During the New York State of the State address on January 4, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to build the largest convention center in the United States. This new facility, which would completely replace the Jacob Javits Convention Center, will be 3.8 million square feet.
“New York is the place to be and New York is the place people want to come to, but New York must stay ahead of the competition,” said Governor Cuomo. “Convention centers are important economic generators. Right now, when you look at the list of where New York is in terms of convention centers, sadly, New York’s convention center, the Jacob Javits Center on the west side of Manhattan, is at the bottom of the list. It’s literally number 12 after places like Anaheim, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles.”
The venue would be able to accommodate the nation’s largest events, drive demand for hotel rooms and restaurants and create new tourism income for the state. The 3.8 million square-foot facility will be located at the Aqueduct Race Track venue in NYC. Genting New York, operators of the Aqueduct Race Track, have privately invested $4 billion into the project.
“Right now, the Jacob Javits Center is not competitive, and that hurts the New York economy because we’re not getting the shows here,” said Cuomo. “We believe we can attract $4 billion in private investment to build a state of the art convention center at the Aqueduct Race Track. It will be all about jobs, jobs, jobs, and we’ll go from number 12 to number 1.”
As for the Jacob Javits Center, the 842,000 square-foot convention facility located in Manhattan, the building will be converted into residential units, retail areas, recreational facilities and public parks.
“This is not a new problem, we’ve talked about it for years and about possibly expanding the Javits Center, which is hard because it’s locked—the Hudson river is on the west side and there’s development to the north and development to the east—but today is different,” said Cuomo. “Today is different because we’re not just going to talk about our problems and challenges, we’re going to talk about the opportunities. Today is different because we’re not just going to talk about this challenge, we’re going to do something about it. Let’s build the largest convention center in the nation, period.”