Wednesday, June 29, 2016

$1 Billion Plan for Expansion of Javits Convention Center

The Empire State Development Corp. has issued a request for proposals to three companies that will compete to expand the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Manhattan’s West Side. The contenders are Gilbane Building Company, a joint venture led by Skanska USA, and a joint venture between Lend Lease and Turner Construction.

In January, Governor Cuomo revealed plans to expand the convention center, located between Eleventh and Twelfth Avenues between West 34th and 39th Streets on the far West Side, by 1.2 million square feet. 

The announcement came four years after Cuomo proposed razing the Javits Center and replacing it with a new convention center in Queens.

Because of its size and lack of facilities the Javits Center loses about 15 major conventions a year and unlike the boat show and the car show where people come for the day and then go home, these are conventions where people stay for days and spend a lot of money.

Cuomo in 2012 called the Javits Center “obsolete and not large enough to be a top-tier competitor in today’s marketplace.”

“Javits is the busiest convention center in the nation—but we need to keep building and growing if we want to remain competitive, and that is exactly what we are doing," said the governor.

The already enormous convention center covered more than 2 million square feet when it opened in 1986. With the expansion, the facility would measure 3.3 million square feet in total, 665,000 square feet of which would include brand-new meeting rooms and an exhibition hall.

The 1.2 million square-foot addition would be built on a swath of vacant land to the existing building’s north.

The project will create a 58,000 square-foot ballroom (the largest ballroom on the east coast), 22,000 square feet of outdoor event space, and a 633,000 square-foot truck garage.

The addition will also have a green roof terrace with views of the Hudson River and a 34,000-square-foot solar panel that will make the center LEED Platinum certified.

Cuomo expects to select a developer by the end of the year. Early-stage construction work is scheduled to begin later this year. 

The winning development team will be able to use a process called design-build for the 1.2-million square-foot project, which the state says has reduced construction costs on a number of state projects, including the Tappan Zee Bridge

Click images to enlarge

Design-build is a construction technique where an architect and a contractor bid together as a team to design and build a project through a single contract, rather than having the state first award design work and then separately bid out construction work.

The method aims to cut costs on major infrastructure projects, though to date it has only been used sparingly in New York compared with other parts of the country. 

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