At any given time there are well over one million people in Manhattan who aren’t Manhattan residents. This figure, obtained from a report from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service, accounts for tourists and commuting workers from the suburbs and the outer boroughs. That being said, non-residents don’t usually have the luxury of popping home to drop off a few things, using a clean restroom, or especially showering. POSH City Club, a luxury storage and bathroom facility, plans to change that.
POSH City Club wants to be “a place that feels like home when you are visiting the city” by providing the conveniences of secure storage lockers, lounges equipped with electronic charging stations, touchless toilets that are cleaned after every use, and even personal showers.
Wayne Parks, POSH’s founder and frequent NYC visitor told OZY, “The idea was born out of necessity—my own experiences and everyone I know.” Parks has had many harrowing experiences with public restrooms in New York. It was not only frustrating to try to find a bathroom in the city; he often found that the ones open to the public were often in less-than-stellar condition. The city’s lack of storage spaces further unnerved Parks. And with more members of his family moving to New York, Parks decided it was finally time to deal with this issue.
Parks began developing the model of POSH City Club, first called POSH Stow and Go, in 2008. He and his small team of three have been working on bringing his vision to life ever since.
POSH team plans to set up facilities close to all of the city’s “focal points,” starting with a location in Midtown. The company’s ultimate goal is for people to never be more than five blocks away from a POSH location.
POSH has had several stumbling blocks on the road to this lofty vision, causing them to delay their opening multiple times. POSH was first scheduled to open by the end of 2014. Problems obtaining a location and a lease led the launch date to be moved to mid-2015. Now the company is confident that it will have its first location built by the end of this year.
Whenever it is that POSH City Club finally decides to open, Parks is certain that the market demand will be there, especially in the city’s central tourists spots. However, don’t expect POSH to be overrun with people fighting to use its facilities. Like a proper country club, POSH City Club will be exclusive to members and their guests. Members have to pay a $15 yearly base fee in addition to selecting one of four packages ranging from $39 to $640, geared to accommodate tourists visiting the city for a couple of days or commuters that are in the city daily.
Some critics have chided that POSH charges a hefty fee just to use the restroom, but the startup stresses that it provides much more than a clean bathroom trip. Back in February POSH posted on its blog, “The press latched onto the line that POSH was an exclusive place where members were ‘charged $8 to go to the bathroom’ even though that message is inaccurate. Fortunately, those who went to our website could see what POSH actually offers: ‘A Luxury Comfort Club for city visitors…a home away from home.’”
Assuming that people like what POSH offers in its New York locations, the company plans to take its city clubs nationwide. But for now, we await word of when POSH City Club will be open for business.
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Images via POSH City Club