Sunday, January 20, 2008

Javits Center plans shrunk

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


Anonymous said...

THe newest plan is a bad comprimise, it does nothing to solve the original problem - create a convention center expansion to attacks the largest of conventions the current space cannot.

Don't do the the plan at all. Or partner with a hotel developer and share the revenue. Spitzer will bulldoze a bad plan. Halt the 7 train extension to pay for the full Javits expansion instead.

Anonymous said...

Whoooops. there is that Tweed again.

Hmmmmm. Maybe that will be the hot new political word of the next dacade, eh?

Unknown said...

Everyone says Bloomberg is so wealthy that he is above influence. Well.............
First he wanted the West Side Stadium for the NY Jets football team. The vast majority of New Yorkers were vehemently opposed to this. So why did Bloomberg want this so much then? Bloomberg is not even a sports fan? Well if you do your research you will find that Bloomberg's business partners and friends own quite a lot of the undeveloped property on the West Side. If the Jets stadium would have been built, all that land would have quadrupled in value, we are talking big money, the family dynasty kind.
The plan was defeated because nobody that was not a Jets fan thought the idea was even slightly good. (Cutting off 11th Ave? WTF?)
But Bloomberg was not to be defeated.
The only way to make that land worth something if you cannot build an attraction there is to make it residential but no one will move to the far west side when the closest subway is on 8th Avenue.
How can you get a subway extension to the Far West Side?
I know lets vastly expand the Jacob Javits Center!!!
So a 7 train expansion is studied with monies allocated by the New York City local government. (Funny, I always thought the MTA was State jurisdiction)
Literally once ground is broken, (i.e. passed the point of no return) the Javits Center Plan is reviewed and all but killed.
Yet the 7 train expansion will continue, still bringing a subway extension to the Far West Side thus leaving open plans for development for the likes of Brookfiel Properties and a lot of other smaller fish.
In other words the Javits center expansion was a sham. It was all a ploy to get the 7 train to the West Side.
If you dont beleive me look who owns the property on the West Side and their ties to Bloomberg.

Anonymous said...

Michael--great post! It still boggles my mind that $2billion is going for one freakin' subway stop to Mayor McChee$e's "Emerald City." That Bloomie's buds might profit from all this was kind of a given, though, right? These are the only people who have had his, and Dashing Dan Doctoroff's, attention during his time in office--the rest of us ain't on his radar screen.

Anonymous said...

How fitting....
the "Jake the snake" Javits Center is shrinking in a shrinking economy!