Javits Expansion Given Green Light to Add 40,000 Square Feet of Exhibit Space

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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New York, NY – Plans to renovate and expand the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City by 100,000 square feet, including 40,000 square feet of exhibit space, have been given the green light to proceed.

Gov. David Paterson announced July 2 that the Public Authority Control Board had approved the General Project Plan for the Manhattan Center and that construction would begin right away.

“The renovation and expansion of Javits will enable New York City to continue to attract business and remain a premier convention and trade show destination,” said Barbara Lampen, president of the New York Convention Center Development Corporation.

Javits Center currently offers 760,000 square feet of exhibit space and 28,000 square feet of meeting space. It is ranked the 16th largest facility in the U.S., according to Trade Show Executive’s just-released 2009 World’s Top Convention Centers directory.

The expansion will be built on a block bounded by 39th Street, 11th Avenue, 40th Street and 12th Avenue. Along with the new exhibit space, the addition will include 60,000 square feet of pre-function and registration areas, a truck court and loading dock, and support functions such as food service and restrooms.

The renovation will be scheduled and sequenced in a way to ensure that operations continue normally. Details of the renovation were not immediately available, although extensive roof repairs were expected to be a top priority.

“The plan will give Javits Center a much-needed facelift,” said John O’Connell, president of Freeman and a member of Friends of Javits, a committee of trade show industry executives who provided input into the planning of the expansion.

The expansion announced July 2 was largely in line with the proposal offered up in 2008 for a scaled-down version of a more ambitious expansion that had been proposed in 2006. The 2006 proposal would have added 500,000 square feet of exhibit space plus a ballroom and a truck marshalling yard. The plan was eventually rejected by then-Governor Elliot Spitzer due to a price tag estimated as high as $5 billion.

Reach Barbara Lampen at(212) 803-3110 or blampen@empire.state.ny.us; Gerald McQueen, general manager of Javits Center, at (212) 216-2000 or gmcqueen@javitscenter.com; John O’Connell at(214) 445-1101 or john.oconnell@freemanco.com