The west side of midtown Manhattan is probably one of the more unexplored areas of New York City by residents and tourists alike. Aside from the Jacob Javits Center, and the different programs off of the Hudson River Parkway that runs parallel to the waterfront, there is very little reason to walk through this industry – and infrastructure – dominated expanse of land full of manufacturers, body shops, parking facilities and vacant lots. The NYC government and various agencies, aware of the lost potential of this area, began hatching plans in 2001 to develop this 48-block, 26-acre section, bound by 43rd Street to the North, 8th Ave to the East, 30th Street to the South and the West Side Highway to the West.
In his State of the State address last week, New York Governor Cuomo introduced the notion of replacing the Jacob Javits Center along Manhattan’s West Side with a new convention center in Queens. Such a plan envisions a 3.8 million-square-foot exhibition center at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Jamaica, Queens – a project that would become the largest convention center in the United States and a major urban redevelopment project. Through a joint-partnership with Genting Americas, the government would provide the land and Genting would provide the $4 billion to finance the convention center. “Let’s build the largest convention center in the nation, period,” Mr. Cuomo said. “It will be all about jobs, jobs, jobs, tens of thousand of jobs.” More about the Convention Center after the break.