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NEW YORK CITY-The plan to nearly double the Jacob Javits Convention Center receives approval as Gov. George Pataki signs a law authorizing the expansion effort. This law does not cover the New York Sport and Convention Center, a potential home for the New York Jets. The expansion will increase its exhibit space from 760,000 sf to 1.1 million sf. Pending the signing, the American Association of Orthodontists tentatively booked space at Javits in 2013. The meeting will generate 24,000 total room nights and bring 20,000 attendees here.

The Phase 1 expansion will cost $1.4 billion with the city and state both contributing $350 million pursuant a signed Memorandum of Understanding. The hotel industry has agreed to a dedicated $1.50 per key surcharge that will generate $500 million. The new law also provides $350 million for not-yet-determined economic development projects outside of New York City.

According to state estimates, the new Javits Center will add $53 million in combined annual tax revenue for the city and state to the $97 million it already provides. It will also create an estimated 10,830 new permanent jobs. The expansion, which is expected to get under way in the spring, will take place in two phases, with Phase 1 expanding south to 33rd Street and north to 40th Street. In addition to the exhibit space, there will also be 256,000 sf of meeting space and an 86,000-sf ballroom capable of holding 6,000 people that will be the largest one in the city. Private financing will help build a 1,500-room headquarters hotel at 42nd Street and 11th Avenue.

The new law empowers the New York Convention Center Development Corp. to plan and design the new facilities, enter into construction agreements, and issue bonds to finance the project. “The Javits Center expansion has been a long time coming, but when we’re complete with the overall project we will elevate New York to its rightful place among the country’s best convention destinations,” says Pataki.

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