Thursday, January 5, 2012
Cuomo wants convention center at Aqueduct
From the NY Times:
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.
From the Daily News:
Before Gov. Cuomo’s State of the State address Wednesday highlighted his vision to build the nation’s largest convention center at Aqueduct racetrack in Queens, the plan had already taken a major step forward.
On Tuesday, the Cuomo administration quietly inked a letter of agreement for the project with the operator of the Aqueduct racino, Genting New York, a Cuomo source told the Daily News.
In the letter, the Malaysia-based casino operator pledged to invest $4 billion to build the 3.8 million-square-foot facility, the source said.
Genting already controls 67 acres at the South Ozone Park site. But the source said the state will help make adjacent Port Authority land available for the project, and turn existing mass-transit infrastructure into a “convention center” train.
Not everyone agrees that this is a good idea.