New York City embarks on convention renewal

Developers¬†in New York City have unveiled plans for a US$1.5 billion overhaul of the city’s Jacob K Javits Convention Centre on Manhattan’s West Side, expanding its exhibition halls and creating vast new event spaces.

The project represents a major boost for New York’s events sector and the busiest conference facility in the United States.

“The Javits Centre is one of New York State’s greatest economic assets, and this project will turn this building into a 21st century marvel, a convention centre of the calibre that New York deserves,” said Howard Zemsky, president and CEO of Empire State Development and the commissioner of New York State’s Department of Economic Development.

“With these new, state-of-the-art facilities, we will be able to attract the world’s best conferences and events and drive economic activity throughout the region for decades to come.”

The design-build team behind the project will be led by Australia’s Lendlease in a joint venture with Turner Construction together with tvsdesign.

The expansion is set to include an additional 8,400m of permanent exhibition space in a contemporary glass-walled building. When combined with existing areas, the project will result in a 46,000m exhibition hall.

Also new will be a 5,000m ballroom, a green roof terrace pavilion accommodating 1,500 people for outdoor events, plus 27 loading docks. There will also be new kitchen and food services installed along with back of house administrative spaces.

The revamp is forecast to generate US$393 million in additional economic activity each year, and allow for new and larger events.

The Javits Centre claims the title of the busiest convention facility in the United States, hosting events on 337 days in 2015. The six-block facility encompasses 195,000m, of which 78,000m is exhibition space

In 2015, the facility hosted more than 175 events and two million visitors, generating an estimated 483,000 hotel room nights and creating an economic impact with US$1.9 billion.

Developers are aiming to complete the project by 2021.