Yanks parks overruns due to, um, overruns

The New York City Independent Budget Office has a new report out detailing the costs of replacing the Bronx parks destroyed for the Yankees‘ new stadium. The Crain’s story describes the findings this way:

The cost of replacing more than 22 acres of South Bronx parkland displaced by the new Yankee Stadium has skyrocketed 67% to nearly $195 million, according to a new report by the Independent Budget Office.

That’s not news, though – you could have read it here or in the Village Voice last March. The point of the IBO report, rather, is to figure out why costs have skyrocketed. In the IBO’s summary:

  • Revised designs of some of the original projects as well as the addition of some new projects
    that the Bloomberg administration has put under the umbrella of the stadium agreement
    have added $30.0 million to the cost.

  • Unanticipated clean-up of hazardous waste materials and environmental remediation
    accounted for $7.6 million of the increase, and additional site work and safety increased
    costs by $10.9 million.
  • Construction inflation beyond that assumed by the city accounted for $7.6 million of the
    increase, while delays in construction added $6.2 million.

The factors driving the remaining $16.3 million cost increase are not yet clear because there are
portions of the project still out for bids.

In other words, it cost more because, well, it cost more, for all the reasons things end up costing more. The IBO report doesn’t address the more interesting question, which is whether the city should have known that its initial estimate was less than two-thirds what it should have been – and if so, if it intentionally lowballed costs to get the deal approved.

There’s also a really confusing chart in the IBO report that makes it look like the city is replacing 22 acres of lost parkland with 32 acres of new parks; that figure, however, includes 3 acres of “upgraded” parkland that was already a public park. This should be too trivial to interest anyone, but given how controversial this acreage issue has been, I figured it was worth mentioning.


One comment on “Yanks parks overruns due to, um, overruns

  1. What’s the over/under on when this new park actually gets built? If it happens before the end of Bloomberg’s 3rd term I’ll be surprised