The high cost of construction in New York long been an undisputed fact. But now – with two schools being built at the same time in neighboring states (one in New York and one in New Jersey), the exceptionally high price of New York construction is being evidenced even more noticeably.
The Bronx school – serving elementary age students – will be built next to the South Bronx Educational Complex and will feature four floors, 15 regular classrooms, 2 district special ed classrooms, a reading room, speech resource rooms, 4 re-K classrooms and 3 kindergarten classrooms. That is costing approximately $70m.
The Jersey City School – BelovED Charter High School – is expanding 53,000 square feet to serve a further 480 students will cost around $12.5m. This means that per square foot, the school expansion in New York is more than $1,500 per square foot and the New Jersey one totals just $250 per square foot.
Even though the New Jersey school is run privately it received tax-exempt bonds to finance its construction using local labor and wages. Co-founder and head of marketing at Stephen Smith Real Estate, a New York based real estate firm said:
“The city is very difficult to work with. The pool of contractors and vendors is not as large as in private construction. High cost in construction is a problem at every level of government in New York. And there seems to no interest from politicians in understanding these high costs.”
Indeed, it does appear that New York construction costs are ranked as some of the highest in the world.