Skip to comments.$2 Million Bathroom
Posted on 07/26/2017 5:20:46 AM PDT by Kaslin
Did you see the $2 million dollar bathroom? That's what New York City government spent to build a "comfort station" in a park.
I went to look at it.
There were no gold-plated fixtures. It's just a little building with four toilets and four sinks.
I asked park users, "What do you think that new bathroom cost?"
A few said $70,000. One said $100,000. One said, "I could build it for $10,000."
They were shocked when I told them what the city spent.
No park bathroom needs to cost $2 million. An entire six-bedroom house nearby was for sale for $539,000.
Everything costs more when government builds it.
"Government always pays above-average prices for below-average work," says my friend who makes a living privatizing government activities.
--Obamacare's website was supposed to cost $464 million. It cost $834 million and still crashed.
--Washington, D.C.'s Visitor Center rose in cost from $265 million to $621 million.
--The Veterans Affairs medical center being built near Denver was projected to cost $590 million. Now they estimate $1.7 billion.
Government spends more because every decision is tied up in endless rules. Rigid specs. Affirmative action. Minority outreach. Wheelchair access. "The process is designed to prevent any human from using judgment, or adapting to unforeseen circumstances," says Philip Howard of the government reform group Common Good, adding, "The idea of a commercial relationship, based on norms of reasonableness and reciprocity, is anathema."
But New York City's bureaucrats are unapologetic about their $2 million toilet. The Parks Department even put out a statement saying, "Our current estimate to build a new comfort station with minimal site work is $3 million."
"$3 million?!" I said to New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, incredulously.
"New York City is the most expensive place to build," he replied. As a result, "$2 million was a good deal."
I pointed out that entire homes sell for less. He said, "We built these comfort stations to last. ... (L)ook at the material we use compared to that of a home. These are very, very durable materials."
They have to be, he says, because the bathroom gets so much use. "We're going to expect thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of visitors. ... So we have to build it to last."
Yet not far away, Bryant Park has a bathroom that gets much more use. That bathroom cost just $300,000. Why the difference?
Bryant Park is privately managed.
New York politicians also order contractors to pay "prevailing" wages. That usually means union wages, and that adds 13-25 percent to all bills.
When I asked Commissioner Silver about that, he said, "This is a city that does believe strongly in labor."
New York Democrats act as if "labor" means union labor. It's an insult to laborers. Most don't belong to unions. Unions, however, fund Democrats' campaigns.
Since government spends other people's money, they don't care that much about cost and they certainly don't care much about speed. Many Parks Department projects are years behind schedule.
Commissioner Silver says he's made improvements. "We've now saved five months out of what used to be four years."
"That's still terrible!" I said.
"We believe strongly in engaging the public," he replied. "We have a process that includes design, procurement and construction."
But so does the private sector, which gets the job done faster.
Silver added: "[Privately managed] Bryant Park did a renovation. ... (W)e do it from the ground up!"
But no one forced the city to build from the ground up. Anyway, renovation can cost as much as new construction. Governments just spend more.
Sometimes, people get so fed up that they take matters into their own hands.
Toronto's government estimated that a tiny staircase for a park would cost $65,000-$150,000.
So a local citizen installed a staircase himself.
Did the bureaucrats thank him? No. They say they will tear his staircase down. Can't have private citizens doing things for themselves.
Because private builders save so much money on staircases and bathrooms, imagine what we could save if government turned construction of government housing, airports and roads over to the private sector.
Based on the skating rink, Trump could have built it for $9.95. And better.
I hope Don Jr runs for mayor once his dad’s second term winds down. It is going to take a massive rebuild to come back from two terms of DeBlasio!
* De Blasio*
The bathroom still probably only cost 50k, the rest went into RAT pockets.
Thanks taxpayers, suckers.
Note that Stossel doesn’t like Trump.
Trump is exactly the kind of guy who can turn this sort of thing around. But some people, out of principles, or whatever, just don’t find Trump palatable.
But he gets things done.
Bryant Park is privately managed.
I remember when that bathroom was re-opened about 25 years ago by the Bryant Park Business Improvement District founded by Dan Biederman and managed by the very capable Andy Manshel. They transformed Bryant Park from a place you didn't enter even at noon on a sunny day into an urban oasis.
I do plenty of government contracting so I see it every day.
On any project in Minneapolis 0ver $10,000.00 you must pay the prevailing wage scale. That means the LOWEST paid laborer is $48.55 per hour. They don’t care what it costs since they are not spending their money.
Remember back in ‘72 when the speed limit dropped to 55mph because of the gas shortage. After it was all done, it was determined that TX had replaced the speed limit signs 6” too low and was threatened with revocation of Federal highway funds if they didn’t move all of them up 6”. One guy remarked: “It’s a good thing the Feds didn’t take on the project. They would have lowered the highways 6”.”
That explains it. It's a euphemism for "corruption beyond belief."
The park needs a place for the fags and junkies to congregate. A mere $2 million is a bargain. And a lot of union hacks got nice vacation out of it. So quit yer bitchin’, peasant.
Typical OPM (Other Peoples’ Money) BS. Those in government (with extremely few exceptions) are too busy slopping-up their portion of OPM to really give a rat’s a** about “costs”. Typical parasitic behavior.
Cities always pay more. The cost of corruption and taking care of one’s friends.
Ask instead if the $hithouse forces the user to face mecca. Wanna bet it was built in such a way as to avoid that awful blasphemy, thus establishing *slam as a religion of the state?
Did I miss the name of the New York City park being discussed in this article?
Imagine how much Amazon, Facebook, Ebay, etc. paid to create their websites, which cater to exponentially more people. Talk about a payoff disguised as a jobs project.
From another article...
BROOKLYN How much should a public restroom cost? Not$2 million dollars according to New York City Councilman David Greenfield.
The mens room has two urinals, one toilet, two sinks. The mens room itself is roughly 120 square feet, Greenfield said. Two million bucks, are you kidding me? Thats wrong.
Spending $2 million for a 400 square-foot bathroom at Gravesend Park is a case of money mismanagement by the city, Greenfield said. The councilman expressed his concerns numerous times to the citys Department of Parks and Recreation.
I said Commissioner, I can buy this house across the street for a million dollars. ...
This is exactly why our leaders hate Trump. He will stop the graft. A $10k restroom doesn’t put near the $$$$$$$$$ into certain pockets as a $2 million restroom does.
Weird. Although the park is named Gravesend Park, it is actually in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, off 18th Ave.
18 Ave., 19 Ave., bet. 55 St. and 58 St.
Directions via Google Maps
The origin of this parks name is somewhat unclear. There are two possibilities. The name might have been chosen due to the sites proximity to Washington Cemetery. In this sense it would literally imply that the park is at the graves end. It is also possible that this property is somehow named for the neighborhood of Gravesend, which today lies more than a mile to the south, or for Gravesend Avenue, present-day McDonald Avenue.
Gravesend was the first English settlement in New York. Founded by Lady Deborah Moody (c.1583-1659) in 1645, the solitary English town developed an air of self-sufficiency that lasted until 1894 when it was finally annexed by the City of Brooklyn. Over the centuries, Gravesend grew in importance and size. A map dating to 1850 indicates that this property was within the Gravesend town line. By 1890, however, it clearly belonged to New Utrecht. Gravesend Avenue was a key route though Kings County, connecting the City of Brooklyn, and all towns on its way, to Gravesend. In 1933, the thoroughfare was renamed to honor an Alderman (equivalent to a Council Member) who had died as a result of swallowing a chicken bone.
The City of Brooklyn first acquired this parcel in 1896 for construction of a disciplinary training school. The school closed in 1916 and parks acquired the property in 1917. Only 23 years had passed since Gravesend was its own town. McDonald Avenue, which lies a few blocks to the east, was still known as Gravesend Avenue, and parks were often named for nearby, major streets. While it is difficult to say absolutely, it seems likely that this park was named to honor Gravesend.
Discover the history of Gravesend Park
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