Wall Street Journal:
New York City’s libraries and other cultural organizations looking to build facilities or make repairs often endure a staggeringly long process and added costs under the agency that manages such city-funded projects, a report finds.
The city’s Department of Design and Construction was created in 1996 to consolidate and more efficiently manage the city’s capital projects. But a study issued by the Center for an Urban Future, a nonpartisan policy think tank, found that delays and cost overruns were pervasive among the 144 library and cultural projects analyzed between 2010 and 2014.
The study revealed that the median cost of construction for new library and cultural buildings managed by the DDC was $930 a square foot, compared with $425 to $500 a square foot range for speculative office construction costs estimated by a New York Building Congress analysis of 2015 New York City construction costs.
The main problem: Excessive layers of reviews and approvals dragged out these projects, according to the report, conducted in partnership with the Citizens Budget Commission, a nonpartisan nonprofit group.