NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is announcing a $1 billion expansion plan to make Manhattan’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center “the convention center for the next generation.”
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer explained, Cuomo didn’t rest in the week leading up to his annual State Of The State speech.
“We will have the most aggressive development program in the history of the state of New York,” the governor said.
Cuomo said Thursday that construction will start this year and will add 344,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space, 400,000 square feet of operational space and 479,000 feet for delivery truck parking.
“We’re going to expand Javits from 2.1 million square feet by building an additional 1.2 million square feet on Javits, for a total of 3.3 million square feet,” Cuomo said. “It’s not just about an exhibition hall. They want breakout rooms, and breakout space, and meeting rooms, and that’s what Javits needed to construct, and they will.”
The expansion plan includes one of the largest solar powered green roofs in existence and the “largest ballroom in the northeast,” WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reported.
A bigger garage means trucks making deliveries won’t have to park on city streets.
Cuomo said the project will be financed by the Javits Center and the Empire State Development Corporation.
The announcement came four years after Cuomo proposed razing the Javits Center and replacing it with a new convention center in Queens.
Because of its size and lack of facilities the Javits Center loses about 15 major conventions a year and unlike the boat show and the car show where people come for the day and then go home, these are conventions where people stay for days and spend a lot of money.
Cuomo in 2012 called the Javits Center “obsolete and not large enough to be a top-tier competitor in today’s marketplace.”
He said Thursday that Javits is the busiest convention center in the country. But he said it must grow to remain competitive.
“It’s estimated that this expansion will increase hotel nights by 200,000,” Peter Ward, Hotel Trades Council, explained.
The Javitz expansion is just one of many projects Cuomo has announced in the past few days in addition to a new Penn Station, expansion of the Long Island Railroad, preventing toll increases on the Thruway and the Tappan Zee Bridge until 2020, and new airports at JFK and LaGuardia.
The big question is, how will the state pay for all this?
“It will happen on Javits’ own land. We don’t have to go out and acquire any property. The approximate cost is $1-billion, it will be financed by Javits and the Empire State Development Corporation,” the governor said.
On some of the other projects that Cuomo has announced, like Penn Station, a public-private partnership will be formed. That means the state will pony up some of the money.
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