NY Governor Approves Javits Center Expansion

Gov. David A. Paterson has officially approved a proposed expansion and renovation of New York's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, he announced this month.

The project, construction on which will begin immediately, calls for interior and exterior improvements to the existing structure and the addition of a 100,000-square-foot expansion containing 40,000 square feet of exhibition space and 60,000 square feet of pre-function, core function and loading dock space.

"In these challenging economic times, it is vital that we invest in projects that spur local business and create new employment opportunities," Paterson said in a statement. "This project achieves both, while also ensuring that we improve upon an invaluable asset."

With its existing 765,000 square feet of total exhibition space, the two-decade-old Javits Center still is among the country's largest convention centers. Because new and expanding facilities in other destinations are catching up, however, project supporters argue that New York needs a refreshed and modernized Javits Center in order to compete.

"The renovation and expansion of the Javits will enable New York City to continue to attract business and remain a premier convention, trade show and event destination," said New York Convention Center Development Corporation President Barbara Lampen.

Added New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, "The long-awaited Javits Center renovation and expansion project is an important step towards addressing the demand for modern convention space."

The $463 million Javits Center renovation and expansion is expected to generate nearly $880 million in direct and indirect sales, and 9,000 direct and indirect construction and construction related jobs, according to Paterson. Construction currently is scheduled for completion in 2013.