April 7, 2020
Avalon Development tapped technology to complete a virtual inspection on a Starbucks store in Bothell. The use of FaceTime allowed the city building inspector to see what was needed to issue a Certificate of Occupancy for the building, allowing drive-thru operations to commence during the shelter-in-place order.
The Scottsdale, AZ-based developer specializes in single-tenant restaurants with drive-thru operations, and was nearly finished on the project when the lockdown was issued.
Some cities already allow developers and contractors to submit photos showing construction progres, and to confirm inspector’s requests have been carried out. Virtual inspections could be the next step, notes Scott Whittington, principal of Avalon Development. “We are trying to keep the economic motor at least sputtering along to the best of our ability… This could be scratching the surface of new innovative ways to allow construction projects to continue,” Whittington told the Phoenix Business Journal.
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