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Javits Center to Finish Expansion by March 2021

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo promises that the historic $1.5 billion expansion of the Javits Center will be substantially complete by March 2021.

The massive project, which will add 1.2 million square feet of total event-related space on Manhattan’s West Side, is moving toward an on-time, on-budget completion with the expansion’s steel and concrete superstructure finished and installation of the final phase of non-structural steel underway.

Cuomo joined members of the project team and construction workers on Dec. 7 to sign one of the last steel beams to be installed at the site. Expanding the Javits Center, the busiest convention center in the United States, furthers Cuomo’s efforts to continue New York City’s role as a leading tourism, hospitality and business destination.

The first event hosted at the newly-expanded convention center will be the joint International Contemporary Furniture Fair and LightFair in May 2021. The combined design-industry events are expected to attract more than 40,000 design professionals to New York City. 

“New Yorkers expect action, and the expansion of the Javits Center through the design-build process is delivering results in a safe, streamlined fashion that will generate a new wave of economic activity for the Empire State,” Cuomo says “With so many jobs dependent on large-scale events hosted here, the Javits Center has become one of New York’s most important economic assets, and this expansion will ensure it remains the nation’s busiest convention center for generations to come. As an iconic hub of commerce and culture, it will become one of the most sought-after event venues anywhere in the world.” 

Boasting state-of-the art equipment and cutting-edge technology, the expanded Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side will feature 50 percent more front-of-house and back-of-house areas, including new exhibit and meeting room spaces, a glass-enclosed rooftop pavilion and a truck marshaling facility that will accelerate event operations and reduce traffic congestion. 

The expansion project’s steel and concrete superstructure is fully installed, and all concrete and steel work is expected to be finished by March 2020, exactly three years after the project’s groundbreaking. In total, 13,940 tons of steel have been fabricated. Upon completion, the expanded Javits Center will feature more than 200,000 square feet of new meeting room and pre-function space, including a 54,000 square-foot special event space—the largest event space of its kind in the Northeast.

All of the new exhibition and meeting spaces will be equipped with the latest technology in lighting fixtures, heating and cooling systems and wireless connectivity. Importantly, the newly-expanded Javits Center will feature 500,000 contiguous square feet of event space, which will help the facility attract international business conferences. 

Spearheaded by Gov. Cuomo and Empire State Development, the project will create up to 6,000 new jobs, generate nearly $400 million in additional annual economic activity and attract more blockbuster events from around the world, including high-impact business conferences, product launches and fundraising galas. The project is part of Cuomo’s statewide plan to upgrade critical infrastructure and transportation facilities to spur job creation and economic activity.

“The Javits Center is one of the strongest supporters of New York’s hotel, restaurant, tourism and transportation industries, and this expansion will ensure that this connection remains strong. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s leadership and the innovative design-build process, construction has moved forward at a swift pace — keeping this massive project on-budget and on-time to deliver a real economic boost to the Empire State,” says Eric Gertler, Empire State Development acting commissioner and president.

As part of the expansion project, a four-level truck marshaling facility will be built, relocating more than 20,000 event-related trucks off nearby streets annually while reducing area congestion and pollution. The addition of 27 new loading docks also will increase the efficiency of the move-in and move-out periods for events, creating more room on the calendar for additional events.

Building on the success of the convention center’s 6.75-acre green roof, a one-acre rooftop farm, the largest of its kind in Manhattan, will be constructed, and up to 40,000 pounds of produce will be grown annually and incorporated into meals served at the venue. Upon completion, the project is expected to be certified LEED Silver by the U.S Green Building Council, the same certification as the existing building.

One of the keys to the success of the massive expansion project is ensuring the Javits Center remains open for business at all times during construction and day-to-day operations are not negatively impacted. Enabling event-related operations to continue uninterrupted is a testament to the close collaboration among state officials, architects, contractors, convention center employees and event producers. Lehrer Cumming and AECOM/Tishman Construction are serving as a project advisor and consultant to the New York Convention Center Development Corporation, a subsidiary of Empire State Development that is overseeing the project. 

Expansion project highlights include: 

  • New glass-enclosed entrance on 11th Avenue at 38th Street;
  • Creation of 500,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space on one level with the addition of 90,000 square feet of prime exhibit space;
  • 107,000 square feet of new meeting room space, including a 54,000 square-foot special event space, the largest such space in the Northeast;
  • 113,000 square feet of pre-function space;
  • Rooftop pavilion and terrace accommodating 1,500 individuals;
  • 480,000 square-foot, four-level truck marshaling facility;
  • 27 new loading docks; and a
  • One-acre rooftop farm.

 Known as the “Marketplace for the World,” the Javits Center was designed by I.M. Pei & Partners and opened in 1986. The iconic facility has since become New York City’s primary venue for large conventions, trade shows and special events and serves as home to many of the world’s top 250 trade shows, hosting millions of visitors a year. Located on 11th Avenue between West 34th and West 40th Sts. in Manhattan, the Javits Center has 760,000 square feet of exhibition space, 102 meeting rooms and four banquet halls, as well as a range of technology services, including WiFi access. For more info, visit www.javitscenter.com.

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