New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday proposed redeveloping the Javits Convention Center site in Manhattan, bringing new momentum to an idea that has been a longstanding goal of Regional Plan Association.
Under the governor's proposal, everybody wins. The plan will create much-needed convention space for professional conferences and large trade events. It will generate revenue and jobs in New York through the creation of the largest economic-development project in the state, and it will provide new engines of growth for Queens and Manhattan's West Side. Read RPA's proposal on Javits, Unconventional.
New York needs a "state-of-the-art venue to be competitive for the largest trade shows and conventions," Gov. Cuomo said in his State of the State address. The governor proposed building the nation's largest convention center at the site of the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens through a joint venture with casino operator Genting Resorts World.
RPA has called for replacing the Javits center with new facilities -- a world-class trade-show and exposition center in Queens and a smaller conference center in the future Moynihan Station in Manhattan to host professional meetings that have long bypassed New York. These new facilities would allow the city and state to redevelop the Javits site, which occupies waterfront property valued at an estimated $4 billion. The redevelopment would generate tens of thousands of construction and permanent jobs and billions of dollars in additional tax revenue. It also would underpin the development of the Midtown West district that will be the focus of much of New York's growth in this century.
The governor said that the 18-acre Javits site would be developed into a mixed-use facility to revitalize New York City's West Side, following the successful model of Battery Park City, where the state leases land parcels to developers. In his address on Wednesday, Gov. Cuomo said that as part of the Javits redevelopment, the state would explore serving the needs of smaller and midsize conventions on the West Side of Manhattan.
"We can't wait for Washington to act or hope for the economy to recover on its own," said RPA President Robert Yaro. "We need to invest in New York. It is only right that the nation's premier convention center be in New York City, and this project, combined with the repurposing of the Javits Center and the billions of dollars in infrastructure investment across the state, will be a shot in the arm for our state's economy and put New York back on the path to prosperity."
"Revitalizing the Javits site would create a huge driver of economic activity for New York," said RPA Chairman Elliot G. Sander. "This project will allow development of a vibrant residential and commercial neighborhood on Manhattan's Far West Side."