developers were easily lost in the DOB’s labyrinth of paperwork, building codes, and zoning regulations.

Nearly five years ago, Mitch left New York City for Bohler’s Florida offices, where he anticipated a less intense building process. In reality, this was hardly the case.

In Florida, just as in New York City, Mitch witnessed how permitting snags could bring projects to a grinding halt. He leaned on his experience from New York City to help Florida developers strategize approvals, navigate the process, and act on opportunities to move forward faster.

Today, Mitch leads local teams of permitting professionals who specialize in Florida’s widely varying jurisdictional processes. With a comprehensive understanding of local codes and strong relationships with agency staff, Mitch and his teams secure timely approvals for various types of projects from small convenience store chains to multi-block mixed-use developments.

Learn more about the direction of Florida’s regulatory approval process as Mitch reflects on the growing need for dedicated permitting teams, how developers can benefit from engaging a permit specialist, and the successes he’s seen across the state.

Let’s talk about Florida’s increasingly complex building process. Are you seeing a growing need for permitting strategy across the state?

Absolutely. Permitting processes, applications, and timelines can vary significantly in each jurisdiction, and it’s common for jurisdictions to change regulations and add new review requirements.

To further complicate the process, some elements of a project require city, county, and state review. These jurisdictional processes move along different timelines and involve multiple agencies reviewing the plans.

Addressing the needs and comments of different stakeholders while keeping the project on track can be challenging, so it often is incredibly effective to have a dedicated team strategizing the permitting approach and process.


For over a decade, you worked with one of the most complex building departments in the country. From your experience, how can a permit expediter bring the most value to a developer?

Probably the most valuable element that we bring to the table is knowledge of the codes, familiarity of the processes, and awareness of local politics. As we begin to strategize the permitting approach, we can identify potential challenges early in the development process.

Then, as we begin to design the project and prepare the appropriate permit applications, it’s crucial to have strong working relationships with the reviewers to streamline communication and collaboration.

Beyond all that, it’s essential to have a team who can then address reviewer comments quickly and accurately, limiting the back-and-forth, and obtaining approvals as quickly as possible.

Any recent project approval wins you are particularly proud of?

We’ve been able to keep a lot of projects on track, even through the challenges of COVID-19, but there is one that comes to mind.

We successfully permitted a 164-acre mixed-use development in the anticipated timeframe, while adjacent developments had been delayed. While our project was under construction, we got a call from one of the other developers asking for help.

After understanding their status and roadblocks, we successfully coordinated with the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) to secure the permits they needed for off-site work. In fact, we did it within the timeframe they needed to still receive grants they were depending on.

What are you looking forward to accomplishing with the continued growth of your team?

I’m proud of the collaborative efforts that already exist between my permitting team and the civil engineering teams. Our continued growth and expansion will further facilitate a streamlined project approach for Bohler’s clients across the state, allowing us to keep them moving forward on schedule.

Need a more efficient permitting strategy?

Contact Mitch

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