Sunday, January 22, 2012

Andrew still thinks convention center will fly

From the NY Times:

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, stung by widespread doubts about his support for the privately financed construction of the country’s largest convention center at the Aqueduct racetrack in Queens, offered a full-throated defense of the proposal on Thursday, saying the only cost to the state if the project failed would be “an empty building.”

Dismissing concerns about the weak economic health of the convention business, Mr. Cuomo promised that the Queens project would “cost the State of New York bubkes,” while freeing up for development the valuable land underneath the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.

In an interview with editors and writers for The New York Times, Mr. Cuomo sounded frustrated about the skeptical reaction to the convention center idea, which he proposed during his State of the State address on Jan. 4. He said the proposed development — which would include hotels, restaurants and expanded gambling, as well as the convention center — combined with the redevelopment of Manhattan’s Far West Side, would generate jobs and significant tax revenues. And he voiced confidence in Genting, the Malaysian company that runs a gambling hall at Aqueduct and proposes to spend $4 billion on the convention center.

Mr. Cuomo dismissed concerns about its distance from Manhattan attractions. He said the complex would attract “more of a mass, blue-collar clientele that probably wouldn’t be going to the Broadway shows anyway,” and said many of those who patronized the convention center would be arriving by plane.

At times, Mr. Cuomo seemed to distance himself from the entire matter, saying that if he had been governor in an earlier time, he would not have supported allowing gambling parlors at racetracks, or casinos on Indian reservations, but noting that those forms of gambling already exist in New York. And insisting that taxpayers have no risk in the project, he said, “If we were investing money that we could lose, this could be a problem.”


Anonymous said...

We all need to take it easy on Andy. Being Guv is only a resume building job till he runs for president.

Anonymous said...

can anyone believe a politician who at the Clinton years, supported the sub prime lending of tax payer money to NINJNA freeloading "HOME OWNERS" ?

Anonymous said...

I live in Queens and I never go to Manhattan, it's too crowded. Of course I never gamble either.
If we can get a destination in Queens for conventions I think it is a good idea, especially the part about it not costing any taxpayer money (which I have my doubts). I hope the convention center and gambling interests will pay plenty of taxes (RE taxes, sales taxes, income taxes from workers and of course taxes on the winnings if the gamblers). It looks like a win-win situation for Queens, exept for the people who can't control their gambling urges. Well you know the old song, "You can't please everyone so you got to please youself" or something like that.

Anonymous said...

convention centers are a big bust.
They either break even or lose money.

Andy is more concerned with getting a slice of Malaysian campaign contribution money skimmed off the top of their casino slot machine empire!

The Cuomos have always been a shady bunch!

Anonymous said...

Fine dining about a mile away.

Anonymous said...

If it brings improves public transportation into Manhattan as a by-product I would welcome the new convention center.

Anonymous said...

If we take a short stroll back in time all of this becomes crystal clear.

A political heavyweight investor in one of the companies vying for the Aqueduct Racino contract lost out due to former Governor Paterson's naiveté. Another company got the contract and Paterson got the boot.

The current governor has to make good on Paterson's faux pas and this convention center is the payback.

Watch, it'll happen. Then Floyd Flake's business associates will get contracts, jobs, funding for training, etc., etc.

Politics as usual and no matter what the elected official declare we the taxpayers will have to pay the bill.

Anonymous said...

Anon No. 6:

It won't. At least not for decades. The entire Rockaway Beach line north of Liberty Avenue has had no maintenance - not a bit for decades. The whole thing would have to be rebuilt, and with stations in all likelihood (the people in that area are be NIMBYs, and they'll be even bigger NIMBYs if the train runs through their neighborhood without stopping.

Think about what it is costing to build one part of the Second Avenue Subway. Will this come any cheaper? Where will the money come from?