Good point. Besides, I don't see why there should be any urgency to get a new one.
A convention center ought to be a great public work. It ought to be pursued in a market downturn to create jobs, not now, when Architects, Engineers, CMs and Labor can command a premium.
Good point. Besides, I don't see why there should be any urgency to get a new one.
The news reports saying that the Javits Centre will not be expanding is starting to make me dislike the Convention Centre.
Truth be told, the existing Javits Convention Center has very little going for it -- not much there to like.
I don't think Janits should expand at all. Please build a new convention centre, NYC. I am starting a new thread about this issue over at SkyscraperCity.
I think New Jersey should step up to the plate and build a large modern convention center in the Meadowlands, connect it to Xanadu, the new football stadium and convert the Izod center into exposition space.
hmm. if they were to ever deck over sunnyside yards this century, could be a sensible place for a new convention center. convenient to all modes of transport and airports, tons of space to be used for hotel developments nearby, very easy trip to manhattan via subway.
other non-mahattan thoughts that come to mind for me are bk navy yard and red hook, but those seem less desirable from a location perspective.
New York Settles on Far More Modest Expansion of Javits Convention Center
By CHARLES V. BAGLI
Published: January 19, 2008
Thirteen months and $30 million after the Spitzer administration said it would conduct a 90-day review of longstanding expansion plans for the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, the state has come up with a new, far less ambitious proposal that major users of the center say is disappointing.
The latest plan, which has been the subject of rumors for months and was disclosed Friday, calls for a substantial renovation of the center, a leaky, black-glass convention hall along 11th Avenue between 34th and 38th Streets. But it proposes only a modest addition of at most 100,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space, down from more than half a million square feet in an earlier proposal.
It does not add up to the “thoroughbred” of a convention center that Gov. Eliot Spitzer promised last spring. State officials say the scaled-down plan will let them stay within the remaining funds for the project, about $1.6 billion.
In a surprise move, the state also plans to sell an entire block owned by the Javits Center — bound by 39th and 40th Streets, between 11th and 12th Avenues — foreclosing any possibility of a possible second phase of the expansion.
The state plans to pour the proceeds from that sale into other economic development projects, including, possibly, the recently inaugurated extension of the No. 7 subway line from Times Square to 34th Street and 11th Avenue, near the Javits Center.
The state is also considering plans for a convention hotel on 11th or 12th Avenue, between 38th and 39th Streets, where the additional space would be built, along with a truck garage and a truck security screening operation. If that happens, the state would scrap an earlier proposal to build a hotel across 11th Avenue from the Javits Center, between 35th and 36th Streets.
The Legislature would have to approve the sale of the 40th Street block, and rezoning the property requires city approval.
Patrick J. Foye, co-chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation and the top state official overseeing the Javits Center, said he was “very comfortable” in saying the state could complete this project within budget. The plan also seems to reflect state officials’ view that a bigger convention center is no longer critical to the city’s economy.
The state hopes to raise as much as $800 million from the sale of the 40th Street block, as well as a second parcel, between 33rd and 34th Streets.
The state’s plans drew mixed reviews.
Trade show producers and others who use the Javits Center expressed dismay. They fear that New York has turned its back on the convention industry, which had asked for more exhibition space to attract larger shows.
“We’re disappointed,” said Ken McAvoy, senior vice president of Reed Exhibitions. “We were hoping for more exhibition space.”
Senator Charles E. Schumer, who has long pushed for doubling the size of the Javits Center, was more critical.
“I have a great deal of sympathy for Governor Spitzer because his predecessor left him a bag of lemons, out of which it’s impossible to make lemonade,” Mr. Schumer said. “But this small amount of expansion space for that much money makes this the worst public real estate deal since the Tweed Courthouse.”
Joseph E. Spinnato, president of the Hotel Association of New York City, expressed support, saying, “They’re doing what we recommended.” Once an ardent proponent of an expanded convention center, the hotel association recently balked at the state’s request to increase the $1.50-a-night room tax for the expansion in order to pay for a larger project.
City officials, who have long been eager to start the project, said they were just beginning to assess the latest proposal Friday.
“We’re reviewing the plans now,” said Robert C. Lieber, deputy mayor for economic development. “We just want to understand all the implications.”
Even before the new plan was unveiled, Mr. Foye had come under criticism from trade show and hotel industry executives and some legislators for his handling of the expansion plan and the lengthy review, at a time when construction costs for a project this size were rising at about $17 million a month.
Mr. Foye said he had been stuck with an expensive and unworkable plan developed by Charles A. Gargano, former Gov. George E. Pataki’s top economic development official, and by Daniel L. Doctoroff, former deputy mayor for economic development. It was supposed to cost $1.8 billion.
“It was way above the budget and not something that the state, the city, Javits users or the hotel industry wanted to support,” Mr. Foye said. “We reviewed about 15 variations to deal with the dilemma we inherited.”
In 2004, the Legislature approved a plan to expand the Javits Center to 1.3 million square feet of exhibit and meeting space from 790,000 square feet. Proponents said that a larger hall would attract more visitors, who would book hotel rooms, eat in restaurants and go to Broadway shows.
The city and state each agreed to provide $350 million for the project, while the hotel industry agreed to the imposition of the hotel-room tax, which enabled the state to raise $645 million from a bond offering.
The proposal, however, was criticized by trade show producers and operators who complained that the new configurations would drive up costs and discourage shows from booking the space. As time passed, the project’s cost swelled to $1.8 billion, from $1.4 billion, while the size of the expansion shrunk.
Beginning a year ago, the Spitzer administration attempted to address those complaints and to look at an even larger expansion over the railyards south of the Javits Center. Despite the governor’s ambition, state officials say they found that the actual cost of the original project was closer to $3 billion, and that the larger “thoroughbred” plan, as Governor Spitzer described it, would have cost $5 billion.
Those numbers were prohibitive, and some hotel operators in New York, where occupancy rates have been at record levels, now say that conventions account for no more than 8 percent of the annual revenue at West Side hotels.
So the Spitzer administration is now proposing a small addition of up to 60,000 square feet of additional meeting rooms and up to 40,000 square feet of exhibit space. The space would connect to the current building and be on the block between 38th and 39th Streets.
Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company
This is just another way to fall behind. A big part of the point of the Hudson Yards was to create a competitive convention space. Its short-sighted in my opinion. The least they can do is to hold on to the expansion space.
There's simply too much bureaucracy in New York State. We really have a bunch of numbskulls in Albany. What exactly is Spitzer's vision for this state? We were better off with Pataki just ignoring things - and I hated PotatoHead.
Spitzer Decision May Be Final Javits Expansion Blow
By PETER KIEFER
Staff Reporter of the Sun
February 1, 2008
Governor Spitzer, despite opposition from the mayor and the City Council speaker, is holding firm to his decision to sell the two plots of land in Manhattan where the now-defunct plan to expand the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center would have occurred. Proceeds from the sale would partially fund Mr. Spitzer's $1 billion upstate development plan.
"This is a decision that can be made by the state authorities that own the property and may require some legislative enactment," Mr. Spitzer said at the annual New York Building Congress forum.
"The way I see it is very simple: If at this point it is simply not economical under any circumstances to expand the Javits Center, you can either let the land lie fallow and let it be wasted or you can sell it and use it for good investments. There is no way we are building the Javits Center. It is not going to happen. I am not going to be for it and I am not going to waste public money," he said.
The sale of the land would put to bed any possibility of a second phase of the expansion, which has emerged as a point of concern for both Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Christine Quinn.
"Even if you don't use it now, if you sold off that property it would keep us from, in the future, ever expanding Javits center in that direction," Mr. Bloomberg said last week. "Now the governor, I think, said that it would raise some money to put into Javits but I'm not sure that's a good tradeoff."
Copyright 2008 The New York Sun
Why is money from the sale of city land going to help upstate?
Those folks up there are not only unappreciative of the revenue this city generates for the state but there is a lot of resentment (baseless) toward the city.
The proceeds from the sale should stay in the city. Spitzer is just trying to show that he cares about upstate but that money would only be wasted going up there. Upstate is a sinking ship and throwing money at it...well...would only follow the ship down.
As a state, why would they care where revenue comes from just as long as it comes. Reinvesting that money in the city would reap more economic benefit to the state.
It would appear from the article that the Javits is not sited on "city land" but rather on state-owned land.
I know that. That's why I didn't say "city-owned land."
It's land that is in the city and as such, the money should go back to state programs in the city, not upstate, where they wouldn't give a rat's ass for this city.
Hopefully, the sale of the land adumbrates moving the convention center to Sunnyside.