BRIGHTON BEACH – After years of controversy, two new “comfort stations” will be coming to Brighton Beach in time for Memorial Day Weekend, Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz (D-45) announced this morning.
The $2 million elevated bathrooms are finally coming to the Reigelmann Boardwalk after nearly 5 years of construction delays and community debate over their location.
Originally planned for the end of Brighton 15th Street, the location of the new bathrooms led to public outcry, especially from the residents of the Oceana luxury condos. The city attempted to install the elevated bathrooms in 2013, but ended up delaying the project once workers hit bedrock in their efforts to lay a foundation for the structure. Instead, they opted for temporary facilities further down the beach.
The already unpopular plan led once again to public complaint, and Cymbrowitz agreed, urging the city to “pack up its pail and shovel… clean up the mess it made on our beach, and go home.”
“The only fair solution to this protracted boondoggle is for the city to start from square one, keep an ear firmly tuned to the community’s wishes and build the comfort stations further west on the Boardwalk,” Cymbrowitz said at the time.
A columnist later accused Cymbrowitz of working together with the Oceana apartments to sink the bathroom plans in an attempt to privatize a portion of the beach. With some locals convinced of a privatization conspiracy, Cymbrowitz fired back in 2014, calling the accusations “totally inaccurate.”
After a two year battle, NYC Parks finally agreed to install the permanent comfort stations at the end of Coney Island Avenue. But that decision led to opposition from local Councilmember Deutsch (D-48), who wrote a letter in 2016 opposing the new location, which would place the comfort stations in front of the Shorefront Y.
Despite Deutsch’s pushback, it appears the city is set to break ground on the new comfort stations this Monday, February 12. Work will proceed from 7:00 am to 3:30 pm on weekdays in order to have the new stations open for Memorial Day.
“Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Marty Maher promised me we’d have the bathrooms moved from Brighton 15th Street to Coney Island Avenue by Memorial Day, and that’s exactly what will be happening,” Cymbrowitz said in a statement. “This is an issue that people continually ask me about in the community and I’m pleased that we have a successful resolution.”