The level of financial mismanagement in urban development is at an all-time high and the situation is bound to deteriorate if politicians don’t step up their efforts.
The government officials overseeing urban development projects ought to come up with feasible projects that don’t strain the resources of the jurisdiction involved.
New York City Councilman David Greenfield quoted a $2 million price tag for a new 400-square-foot public bathroom in a park in his district.
Greenfield, who was speaking at a Crain’s New York event on Wednesday, said that the government sucks at development. The project's funding was secured in Brooklyn’s Gravesend Park in the summer of 2011. However, construction started in the fall of 2015.
The neighborhood residents expected the bathroom to be completed by this spring, which is over two years since ground first broke on the project.
A makeover worth $7.5 million was done on the 6.3-acre park in 2015, which included new basketball courts and hundreds of new trees.
Greenfield’s chief of staff, Daniel Pearlstein, issued a statement in an attempt to clarify on how the city government managed to so effectively light taxpayer dollars on fire.
“Parks staff have told us that working with a multiplicity of building trades on a very small project drives increases in project cost and time. Contractors also report that Parks procurement rules and frequent change orders result in higher bids and lengthy delays. Among the most recent hiccups involved coordination among Parks, Con Edison and the Department of Buildings.”
The project has taken seven and a half years so far, with each square foot costing around $5,000. Absurd public bathroom prices are common in New York City.
A 1,225 square-foot bathroom was reported in February 2014 by the New York Daily to have been valued at $2.6 million.