Javits Renovation Plan Doesn’t Go the Way of Client 9

While much of former Governor Eliot Spitzer’s economic development agenda seems to be on hold or in flux (e.g. Moynihan Station, for one), his once controversial plan for the Javits Convention Center has outlived his tenure.

The Paterson administration is trekking down the path of a renovation and modest expansion for Javits, with plans for an additional 50,000 square feet of exposition space and a truck storage area. The budget, at least as of a few weeks ago, was $1.3 billion for the whole ordeal, $300 million or so less than the amount approved for a much larger expansion and renovation under the Pataki administration (which the Spitzer folks later found to have a true cost of more than $3 billion).

The Spitzer administration received a flurry of heavy criticism after it announced this plan for Javits via a January New York Times article, mostly due to the previously unannounced intention to sell some adjacent land. The state backed away from its sale of a parcel to the north (the block between 39th and 40th streets), though it is unclear what the Paterson administration intends to do with the block between 33rd and 34th Streets, which were also slated to go on the selling block.

These most recent plans, along with the above rendering, were presented to Javits’ governing board this morning (we made the mistake of observing via Webcast, which was without sound).

Another item of note: Despite the state chopping down the amount of new exposition and meeting space by more than 450,000 square feet, the project, by and large a renovation at this point, still has starchitect Richard Rogers signed on to its design team, Empire State Development Corporation spokesman Warner Johnston confirmed.

Javits Renovation Plan Doesn’t Go the Way of Client 9