Grand Expansion Plans for Javits Look To Have Shrunk Significantly

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The New York Sun

State officials are expected to testify today that the once-grand plans to expand the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center are going to amount to little more than a renovation. The end of the expansion plans is likely to raise questions about whether the city and state should build a new convention center outside Manhattan, or abandon the fierce competition between cities to attract top convention shows.

Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, a Democrat of Westchester who is a longtime critic of the Pataki-era expansion plan, said the cost estimates had “risen to three times more than what the public was let on.”

Initially, the cost of the modest expansion plan was estimated at $1.8 billion, but recent estimates had soared to more than $3 billion.

“There’s neither the money nor confidence in the plan to justify going forward. It’s too expensive and too mediocre,” Mr. Brodsky said in a telephone interview yesterday.

The Hotel Association of New York City recently balked at an effort by the state to raise the $1.50-a-night room tax to pay for the fledgling expansion, according to a report in the New York Times.

The Javits center opened on the far West Side of Manhattan in 1986, and almost immediately critics said it was too small.

The end of the proposed expansion will also presumably end a $600 million “phase two” expansion proposed by Mayor Bloomberg and Senator Schumer in August 2006.

The New York Sun

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