The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is set to get a facelift — putting it ahead of the competition.
After Wednesday’s announcement to transform Penn Station, Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued on a roll Thursday morning as he announced the 1.2-million-square-foot expansion of the waterfront convention center on 11th Avenue between West 34th and West 40th streets.
The Javits Center is considered to be the busiest convention center in the nation, hosting trade shows and special events throughout the year.
“Through one of the most aggressive development plans in the history of the State of New York, we are transforming one of our largest convention centers into an unparalleled, world-class venue,” Cuomo said.
The $1 billion expansion — which is financed by the Javits Center and the Empire State Development Corporation — will happen exclusively on Javits-owned land and would take the center from 2.1 million square feet to 3.3 million square feet. Construction is expected to begin in late 2016.
As part of the 1.2 million-square-foot expansion, there will be a new exhibition hall with 500,00 square feet of exhibition space on one level, and five times more meeting room space with 164,000 square feet.
The extension will also feature a 58,000-square-foot ballroom — the largest of its kind on the East Coast.
“This will be the convention center for the next generation,” Cuomo said. “The new Javits Center will continue to garner millions in economic activity, create jobs and keep New York’s economic momentum moving forward.”
Along with the expansion, the Javits Center will also include a four-level, 480,000-square-foot truck facility that will house hundreds of trucks — removing them from neighborhood streets.
The proposal also includes a new green roof terrace with views of the Hudson River and capable of accommodating 2,500 people. A 34,000-square-foot solar energy array — the largest of its kind on a pubic building in the state — will also be installed.
According to Peter Ward, president of the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, the expansion is expected to allow the site to be competitive with all other conventions centers in the country and internationally.
“We’ve watched cities like Chicago, cities like Orlando build massive state-of-the-art convention centers that attract conventions that we cannot,” Ward said. “We’re going to make Javits into that state-of-the-art convention center that will allow it to compete with those others.”