The $1.5 billion expansion of New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center has been completed. The project adds nearly 1.2 million square feet of event space and was completed on budget, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, despite pandemic-related challenges and the loss of two months of work. The expansion is expected to aid in New York City's recovery and enhance its standing as a premiere meetings destination.
"After more than a year of unprecedented challenges, this expansion comes at a critical time for our city, our state and our industry, and serves as a sign of hope and rebirth for New Yorkers," said Alan Steel, president and CEO of the New York Convention Center Operating Corp., which operates the venue. "With new dynamic spaces and a focus on sustainability and efficiency, this project will reduce our impact on the community while improving our operations and allowing us to host a greater variety of events than ever before."
The first event scheduled for the newly expanded convention center will be the International Beauty Show, July 25-26.
The expansion's 90,000 square feet of permanent new exhibit space, combined with the existing exhibit space, brings the facility's total to 500,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space. The project also added 107,000 square feet in of meeting-room space and 113,000 square feet of prefunction space. The new four-level, 480,000-square-foot truck-marshaling facility and 27 loading docks will help streamline event operations and reduce traffic congestion.
Rooftop spaces — including a pavilion, an outdoor terrace, a greenhouse and a one-acre farm — will be completed in the coming weeks. The rooftop farm is expected to provide up to 40,000 pounds of produce annually, to be incorporated into the banquet menus.
Beginning May 19, the Javits Center will be able to host events at 30 percent capacity indoors and 33 percent capacity outdoors, in line with the state's latest reopening guidelines. The venue will continue to abide by safety protocols, including social distancing and having designated entry and exit points for attendees.
Last fall, the Javits Center added a new broadcasting studio to accommodate hybrid meetings.