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  March 28, 2004

Making Sure New York Is Always The World’s Second Home
By Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

The jobs of more than 200,000 New Yorkers depend on conventions and tourism. After Wall Street, it’s the second-biggest industry in our city. And on Thursday, we took a giant step to promote convention business—a step that will strengthen New York’s future, diversify our economy, and create thousands of jobs for New Yorkers.

I’m talking about our Convention Corridor plan for the Far West Side of Manhattan. This project has been needed for a long time—because virtually from the day that the Javits Convention Center opened back in 1986, its weaknesses have been painfully clear. Even though New York City is the “World’s Second Home,” and the number one destination for visitors from around the country, our convention center ranks 18th in the nation in the amount of exhibition space. The result: Each year, we lose out on millions of dollars of economic activity and the jobs that come with it.

The Convention Corridor project will change that, and catapult New York from 18th to 5th place in convention space. Construction beginning next spring will nearly double the size of the Javits Center. It will include the New York Sports and Convention Center, which will be built on a deck over the rail yards behind Penn Station. The Sports and Convention Center will be the future home of the New York Jets and, if we’re lucky enough to be chosen to host the 2012 Olympics, the summer games that year. It will include a retractable roof that will make it usable year-round and available for convention business for all but a few days a year. That will allow the Javits Center to host virtually any major convention, trade show or special event.

The Convention Corridor project will cost approximately $2.8 billion, to be shared by the public and private sectors, including $800 million from the New York Jets, the largest contribution a professional sports team has ever made to such a facility. The public dollars going into the project are a good investment. When completed, the Convention Corridor is expected to generate more than twice as much in annual taxes as the 30 years in debt service costs that the State and City governments will bear. The Convention Corridor will create 42,000 construction jobs and more than 17,000 permanent jobs. And it will anchor the transformation of the now-blighted 360-acre Hudson Yards area into a dynamic new commercial and residential neighborhood that will include 20 acres of new parks and open space and be served by an extended Number 7 subway line.

Before signing off this morning, I want to remind New Yorkers of some more good news. Starting this Thursday, April 1st, City Sanitation crews will resume weekly curbside pickups of all recyclables: paper, metal, plastic, and glass. Call 311 or visit the City’s website at to get more details. We had to suspend weekly recycling pickups two years ago because of the City’s fiscal problems; resuming them now shows that New York’s economy is coming back. And building the Convention Corridor will make our economy even stronger.