January 4th, 2012, 05:44 PM
Build the Tower Verre
A new convention center and hotel at Aqueduct
NY gov seeks Aqueduct convention center, casinos
January 4, 2012 5:05 PM
(AP)* ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called for building the world's largest convention center hotel at Aqueduct racetrack as part of his push for expanded gambling to provide more state tax revenue and create jobs.
The nearly 4 million-square foot convention center with 3,000 hotel rooms located between New York City's major airports in Queens would replace the Javits Center in Manhattan.
The Daily News first reported Wednesday the project would be funded by the Genting Group of Malaysia. Genting runs the video slot machine center at Aqueduct.
Cuomo says in his State of the State speech that New Yorkers could approve a constitutional amendment to have Atlantic-City style casinos off Indian reservations. A likely spot is the Catskills, a once storied resort area.
Copyright © 2012 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.
January 4th, 2012, 07:24 PM
I guess if you're flying into Kennedy and have no desire to see the City, the Aqueduct site might work. You can take the AirTrain right to the Howard Beach stop. I do agree that the Javitz site should be razed and redeveloped and replaced. But I can think of a half dozen better spots for the new Convention Center. I'm sure everyone else can as well.
January 4th, 2012, 07:28 PM
January 4th, 2012, 08:27 PM
In the long run...
LIC/Sunnyside is the best spot to relocate the convention center due to the proximity to Manhattan and the great transport links. How on earth would people get to Aqueduct unless the city also planned a direct rail link to JFK with one stop at the new convention center? (Though I'd like that scenario, our broke country can't do that. We need too many bombs and military aircraft to afford luxuries like trains.)
January 4th, 2012, 08:38 PM
January 4th, 2012, 11:17 PM
This is very dumb. It's impossible to get to the Aqueduct without driving, and I wouldn't even want to do that with the obligatory JFK backup on the Belt on a normal day. Imagine traffic trying to get in and out of that place during the Auto Show? Javits at the very least needs to be renovated, since I can't see tearing it down without having something else in place and the Aqueduct just doesn't seem like it would work.
January 4th, 2012, 11:48 PM
Maybe you're looking at this backwards.
An "Airport City" development. Point of entry is JFK. The AirTrain spur that runs west to Howard Beach is only about 2000 feet across the Belt Parkway from Aqueduct. There's an Aqueduct station on the A train.
I think it's the largest public owned "vacant" land (racetracks are mostly open space) in the city. 192 acres. And ready to go. Sunnyside would be more ideal, but decking over a railyard is much more expensive.
It may not work out, but I wouldn't dismiss it as dumb.
January 5th, 2012, 12:36 PM
Gambling = fleecing the poor.
I know it is the "key", but there is no illusion as to who goes there the most, and who profits from it the most.
Livery can drivers? Not likely.
January 5th, 2012, 01:24 PM
Build the Tower Verre
A Convention Center at Aqueduct Is Urged
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Arquitectonica
An illustration of the proposed $4 billion exhibition hall, hotel and expanded casino at the Aqueduct
racetrack in Queens.
By CHARLES V. BAGLI
Published: January 4, 2012
One of Manhattan’s most desirable real-estate assets was at the center of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposal Wednesday to build the country’s largest convention center at a racetrack-casino in Queens.
A new 3.8-million-square-foot exhibition hall and hotel at the Aqueduct racetrack in Jamaica, Queens, would free up 18 windswept acres owned by the state overlooking the Hudson River in Midtown Manhattan, a site occupied since the 1980s by the much- maligned Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
The land could fetch billions of dollars from developers, say state officials, urban planners and real estate executives. That could plug budget gaps and pay for expensive projects, like expanding Pennsylvania Station.
“The Javits site is worth $4 billion,” said Robert Yaro, president of the Regional Plan Association. “You can release that value and use it for the long-term advantage of city and state. All by itself, the convention center in Queens becomes the biggest urban development project in the country.”
Still, the question is whether the Queens project makes sense, experts said. The convention business is highly competitive, and attendance is falling around the country. Most convention centers are run by public authorities at a deficit.
Mr. Cuomo said the Javits center, which is in the middle of a $500 million renovation, no longer belongs in Manhattan, where it is too small to compete for the large trade shows now going to convention centers in Chicago, Orlando and Las Vegas.
Under Mr. Cuomo’s proposal, the state would forge a joint venture with the Genting Group, the Malaysian company that has invested $800 million in opening a gambling hall at Aqueduct. Genting, not the state, would finance a $4 billion convention center, with a hotel and expanded gambling space, while the government would contribute the land in Queens.
“This will bring to New York the largest events, driving demand for hotel rooms and restaurant meals and creating tax revenues and jobs, jobs, jobs,” Mr. Cuomo said in his State of the State speech. “In addition to the new convention space, up to 3,000 hotel rooms will be developed. We will make New York the No. 1 convention site in the nation.”
After the Javits center is demolished, the state would develop a master plan for housing, hotels and museums on the site, between 34th and 40th Streets and west of 11th Avenue, and sell or lease the land to developers.
The Javits center has always been busy, but mainly with trade shows that attract patrons from the New York region, rather than conventioneers who book hotel rooms and spend a lot of money in Manhattan.
Over the past two decades, many cities have built exhibition halls or expanded existing convention centers in the hope of attracting professional associations and similar groups, whose attendees typically spend four or five days in a city. But competition, the recession and videoconferencing have taken a toll.
Heywood Sanders, professor of public administration at the University of Texas and an expert on convention center economics, said he doubted that the Queens plan would succeed.
“The convention business is a disaster everywhere,” Professor Sanders said. “Simply building more space gets you nothing more than a big empty building. And to put it in a place where there aren’t any hotels, restaurants or amenities next door is to doom it to serving only a local or metropolitan market.”
But New York City officials said they could lure more conventions with a larger hall. “It’s absolutely appropriate for the Queens economy — trying to maximize the benefits of being home to two international airports,” said Kathryn S. Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City. “It would have terrific benefits for the borough and the city economy.”
© 2012 The New York Times Company
January 5th, 2012, 01:54 PM
This is the whitest elephant I've every heard of.
January 5th, 2012, 02:29 PM
Whiter than that mega-mall NJ is building next to Giants Stadium?
January 5th, 2012, 03:05 PM
Xanadu? Possibly, but it's a close race.
Think about it. You're booking a national convention. You can book in, say, Vegas, and the convention center is five minutes from the strip. Or you can book in NYC, and be 45 minutes (if you're lucky) from midtown. I don't know how the costs would break out, but just on locationi, which sounds more enticing (especially if location is one of the main draws of the convention).
January 5th, 2012, 05:06 PM
It ain't white......unfortunately.
Originally Posted by BPC
January 7th, 2012, 08:41 AM
so they're not going forward with the Willets point convention center?
January 7th, 2012, 02:20 PM
I know a lot of people who are quite not poor and gamble. I play poker, and many of the people I play with are lawyers and wall street types.
Paradoxically, the forms of gambling NYS has now, and especially those available in NYC, are the most likely to be partaking in by the poor - the lottery, the slot barns at Yonkers and Aqueduct. If they build real, LV style high end casinos, they'd get more higher income people in there playing.
Also, the types of jobs casinos generate tend to be the kinds of jobs that are needed right now for a lot of the poor (low skill entry level jobs that tend to get unionized.)
Originally Posted by Ninjahedge
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