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NEW YORK CITY-The Jacob Javits Convention Center expansion project was approved by the Public Authorities Control Board yesterday. The project calls for an increase in exhibition and meeting space from the current 790,000 sf to more than 1.3 million sf. It also would add a hotel and new loading facility. The cost of the construction is pegged at about $1.7 billion.

The Empire State Development Corp., a state agency overseeing the project, in January estimated the expanded Manhattan facility would add $53 million in annual tax revenue for the city and state and create thousands of new permanent jobs. ESDC said funding is from state and city budgets, a bond backed by a $1.50-per-key surcharge already being collected by local hotels and the sale of land next to the project.

“As a result of today’s vote, we are now well on the way to building a Javits Center that will be an epicenter for the hospitality and tourism industry,” Gov. George Pataki says in a statement.

The Javits Center, designed by architect I.M. Pei and opened in 1986, covers five blocks between 34th and 39th streets and 11th and 12th avenues.

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