The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department has a new price for a controversial $1.7 million public restroom at a park in the city’s Noe Valley neighborhood.
A generous donation helped bring the restroom’s price down to $300,000.
The planned restroom was supposed to be built in a corner of Noe Valley Town Square Park, which would be a much-welcomed addition for some people who spend their lunch or bring their kids to the area.
“It would be definitely nice to have a bathroom available, not relying on local businesses,” San Francisco resident Amanda Specht said.
But the original cost was a shock and triggered backlash.
“It is outrageous and I’m not surprised by the outrage,” Specht said. “But, it’s San Francisco.”
The controversy over the seemingly bloated price tag became so intense Gov. Gavin Newsom paused the distribution of state funds that had been earmarked for the public restroom. The much lower price the city will have to shell out for the restroom comes after a pair of companies teamed up to donate a prefabricated restroom to San Francisco and offered to pay the delivery and most of the installation costs.
A San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department spokesperson said they will be reaching out to the governor’s office and ask for a portion of the money it paused for project back to help fund a similar project at Precita Park.
The recreation and parks department plans to spend $300,000 to hire a landscape design firm to draw up the plans for the site, including mechanical, electrical and plumbing work. In addition, the work would include handling permitting, environmental review and other administrative costs.
The hope is to have the new restroom installed by late summer.