Those iconic blue and white lifeguard towers on Hollywood beach are stunners, both in looks and price.
Hollywood has already spent more than $2 million on 21 stylish new stands and is on the verge of spending another $700,000 to buy eight more towers — six lifeguard stands and two first-aid stations.
After more than a quarter of a century of service in the salt air, the last of the battered old stands need replacing, says Commissioner Kevin Biederman.
The new towers, approved by commission vote Wednesday, should hit the beach by summer. That’s according to Michael Goldburg, an owner of Post & Beam, the Pompano Beach company under contract to build the stands.
The first set arrived in 2019, wowing Instagram-happy tourists and locals with their spiffy yellow accents and Art Deco design.
“The new lifeguard stands add a little pizzazz to the visitor experience and provide a backdrop to many photos that are seen around the world,” Biederman said.
But the price tag — $106,015 apiece for two first-aid stations and $74,415 apiece for six lifeguard towers — has left some flabbergasted.
“I do think they’re beautiful, but they cost too much,” said Daniel Kennedy, a longtime beach resident. “My God, you can build a house for $100,000. Someone’s drinking too much Kool-Aid. How can they justify that?”
But that’s the going rate for head-turning stands made of marine grade plywood and stainless steel, Goldburg said of the $678,368 sale price.
“People hear that number and they’re blown away by it,” he said. “But the materials are very expensive. And there’s a lot of labor that goes in. They take several weeks to build, with two to eight guys working. Then they have to be transported to the beach in modules and erected on at the beach.”
Longtime resident Samantha Kavanaugh scoffed at the price but quickly become a fan.
“They photograph fantastic, and I think they upgrade our beach,” said Kavanaugh, known for getting breathtaking photos of the stands at sunrise.
Kennedy couldn’t help but poke fun at the price.
“At the price they’re paying to build these things, they should put in plumbing and then we can use them for Airbnb after 5 o’clock,” he said. “Then we can get take the money and give it back to the taxpayers. Just saying.”
Susannah Bryan can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Susannah_Bryan