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Author Topic: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London  (Read 11156 times)

Fly320s

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$1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« on: February 24, 2010, 05:15:43 AM »

That's right, One Billion Dollars for the new London embassy.

I guess that stimulus money is working... for London.

Clicky the linky for the photo.


http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/02/23/unveils-billion-high-security-embassy-london/?test=latestnews

U.S. Unveils Most Expensive Embassy in London

Times of London

The State Department sought to play down the cost of security measures, noting the expense of London building work. But the price puts the London embassy above the U.S.'s most fortified missions.

The United States unveiled plans Tuesday for its new $1 billion high-security embassy in London — the most expensive it has ever built.

The proposals were met with relief from both the present embassy's Mayfair neighbors and the residents and developers of the Battersea wasteland where the vast crystalline cube, surrounded by a moat, will be built.

The decision to abandon the former site in Grosvenor Square by 2016 came after a prolonged battle with residents angered by the security measures demanded after the September 11 attacks. More than a hundred residents took out a full-page advertisement in The Times of London to oppose tighter measures that they said would leave the area more vulnerable to attack.

The new embassy, on a former industrial site behind Battersea power station known for its gay clubs, will be designed by Kieran Timberlake, the Philadelphia architect.

A moat 100-foot -wide and rolling parkland will separate the building from the main road, protecting it from would-be bombers and removing the need for the blast barriers that so dismayed the people of Mayfair.

The State Department sought to play down the cost of security measures, noting the expense of London building work. But the price puts the London embassy above the U.S.'s most fortified missions, including the Baghdad embassy, which cost $600 million but required a further $100 million of work on air conditioning, and the Islamabad embassy, still under construction, which has cost more than $850 million.

Islamic sex dolls.  Do they blow themselves up?

MicroBalrog

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2010, 05:24:24 AM »

A moat? Seriously?
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Jamisjockey

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2010, 05:27:41 AM »

A moat? Seriously?

Actually, a moat makes alot of sense from a security standpoint, kind of hard to drive a truck bomb through it.  However, this proves how out of touch government is.
JD

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castle key

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2010, 05:56:22 AM »

A moat? Seriously?

A moat is only as good as the critters that live in the moat...Crocs, gators, moat monsters....
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SADShooter

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2010, 06:23:05 AM »

To paraphrase the GEICO caveman: "Uh, WHAT?"

(Edited for a sleep-deprivation induced usage goof).
« Last Edit: February 24, 2010, 08:35:33 AM by SADShooter »
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charby

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2010, 06:29:27 AM »

A billion dollars could do a lot of good domestically.

Lets see um, fix bridges, fix roads, etc.

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Jamisjockey

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2010, 06:36:52 AM »

A billion dollars could do a lot of good domestically.

Lets see um, fix bridges, fix roads, etc.



Hell, you could give 20,000 people $50,000.00 each.  You could loan 20,000 small businesses up to $50,000 each and get the economy going.  Charge a nominal interest rate and make some damn money for once, instead of just spending.
JD

 The price of a lottery ticket seems to be the maximum most folks are willing to risk toward the dream of becoming a one-percenter. “Robert Hollis”

AZRedhawk44

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2010, 06:39:04 AM »

I smell bovine excrement.

Quote
The State Department sought to play down the cost of security measures, noting the expense of London building work. But the price puts the London embassy above the U.S.'s most fortified missions, including the Baghdad embassy, which cost $600 million but required a further $100 million of work on air conditioning, and the Islamabad embassy, still under construction, which has cost more than $850 million.

Yeah, right. ;/

I'm sure the embassy is a good size, probably around 50,000 square feet.

I could see an AC installation bill of several hundred thousand dollars.  Heck, maybe even a couple million when you consider all the cool nuke/bio/chem filtration systems they'd want.  There's probably a sizeable basement already there or going to be dug out for a nuke shelter safe room.

But, $100 million?

Also, $1 billion dollars for the whole thing is way out of line.  That's the same cost as a state of the art NFL football stadium.

ETA:  I think some of this is going to a state department slush fund for CIA operations, and this is how they are getting it off the books and into operational hands.
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vaskidmark

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2010, 07:03:55 AM »

Embassy co-located with plethora of gay bars.*  Check!

Embassy glows all night long.  Check!

Moat - as previously discussed.  Riiiiight - it's jolly old England, don'tchaknow.  Check!

Construction contract let on low-bid basis to comply with US law.  This could be better than the Moscow embassy the Ruskies bugged during construction (guess who was doing all the construction).  Check!

The absolute amount of sheer genius that went into this project unfortunately does not surprise me in the least.  How sad it is to say that.

stay safe.

skidmark

* - not gay-bashing, just suggesting that the folks who looked at "location, location, location" might have considered that a bit more before settling on the site.  Go read any spy novels from the 1950s through the 1980s to see what was considered the biggest threat to national security - an embassy employee who could be blackmailed.
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MicroBalrog

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2010, 07:33:35 AM »

Quote
* - not gay-bashing, just suggesting that the folks who looked at "location, location, location" might have considered that a bit more before settling on the site.  Go read any spy novels from the 1950s through the 1980s to see what was considered the biggest threat to national security - an embassy employee who could be blackmailed.

That's no longer the case with gays, though. The UK at the time did not accept gays into the MI-6 because they could be blackmailed (given the public opinion of gays at the time). Today, they had changed that, because they judged that the stigma of gay behaviors has abated enough that a gay person is no more likely to be blackmailed in England than a straight person.
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longeyes

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2010, 08:03:27 AM »

Not to worry, it's a jobs program for "recent immigrants" to the U.K.  The obstreperous ones.  The chavs.

And it's also a prelude to the construction of a moat around Washington, D.C. to keep out the noisy serfs.
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agricola

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2010, 08:14:31 AM »

It is worth pointing out some things:

i) the old (Grovesnor Square) embassy was actually sold for rather more than $1 billion, so this is something of a downgrade;
ii) London property prices are stupid, especially that close in to the centre;
iii) the new site is very close (five and fifteen minutes walk respectively) to both MI6 and MI5;
iv) the "plethora" of gay bars in Vauxhall is in fact about two or three, as always there are far more straight pubs in the area;
v) none of the other buildings in that photo actually exist yet - if you do a google map search for "Ponton Road, SW8" you will see the area where the embassy will be
vi) it is in a very odd place for an embassy

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article7038550.ece
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Jamisjockey

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2010, 08:42:16 AM »

It is worth pointing out some things:

i) the old (Grovesnor Square) embassy was actually sold for rather more than $1 billion, so this is something of a downgrade;
Well, that's good then.
vi) it is in a very odd place for an embassy
Surprisingly, there are Embassies scattered all over DC. 
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article7038550.ece

JD

 The price of a lottery ticket seems to be the maximum most folks are willing to risk toward the dream of becoming a one-percenter. “Robert Hollis”

P5 Guy

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2010, 09:59:25 AM »

Wouldn't moving into Buckingham Palace be cheaper?

RevDisk

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2010, 09:59:43 AM »

Quote
It also does not include the 17.5 per cent VAT demanded by the Treasury on all buildings in Britain and which the US has refused to pay

Uh, because it's US soil as soon as we buy it?   If you don't like it, don't allow a US embassy and recall your own.    :mad:

We fought more than one war against the UK over taxes.  I'd happily support sending much more than the VAT on fighting the HMRC.  The notion of the US paying taxes to the British government on our embassy does not make me happy, nor do I believe it is legal. 
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doczinn

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2010, 10:07:51 AM »

True. And anyway, 17.5%??? Are they insane?
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HankB

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2010, 10:10:02 AM »

v) none of the other buildings in that photo actually exist yet - if you do a google map search for "Ponton Road, SW8" you will see the area where the embassy will be
vi) it is in a very odd place for an embassy
Looks like an odd area indeed - Google's "Street View" along the river nearby shows (for example) a Rolls dealer, a Fedex terminal, and what appear to be factories or warehouses . . .

The planned high-rises surrounding the proposed embassy ought to reduce the chances of a successful Kamikazi attack . . . but I wonder about all that glass on the exterior; perhaps it's actually thick slabs of polycarbonate?

And anyway, 17.5%??? Are they insane?
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« Last Edit: February 24, 2010, 10:13:17 AM by HankB »
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AZRedhawk44

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2010, 10:14:17 AM »

Uh, because it's US soil as soon as we buy it?   If you don't like it, don't allow a US embassy and recall your own.    :mad:

We fought more than one war against the UK over taxes.  I'd happily support sending much more than the VAT on fighting the HMRC.  The notion of the US paying taxes to the British government on our embassy does not make me happy, nor do I believe it is legal. 

A righteous +1 to that.

The US will NEVER pay a tax to Great Britain.  If this becomes a real issue, I'll be writing letters.  Probably pimping the issue with Appleseeds, too.  It is certainly topical to that audience.  Right now it just sounds like it is anecdotal to the story and pretty much a non-issue.
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Tallpine

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2010, 10:53:54 AM »

I suppose it will have a dungeon, too...?  =|
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agricola

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2010, 11:57:35 AM »

Quote from: JamisJockey
Surprisingly, there are Embassies scattered all over DC. 

Thats DC though - London's embassies are clustered together, and - as HankB has said - its not as if there is anything else nearby, aside from New Covent Garden Market, a couple of supermarkets and some light industry. 

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Dannyboy

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2010, 01:45:13 PM »

I'm pretty sure I heard something closer $1.4B for the Baghdad embassy.  But that may have been for the entire complex and not just the embassy building itself.  We got royally hosed on that job.  It's friggin ugly to begin with and aside from the AC work there is a ton of other stuff they're working on.  But the biggest thing that threw me for a loop is the set of high-rise apartment buildings right across the street, out of the IZ.  Supposedly, the tenants in the buildings are thoroughly vetted but we know how that works out most times.  I figure it's only a matter of time until somebody starts taking shots from over there.
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GigaBuist

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2010, 01:51:51 PM »

True. And anyway, 17.5%??? Are they insane?

No, progressive!

makattak

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2010, 01:52:30 PM »

No, progressive!

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AZRedhawk44

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2010, 02:05:15 PM »

I started thinking about the AC again.

$100 million for air conditioning.

In the UK.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London?redirect=no#Climate

Average summer high temps are 72* F in July and 71* F in August.

$100 million in AC?  I understand there will probably be considerable computing power and perhaps $50k worth of HVAC work to have a high-redundancy installation for that...

But $100 million?  For air conditioning... in London?
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agricola

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Re: $1,000,000,000 US Embassy for London
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2010, 02:08:36 PM »

I started thinking about the AC again.

$100 million for air conditioning.

In the UK.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London?redirect=no#Climate

Average summer high temps are 72* F in July and 71* F in August.

$100 million in AC?  I understand there will probably be considerable computing power and perhaps $50k worth of HVAC work to have a high-redundancy installation for that...

But $100 million?  For air conditioning... in London?

I think the $100 million for AC is for the Baghdad embassy.
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