You won’t have to hold it much longer for the public toilet at Noe Valley Town Square, as there’s sneak peak at the prefab facility once infamously priced at $1.7 million (but will now be much cheaper), and a March 7 delivery date for it.
When news leaked in October 2022 that SF Rec and Parks would be paying $1.7 million to install a new public toilet at Noe Valley Town Square, it didn’t take a whiz to figure out that the price tag would be controversial. But financial relief came in the form of a donated prefab toilet from a Nevada company that would bring the overall cost down to just $300,000, a plan which the SF Board of Supervisors approved last April.
Yet still to this day, the toilet is not here, its installation constipated by permit procedures, environmental reviews, and other red tape. And the prefab toilet itself still sits, ready to go and fully built, in a Nevada warehouse.
ATTENTION Residents of San Francisco’s Noe Valley neighborhood, this is your new modular bathroom to be delivered on March 7 and it didn’t cost $1.7 million. More on the infamous bathroom at @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/szVhUelO5S— Lyanne Melendez (@LyanneMelendez) February 8, 2024
But lo and behold, above we see that very toilet! KGO’s Lyanne Melendez has a picture of the new public toilet coming to Noe Valley, and a separate KGO report on when the toilet will finally be delivered. “The onsite construction preparations will begin next Monday and the bathroom delivered on March 7,” the report declares.
Though we should note that says “delivered on March 7.” This does not necessarily mean that the toilet will be up and flushing on that date, as installation and activation may take additional time.
The whole to-doo has been portrayed as an ‘only in San Francisco’ controversy, but the toilet’s donor says these burdensome issues happen in many cities. "Municipal governments just have to go through these proper procedures and every city, every county is different along the United States,” Public Restroom Company owner Chad Kaufman told KGO. “It's just the way it is."
Public Restroom Company and its partner on this project, Volumetric Building, also agreed to pay the construction costs. And in San Francisco, those costs can run high.
SF Rec and Parks spokesperson Tamara Aperton told KGO, "They had some unforeseen delays on their side, some staff out and the construction cost was a little shocking to them, but all the issues have been resolved and we're grateful for their gift and everything is in place now."
So we’ll keep our eyes peeled and mark our calendars for the long-awaited arrival of the toilet that’s spent a full year and half living in infamy, though still not yet installed. But it could be that in early March, Noe Valley Town Square will be (to paraphrase Public Restroom Company’s motto), a better place to go.
Image: Andrew D. via Yelp