476 million dollars divided by the 490,000 sf of space, results in a $971 per square foot cost for these renovations. In today's dollars, if I spent, as an architect, more than $500. per square foot on a NEW high end office building for one of the richest corporations in America, I would be overspending. And renovations usually only cost a portion of what it takes to build new buildings.
This is a remarkable misuse of funds by the government.
Just as a reference point, the new Goldman Sachs headquarters in Lower Manhattan cost a reported $2.1 billion for 2.1 million square feet of space. So indeed, on a per-square-foot basis, the Brooklyn government renovation costs about as much as super-high-end private-sector new construction in Manhattan.