Here Come Luxury Bathrooms for the Masses
SAN DIEGO ( TheStreet) -- We've all been there.
Shuttling around a city all day, far from home and in need of a restroom break, only to discover that the public bathroom options are far from desirable.
Connecticut resident Wayne Parks has been there one too many times himself while visiting New York City over the years.
So the self-professed germaphobe decided to do something about the problem: build a luxurious public restroom alternative.
Parks is launching New York City's first members-only day storage and luxury bathroom facility, Posh Stow and Go .
Think immaculately clean, beautifully designed bathrooms with such things as lockers and motion-sensor flushers and faucets. Many will have showers also.
"It's going to feel like home," Parks says during a recent telephone interview. "It will be comfortable and warm. "
"Everything is tile, 6 feet high -- I don't want fingerprints anywhere. Everything will be wall-mounted, so my crews can keep the floors spotless Everything is unisex. I don't think women should have to see urinals. It's everything I wanted and expect for my family. I wanted to give that to everyone else."
Access to Posh Stow and Go luxury bathrooms involves a minimal membership charge -- $15 annually -- and the purchase of daily passes for the number of days you plan to use the bathrooms. Passes are sold in packages of three, six or 10 days. The cost is $8 a day for a three-pack, $7 a day for a six-pack and $6 a day for a 10-pack.
"These are royal amenities at peasant prices," quips Parks, who has thought pored over every last detail.
The bathrooms will be decorated in a palette of light blue, dark blue and white, he continues. There will be no metal lockers; Parks is working with his architect to develop custom wooden lockers. The rooms will all be soundproofed, have high- powered dryers and baby-changing stations.
The first few Posh Stow and Go luxury bathrooms, already under construction, are scheduled to open in June in Midtown Manhattan, near Grand Central and Penn stations.
Parks declined to reveal how much he's spending to build the facilities, but says only half-jokingly, "You could buy a house, a very nice house and put a lot of bathrooms in it, for what these cost."
A construction company owner, Parks spent the past decade thinking about his luxury bathroom idea, but was too busy to do anything about it.
When the economy slowed in 2008, Parks started to consider the business more seriously.
"I said 'You know what? It's time.' My oldest daughter had a baby this year. My son moved to Manhattan, and so we're all back into New York now, with a second wave of kids. And I said 'I'm not dealing with this bathroom issue anymore," Parks says.