Printer Friendly Format Email a Friend

PR- 067-04
March 25, 2004


Convention Corridor To Generate 42,000 Construction Jobs And 17,500 New Permanent Jobs

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Governor George E. Pataki today were joined by civic, industry and community leaders to announce New York City's Convention Corridor, a historic plan to transform and modernize New York City's convention industry.  The Convention Corridor will include the expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to 42nd Street in two phases. The first phase expanding south to 33rd Street and north to 40th Street, including a 1,500-room convention hotel and the creation of the New York Sports and Convention Center, a new multi-purpose facility that will serve as both a 75,000-seat stadium and a 200,000 square foot exhibit hall - home to the New York Jets, and possibly the 2012 Olympics. The Convention Corridor will double convention center capacity, enabling New York City to vie for hundreds of events - and millions of dollars in economic activity - now lost to other cities.

"Today, Governor Pataki and I are pleased to announce that the State and the City have taken a giant step forward in realizing our shared vision for the Hudson Yards area on Manhattan's Far West Side: the creation of the new Convention Corridor," said Mayor Bloomberg. "By building the Convention Corridor and making a targeted set of public investments including extending the 7 line, creating acres of new parkland and greater access to the waterfront, and rezoning this area to allow for exciting new housing and commercial opportunities, we are beginning a process that will create hundreds of thousands of jobs in construction, tourism and new businesses, large and small. Together, we are making an investment and a statement that will propel New York into the front ranks of the convention industry. This project will increase the square footage of New York's main convention center space from 18th in the country to 5th.  We are bringing the New York Jets home where they belong, and capturing millions of dollars a year and thousands of jobs now lost across the river. The total transformation of the area will make all of New York more vibrant and economically sound for generations to come."   

Governor Pataki said, "The Convention Corridor is an historic opportunity to build a world-class sports and convention center worthy of New York City.  This development project will create thousands of jobs, and bring in millions of dollars in revenue every year that New York City currently loses to other cities.  The expansion will mean a doubling of Javits' current convention capacity, catapulting New York to its rightful place among the top convention destinations in the country.  This is a smart City-State investment in New York's future and one that leverages private investment to grow our convention industry and help realize New York's Olympic dreams. Not only will the New York Jets finally return home to New York, but they will be creating a multi-purpose facility that will host dozens of events throughout the year and generate tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue to the City and State."

Chairman of Empire State Development Charles Gargano said, "For years, the Javits Center has been unable to accommodate the changing needs of New York City. An expanded Javits Center will finally meet these needs and make the West Side more attractive to visiting businesses and conventions. In addition, it will bolster the state's second largest industry - tourism, and will provide economic benefits for the local community for generations to come."

Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff said, "The Convention Corridor including the New York Sports and Convention Center and development of the surrounding area will solidify New York City's standing as a tourism destination.  The unique array of spaces in the Convention Corridor will allow New York City to host nearly every trade show or convention of any size including the 2012 Olympic Games should we be lucky enough to be chosen.  Simply put, investment in the Hudson Yards will create a more vibrant city for generations to come." 

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center Chairman Robert E. Boyle said, "Today's announcement is the beginning of the realization of a long-held dream of the entire Javits Center family.  Ever since, under Governor Pataki's mandate in 1995, we began a new era of Center management, the tremendous turnaround that's been accomplished has made New York one of the most sought-after venues for trade shows, conventions and special events in the country.  We are turning away almost as much business as we can book, and clearing space into the year 2025. That is why we are so thankful that our expansion is a major part, along with the NYSCC, of the redevelopment of Manhattan's West Side."

Jets Owner Woody Johnson said, "When I became owner of the team in 2000, I pledged that my highest priority was to bring the Jets back to where they belong, right here in Manhattan.  Today was a long time in the making, but well worth the wait for a home to call our own. The New York Sports and Convention Center will also be home to major events, such as the Final Four, while doubling as New York City¹s only mid-size convention center to complement the Javits Center.  It will become part of the fabric of the neighborhood, housing a museum, a community theater and several signature restaurants, while reconnecting the west side to the waterfront. The Jets are proud to invest $800 million in the future of our city to create the greatest sports and convention center in the world. And we thank New York City and State for committing the resources to make that investment possible."

NYC & Company Chairman Jonathan M. Tisch said, "The tourism industry is a vital part of our economy and critical to New York City's future.  The Convention Corridor will allow New York City to win a greater share of the multi-billion dollar meetings and convention market - bringing more business, more visitor spending, and more jobs to New York City's five boroughs."

President of the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council and Business Manager of HERE Local 6 Peter Ward said, "The expansion of the Javits Center and the New York Sports and Convention Center will mean an end to seasonal layoffs in New York City's hotel industry forever, as well as additional jobs in many industries.  We are delighted that the City, the State and the Jets have the vision to create Convention Corridor, and that they have shown confidence in the future of New York. Our 25,000 members are committed to transforming that vision into reality."

President of the Hotel Association of New York City Joseph E. Spinnato said, "The Hotel Association of New York City has long and vigorously supported the expansion of the Javits Center.  To that end, our members have decided to help support the funding of that expansion through a $1.50 fee per key per night on occupied rooms with the stipulation that the fee be allocated strictly for the expansion of the Javits Center."

Battery Park City Authority Chairman James Gill said, "After fulfilling our commitment of providing $600 million dollars to the City of New York for low-cost housing, the Battery Park City Authority is proud to work with Governor Pataki, Mayor Bloomberg and Comptroller Thompson for the joint purpose of expanding the Javits Center and providing economic opportunity for Manhattan's West Side."

The Javits Center Expansion

Although nationwide, the Javits Center ranks first in attendance and second in number of shows among all convention centers, it ranks 18th in overall capacity. As a result of inadequate capacity, Javits Center has had to turn away bookings representing 800,000 room nights over the next five years. 

Ultimately, the new Convention Corridor will be expanded from 760,000 square feet to 1.1 million square feet of exhibit space, 256,000 square feet of meeting rooms, and 86,000 square feet in new ballroom space as part of the Phase 1 expansion. The Phase 1 expansion will cost $1.4 billion and funded through several sources. The City will contribute $350 million through reserve funds made available by Battery Park City Authority. The State will contribute $350 million through restructuring of existing Javits Center bonds and utilizing special federal advanced refunding legislation. The hotel industry has agreed to a dedicated $1.50 per key surcharge that will generate $500 million. And lastly, the 1,500-room headquarters hotel at 42nd Street and 11th Avenue will be constructed with a $200 million private investment. After Phase 2 expansion, total exhibit and meeting space will be 1,705,000 square feet -- this expansion will be financed separately. When complete, the expansion will have a profound impact on New York's economy, increasing the existing $97 million annual tax revenue generated by Javits by an additional $53 million and 415,000 hotel nights a year. The expansion will create 10,830 additional jobs.

The New York Sports and Convention Center

The New York Sports and Convention Center (NYSCC) is conceived as the most dynamic multi-purpose facility in the world.  Approximately 17 days a year, the facility will function as a stadium including home to the New York Jets for 10 games and host to sporting events and concerts such as the Final Four and a Super Bowl, on the remaining days, and possibly other large scale events like the Olympics in 2012. During the rest of the year, the NYSCC will double as New York City's first mid-size convention center and offer ancillary space to the Javits Center linked via an underground concourse while also attracting new shows. It will become part of the fabric of the neighborhood, housing a museum, a community theater and several signature restaurants while providing much needed open space.

To make the NYSCC a reality, the New York Jets will invest $800 million, the largest private investment to a comparable facility, and they will pay the MTA annual ground rent for use of the property.  The City and State will each contribute $300 million to build a deck over the rail yards and for the stadium's retractable roof, which will permit the facility to be used year-round. The State's contribution will be dedicated toward the platform over the rail yards, and the City and State's contribution to the NYSCC is limited to $300 each. The Jets have pledged to absorb any excess costs, and should the project come in under budget, the City and State will share in cost savings. As with the Javits expansion, the NYSCC will also have a profound impact on New York's economy, generating 6,700 permanent jobs, and $75 million in additional revenue to the City and State.

Convention Corridor - Investing in the Future

The investment in the creation of the Convention Corridor is a true public-private partnership. The project will generate $128 million annually in new City and State tax revenues, in addition to the $97 million in tax revenues currently generated by Javits, for a total of $225 million in annual City and State revenues.  Total annual debt service costs on the public sector's $1.3 billion contribution to the Convention Corridor are estimated to be approximately $91 million.  Moreover this investment will propel New York's convention corridor into the top five convention centers in the country, supporting the vital tourism and convention industry for years to come.  And the combination of added exhibition and meeting room space, the ballroom, and the flexible capacity of the NYSCC give New York a unique ability to host nearly any event, convention, or trade show held in the United States.

Construction is expected to begin on Convention Corridor in spring 2005, following the conclusion of a comprehensive environmental review now underway.

Mayor Bloomberg concluded, "This announcement is not only about tourism, conventions and sports. It's also about something even bigger.  It's about our future, and making sure that future means jobs for New Yorkers, and opportunity for everyone up and down the economic ladder.  It's about diversifying our economy, so we can better withstand recessions, like the recent one that hurt so many New Yorkers.  And it's about transforming a community that has been neglected by our City for years, and withered in the shadows of the rest of Manhattan."


Edward Skyler / Jennifer Falk   (212) 788-2958

Lynn Rasic (Governor)   (212) 681-4640

More Resources
Watch press conference in 56k or 300k
Watch Q&A with the Press in 56k or 300k