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 July 26, 2006
New York Plan To Modernize & Expand The City's Convention Center

 The plan to upgrade, expand and modernize the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center into a 21st century convention destination, has passed the final hurdle with a (July 26) unanimous vote by the Public Authority Control Board. Tourism, civic, labor and community leaders hailed the vote as a watershed moment for the city's $24 billion tourism industry and the catalyst for future development of Manhattan's Hudson Yards.

"I applaud the Governor George E. Pataki, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno whose vote will bring New York City back to the forefront of the convention business," said Jonathan M. Tisch, Chairman of NYC & Company. "New York City will gain a world-class convention center that will be able to compete for the bigger and more financially lucrative shows, while creating more than 20,000 jobs, and generating tens of millions of dollars a year for New York."

On the promise of an expanded and modernized Javits Center, NYC & Company has already secured nine new conventions representing 310,000 hotel room nights, $228 million in economic activity and $10 million in new tax revenue to benefit New York residents.
"The leadership shown by Gov. Pataki, Speaker Silver and Majority Leader Bruno will provide the necessary boost to NYC & Company's efforts to attract larger conventions and to grow the business we have -- a process that has already proven successful since the legislation passed in 2004," said NYC & Company President and CEO Cristyne Nicholas. "O n behalf of the 330,000 New Yorkers in the hospitality industry we can't wait to break ground and begin construction this fall so we can welcome the first wave of new business scheduled for 2010."

The expansion would create more than 6,350 permanent jobs as well as nearly 15,460 construction-related jobs during construction including 8,735 direct construction jobs. The increased numbers of delegates and visitors would yield approximately 400,000 additional hotel room nights per year.

"I applaud Governor Pataki, Assembly Speaker Silver and Majority Leader Bruno for their vote approving the expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center," said Joseph E. Spinnato, Chairman of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center Operating Committee. "More people attend shows and conventions at Javits than at any other convention center in the United States. With this expansion, we will be able welcome even more meetings, conventions and trade show delegates into a fully upgraded and modernized convention facility."

"The Javits Convention Center expansion is a tremendous achievement for the hundreds of thousands of workers who earn a living in New York's construction and hospitality industries," said Peter Ward, President of New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council. "The expansion of the Javits Center is not only good for the city's economy, but will raise the standard of living for workers by generating good jobs, reduced seasonal layoffs and provide for a dignified retirement."

"We commend Gov. Pataki, Speaker Silver and Majority Leader Bruno for taking action on a project that will result in a multitude of benefits for New York," said Richard T. Anderson, President of New York Building Congress. "The plan for the Javits Center's expansion has been 10 years in the making, but never has the adage of 'better late than never' been more apropos. New Yorkers have good reason to be proud of their State Leadership today."

"This long-overdue plan will create more than 15,000 construction-related jobs for the working men and women of New York," added Ed Malloy, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council. "The overall Javits expansion is an example of economic development the way it ought to be - public and private investment that benefits a broad cross-section of New Yorkers by generating more tax revenue and jobs with good wages, health insurance and pension security."

"The Javits expansion is an important first step towards the revitalization of Manhattan's West Side," said Lou Coletti, President of the Building Trades Employers' Association. "It's projects like these that create jobs, economic growth and tax revenues for the residents of our city and state."

As a result of the Javits Center expansion, operations at the expanded Jacob K. Javits Convention Center are expected to generate more than $1.1 billion in direct spending by delegates, exhibitors and event organizers annually for the city. It is estimated that an additional $47 million in incremental revenue will be generated annually as a result of this expansion over and above the $97 million in current revenues generated by the Javits Center.

Upon the completion of Phase I of the expansion, the Javits Center will double in size -- jumping from 16th in North America to number eight, securing New York's position in the top ten.

"New York City is a top draw for convention and trade show business. As a major producer of business at the Javits Center, the need for an expansion has been evident for many years," said Jeff Little, President and Chief Operating Officer of George Little Management. The growth of our business and of New York City's convention industry just took a huge step in the right direction."

"This is a historic day for New York as the Public Authorities Control Board has officially completed the approval process of a much-awaited project," said William C. Rudin, Chairman of Association for a Better New York. "Not only will the expansion provide close to $50 million in annual revenues to the state and city, the project will also invigorate the tourism industry, an industry that is directly shaping the future growth of our city."

"The Javits expansion project is not only great for our organization but for the City and State of New York. We're happy to see that outside issues didn't complicate the process and PACB was able to vote on the merits of this long awaited project," said Michael Forde, Executive Secretary Treasurer, NYC District Council of Carpenters. "We thank Governor Pataki, Speaker Silver and Majority Leader Bruno for their hard work and leadership in moving this project forward."

Come 2010, The Javits Center's long-inadequate exhibition space will expand from 760,000 to 1.1 million square feet, representing a 45% increase. Meeting room space will increase by 600% from 30,000 to 210,000 square feet, and the center will house the city's largest ballroom. In addition, a headquarters hotel will help accommodate tens of thousands of additional convention attendees who will bring their business and visitor spending to New York.

New York City tourism is a $24 billion industry which generates more than $5 billion in city, state and federal tax revenues further supporting essential services including the police and fire departments, public education, sanitation services and transportation infrastructure. Visitor spending supports $13 billion in payroll and 330,000 jobs in all five boroughs.