The $1.5 billion expansion of New York City's Javits Center is expected to be largely complete by March 2021, four years after its groundbreaking. Nearly 1.2 million square feet of event space will be added to the West Side venue, according to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.
The expansion project includes 90,000 square feet of permanent exhibit space, which will be combined with the existing exhibit space to offer a total of 500,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space. Also expected are 107,000 square feet in additional meeting rooms, 113,000 square feet of prefunction space, and a rooftop pavilion and terrace which can accommodate up to 1,500 people.
To streamline event operations and reduce traffic congestion, the center will add a four-level, 480,000 square-foot truck-marshaling facility and 27 loading docks. A one-acre rooftop farm, which builds on the Javits Center's 6.75-acre green roof, is also in the works. According to Cuomo, up to 40,000 pounds of produce will be grown on-site annually and incorporated into meeting menus.
Once completed, the expansion is expected to receive LEED Silver certification to match that of the existing building. It is also anticipated the project will create up to 6,000 new jobs, generate nearly $400 million in additional annual economic activity and help elevate New York's status as a premiere meetings destination, according to Cuomo.
"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," said Cuomo in a statement. "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."
The Javits Center has remained open for business throughout the expansion, which is said to be on budget and on time. According to Cuomo, the steel and concrete superstructure of the expansion have been completed and the final phase of steel and concrete work is expected to wrap up by March 2020.
The first event hosted at the newly expanded Javits Center will be jointly held by the International Contemporary Furniture Fair and LightFair in May 2021, with an expected attendance of more than 40,000.
"Events in New York City will never be the same, thanks to this unparalleled expansion in the heart of the greatest city in the world," said Alan Steel, president and CEO of the New York Convention Center Operating Corp. "The Javits Center is a unique place where business and cultural leaders from around the world come together to share ideas that move our society forward. With the construction of more than 1 million square feet of new space, this building will reach its true potential as an economic engine for the Empire State, while improving the quality of life for our neighbors."