DENVER (CBS4) – A CBS4 viewer asked about the big budget for furnishings at the new Colorado justice center in Denver and wondered if tax payers are getting ripped off. So CBS4’s Tom Mustin to look into the price tags and got the whole breakdown on how much was spent.
The new Ralph Carr Justice Center is the crown jewel of the Denver court system. Denver’s Trammell Crowe Company put together the $258 million project.
“We came in at budget and the overall project has been successful,” Bill Mosher with Trammell Crow Company said.
The 600,000 square foot building includes a courthouse and a 12-story office tower. The center was partially funded by taxpayers’ money. But were taxpayers overcharged?
“I’ve heard rumors that people are claiming there were $8,000 chairs purchased for that reception area, which is not true,” Mosher said.
But there were 30 chairs bought at $2,300 apiece. Other items include an $8,000 credenza and $1,800 bench.
“I don’t think the taxpayers got ripped off, personally,” Mosher said.
Mosher says to furnish the building his company contacted seven commercial furniture manufacturers. They chose the one with the best prices and best value. He says comparing that furniture to items from IKEA or American Furniture Warehouse is not fair.
“I buy a cheaper chair because it’s only being used by me, and it’s going to be in my house, and I’ll get rid of it or move or whatever. The furniture we’re buying for the courts better be there 15, 20 years from now,” he said.
With the opening of the justice center just days away, Mosher says he and his company are proud of what they’ve accomplished.
“We provided good value for the money that was provided, approved by everybody,” he said. “We stayed within those dollar limits and provided the building that was expected.”