NYTimes: Why Can’t New York City Build More Gems Like This Queens Library?

The new Hunters Point Community Library in New York City.

The new Hunters Point Community Library in New York City.

The New York Times has a insightful piece on the new The Hunters Point Community Library which is “one of the finest public buildings New York has produced this century. But it cost more than $40 million, took a decade and almost died.”

The article is an in-depth look at what it takes to build a great library in New York City and how the Public Library System overcame many obstacles to get it built.

One of the insights from the article is:

“No wonder the golden ticket for many city agencies is the so-called “pass through” contract, which means a project has received ample private funding up front and is being overseen by an organization responsible and competent enough to handle construction itself. A few weeks ago, the New York Public Library unveiled its new Van Cortlandt branch in the Bronx. Library officials made sure to structure the financing to get the pass through.

Construction was completed on time and on budget.”

A second thing to note:

The 22,000 SF building cost $40,000,000 to build or approximately $1,800/SF.

Food for thought.