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.
New York Settles on Far More Modest Expansion of Javits Convention Center
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.
“...this small amount of expansion space for that much money makes this the worst public real estate deal since the Tweed Courthouse.” - Sen. Charles Schumer