New York’s Democrat governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a $1bn plan to expand the city’s the Jacob K. Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side.
Cuomo, who in 2012 said he wanted to replace the centre with a massive new complex near Kennedy airport, said construction would start this year at the venue.
Plans include adding 32,000sqm of meeting and exhibition space, new operational space and 44,500sqm for delivery truck parking.
Cuomo previously proposed demolishing the Javits Center and replacing it with a $4bn convention centre in Queens between the city’s major airports.
In his 2012 State of the State speech, Cuomo called the Javits Center “obsolete and not large enough to be a top-tier competitor in today’s marketplace.”
Last Thursday, however, he called it the busiest convention centre in the country but added, “like anything else, it’s a competitive industry, more convention centres are coming on line and if you want to remain competitive you have to grow and you have to increase and stay ahead of the competition.”
The Javits Center was completed in 1986 and was named after US senator Jacob K. Javits, a Republican who died that year. It is run by the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation.
Cuomo said the expansion would be paid for with existing Javits Center funds.
The Javits expansion was the latest in a series of public works projects Cuomo has announced in the last week, including a Penn Station renovation and a new Long Island Rail Road track.
Javits Center officials say it hosted 177 events and more than two million visitors in 2014, generating an estimated 478,000 hotel nights.