Gov. Andrew Cuomo Pushes Massive Convention Center Project

Javits Replaced, West Side Developed As Part Of Ambitious Plan For Future

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Thinking big.

Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to roll the dice on casino gambling and he wants to close the Javits Convention Center and open another convention center in Queens, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

It’s all part of his economic agenda for 2012.

Cuomo gave his annual state of the state speech in Albany on Wednesday, calling for $25 billion in development projects and numerous actions to create jobs for New York’s failing economy.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Ambitious Agenda

The state of the state speech was the governor’s wish list, thing — some big and some small — that he’d like to see happen on his watch. And even though the state is broke, Cuomo is dreaming big.

“Let’s build the largest convention center in the nation, period,” Cuomo said to applause.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

That’s right. Cuomo wants to attract shows, conventions and tourism dollars by building a massive hotel and convention center at Aqueduct racetrack — and he’s willing to spend $4 billion to attract a private developer to do it – probably the same company that built the recently opened Aqueduct racino.

“It will be all about jobs, jobs, jobs … tens of thousands of jobs building the number one convention center in the country,” Cuomo said.

Once the convention center is built he wants to tear down the old Javits Center and build apartments and hotels to redevelop the West Side, something like Battery Park City.

But that’s just part of the governor’s plan to rebuild New York’s economy. Casino gambling is also part of his $25 billion economic development proposal.

“For us, this is not about chips and cards,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo also wants to repair 2,000 miles of roads and to replace 100 bridges, and proposed changes to campaign financing, suggesting a cut in the maximum amount that can be donated to candidates, and proposing voluntary public financing of campaigns.

Of course Cuomo wasn’t the only one with an agenda. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver sought to boost the lives of 1.2 million New Yorkers by raising that state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8 an hour. He called it a top priority.

“Frankly, it’s absurd to expect anyone, let alone a working family, to afford the cost of living today and be able to invest in their future on a salary on 7.25 an hour. That’s just $15,000 a year,” Silver said.

“We’ve got to look at it. But it is as I said earlier clear, as I think the speaker, Speaker Silver said, it’s very difficult to live on $15,000 a year,” New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg added.

The governor also promised to close the state’s $2 billion budget gap without raising taxes or fees. We’ll have to see whether he’s able to keep that promise.

Cuomo’s approval ratings soared during his first year. His list of accomplishments may be a tough act to follow says Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

“He’s facing more difficult economic climate,” Greenberg told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

During Cuomo’s first year in office, the state legalized gay marriage, put a cap on the growth in property taxes and added a millionaire tax which also provided a middle class tax cut.

What do you think of Gov. Cuomo’s performance? Sound off in our comments section.

  • RoyAllen

    We spend millions upon millions for the Javits Center and it’s expansion,and now the Gov says it’s not big enough,or new enough,are you kidding me.Some of his chronies in the Construction Business,must need a few new projects,paid for by the taxpayers,as usual

    • Michael H.

      It isn’t big enough or modern enough. Do some traveling. Visit some of the most modern convention facilities and you will be amazed. NYC needs a modern convention center to compete with other cities and Javits simply doesn’t cut it.

      • Vlad

        In this case the new center should be built instead of Javits or on railroad yard next to it, not far away from most public transit routes, including across Hudson, hotels and attractions of Manhattan

  • michaelfury

    Why gamble when you can get in on a sure thing, Governor?

  • S.Reh

    Let me put it another way. Cuomo knows perfectly well from his days as a prosecutor that underage prostitutes (who are usually runaways) are brought across state lines to work near convention centers and gaming casinos. He also knows perfectly well that gaming destoys neighborhoods and families by preying on its most vulnerable members (HINT: when daddy or grandma loses big, there goes another child who will have to suffer, either from alcoholic rages of the loser, or from their being no money for little johnny’s food, schooling, after school activities due to the loss of savings.) Not to mention all the wives who will come down with STDs. I’m all for developing Queens, but it doesn’t have to be done by the city and it doesn’t have to be done in such a patently destructive way that most affects working class families and runaway youth. Can’t he just build a promenade or a sports complex (where people can exercise, not watch some another high-paid team do it).

  • S.Reh

    Four BILLION, in the middle of a recession, to build something we already have and tear down something that cost a lot to build and is working fine? And then, we really need more CASINO GAMBLING to attract organized crime, drugs, prostitutes and destroy families?? Great thinking!!

  • annemarie d

    cuomo has cut school tax so much i got letter in mail from sons school detailing the horror,plus cuts to medicade/ cuts all cuts yet the newspapers/tvnews kiss cuomos butt,Mangano on the other hand has done some pretty good things,and his idea to make casino build etc yet they throw him under a bus just because he is republican unreal

  • El Jefe

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to build the apartments in Queens instead of tearing down a perfectly fine $500mil Javitz Center?
    Oh wait … political speeches and common sense have nothing in common.

  • Hoodwinked

    I guess all the state employees who voted for no wage increases in the future are sure glad there is money now to build a convention center.

  • Aldo Cafarelli

    Hey Steve you work for nothing… You Rat SOB

  • Jay Pee

    While he lives with Sara Lee in Westchester is the staff working at the empty Governors Mansion?


    Middle Class drives our country. WE NEED MIDDLE CLASS SALARIES TO EAT!!!
    And god forbid pay our kids college tuition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Meme Meyagi

      Blah blah blah!!!! And blah blah BLAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • mike

    OTB, That money was suppose to go for the schools, and they either stole it or missed managed it. Either way, these NY politicans can’t do there jobs. Lottery money was for the schools, that’s either stolen, or missed managed by the same politicans in NY…But then New Yorkers are pretty stupid!

    • Whiffma Rearhole

      You tell em’ Mike, make em’ smell your ass.

  • Dale Auburn

    Will CITY residents be eligible for any of the resulting jobs? Or will they all be reserved for suburbanites?

    • DaleTheDope

      You are so fascinatinzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Steve

    More gambling; yeah that’s it. That will solve our problems. How about kicking out the unions and shutting down half the state government? Guess not, right?

    • Schniff D. Tookus

      You tell em’ Steve, make em’ smell your ass.

  • Roger Mudd

    School and property tax relief please. The equalization rate increase our school taxes over $750 dollars this year. This state stink and we can’t afford to live here anymore. Make renters pay school taxes. What about all those mandates for schools you promised to fix. Please help as we can’t afford the taxes in this god forshaken state

    • Michael H.

      My landlord pays property taxes, which includes the school tax. Why should I have to pay it too? It’s my landlord’s property, not mine.

    • Walter Greenspan

      Part of a renters rental payment includes property taxes, including school district property taxes, paid for by the landlord.

  • we need more...

    …jobs that pay a living wage. please mr. governor, create some decent jobs.

    • Rovert Moses

      …as long as only SUBURBANITES are allowed to apply.

      Remember that cities are NOT allowed to be viable on their own – they exist only to accommodate and subsidize the suburbs.

      • Twang

        zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Go on. You’re fascinating. zzzzzzzzzzz

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