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Javits Center renovation increases attendance

New York Convention Center Operating Corporation (NYCCOC) President and CEO Alan Steel announced March 12 the year-end totals of activity for 2014 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, known as the “Marketplace for the World.” A total of 177 events were held at the 2.1 million square-foot facility on Manhattan’s West Side, including tradeshows, public shows and special events, a 10 percent increase compared to the prior year.

Along with additional events, 2.5 million people visited the building last year, another 10 percent increase compared with 2013. In 2014, more than 23 million gross square feet was leased, an 8 percent increase compared to the prior year. The increases in the numbers of events, visitors and leased space comes as the Javits Center completed a top-to-bottom renovation, installing new façade, flooring, mechanical and telecommunications systems.

A five-year renovation of Javits Center was completed in 2014.
A five-year renovation of Javits Center was completed in 2014.

“The Javits Center looks, feels and operates better than ever before, and as a result, we are busier than ever before,” said Alan Steel of NYCCOC, which operates the Javits Center. “Every show at this New York icon means more business opportunities and more jobs for New Yorkers. With significant investments in our building and operations, we are attracting a wider range of events that fuel the region’s economic engines and illustrate the importance of our mission.”

As the only major convention center in the U.S. that doesn’t depend on taxpayer funds for day-to-day operations, Javits Center is also the busiest in the country. Recent shows experienced significant increases in attendance following improvements to the building’s infrastructure and operations, such as new food courts, new seating areas, renovated restrooms and a state-of-the-art Wi-Fi system that serves up to 70,000 users at one time

  • International Conference of Shopping Centers’ Annual New York National Deal Making Conference, December 2014: A 26 percent increase in reported attendance with 9,600 guests compared to the 2013 event at a different local venue, a new record for the event;
  • National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention and Expo, January 2015: A 15 percent increase in reported attendance with 35,000 visitors, an attendance record in the event’s 104-year history; and
  • The New York Times’ Travel Show, January 2015: A 20 percent increase in reported attendance with approximately 28,500 visitors, the highest attendance in eight years.

Throughout the year, Javits Center hosted a wide range of spectacular events, including large tradeshows such as the North American International Toy Fair, Summer Fancy Food Show, NY NOW, the Market for Home + Lifestyle, and several fashion shows including Coterie and MODA; public shows such as the New York International Auto Show and New York Comic Con; and special events such as the worldwide film premiere of X Men: Days of Future Past, NBC Upfront and the 53rd USO Armed Forces Gala and Gold Medal Dinner.

For every event, the Javits Center provides a variety of services in order to construct and coordinate a show’s exhibits, including electrical, plumbing and carpentry work, as well as catering and cleaning services. In 2014, the facility employed nearly 3,500 people, a 30 percent increase compared with 2013, and created $72 million in wages for its construction workforce which builds all exhibits for customers and maintains and improves the building itself. In 2014, Javits Center’s exhibit halls maintained a 70 percent occupancy rate – significantly above the national average for convention centers, which is below 50 percent.

In 2014, Javits Center completed a five-year renovation led by New York Convention Center Development Corporation, FXFOWLE and Tishman Construction that has greatly improved the building’s appearance and overall efficiency. With several sustainable upgrades including the installation of more than 100 energy-efficient mechanical units and a 6.75-acre green roof – the second largest in the country – the building will reduce its energy consumption by 26 percent, translating into the saving of millions of dollars in the years ahead. The green roof has since become a habitat for at least 11 bird species, serving an oasis for the area’s wildlife.

For more information, visit javitscenter.com


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