Governor Andrew M. Cuomo broke ground on the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center expansion on Manhattan’s West Side.
Following work that began on the building’s foundation in December 2016, the groundbreaking signifies the start of construction on the first phase of the $1.5 billion expansion project.
Workers have now begun to raise steel beams for the transformer building, which will provide power to the new Javits Center expansion. The early start will enable LendLease Turner, the construction consortium that was awarded the design-build contract last month, to jump-start work on the expansion.
The expanded Javits Center is expected to generate $393 million in new annual economic activity, reduce area traffic congestion and increase the efficiency of operations to allow for new and expanded events.
“This is no longer a promise or a proposal – we have now broken ground on expanding one of this region’s greatest economic assets, proving yet again that government can get things done,” Governor Cuomo said.
“This is the new New York – meeting deadlines, fulfilling promises and supporting transformative projects that provide economic opportunity for businesses of all sizes and New Yorkers of all backgrounds. The Javits Center expansion is creating thousands of construction jobs and supporting the growth of New York’s hotel, restaurant and tourism industries for decades to come.”
The groundbreaking was made possible by the completion of the convention center’s foundation and utility work, which included drilling six giant caissons to support the construction of a three-story building that will house transformers, back-up generators and other electrical equipment required to power the expanded convention center.
As the first phase of construction, the transformer building will be comprised of elevated, enclosed platforms and will be built over the Javits Center’s existing transformer yard above the flood plain in order to meet the increased electrical demand of the expanded building.
The building will consist of a structural steel frame with two supported levels and the floors will be concrete slab on metal deck supported by steel beams with composite studs. The foundation system consists of six straight shaft caissons that were drilled into the underlying bedrock to avoid underground utilities and the equipment of the existing transformer yard, which will remain in operation during the construction of the new transformer building.
The building’s roof level will have a horizontal canopy intermixed with green-screen elements and planters that support climbing vines. Acoustic panels will also be placed intermittently along the north edge of the building roof to mitigate rooftop unit noise.
$1 billion in funds for the project have already been appropriated and proceeds from bonds sold last year by Empire State Development will finance the balance.
The project includes an on-site truck marshaling facility that can hold a minimum of 229 trucks that haul exhibit materials to and from the Javits Center and 90,000 s/f of permanent exhibit space, to be combined with the existing exhibit space, to create an approximately 500,000 s/f exhibition hall.
Some 45,000 s/f of state-of-the-art meeting room space will also be created along with a 55,000 s/f ballroom, the largest of its kind in the New York region.
A green roof terrace and pavilion will be able to accommodate 1,500 people for outdoor events and the property will have 27 new loading docks, new kitchen and food service areas, back-of-house and administrative space and LEED Silver certification.
The expansion builds upon the building’s recent renovation, which included the installation of new façade, flooring, mechanical and sustainability systems, as well as a 6.75-acre green roof that has become a sanctuary for area wildlife.
Under this project proposal, the expansion will help attract large-scale, high-spending, trade shows and conventions. The construction of an on-site truck marshaling facility will reroute 20,000 annual event-related trucks off public streets each year.
New York Convention Center Operating Corporation President and CEO Alan Steel said, “The Javits Center is the busiest convention center in the United States, and this expansion project will ensure we remain the busiest in the decades to come. Thanks to Governor Cuomo, the New York Convention Center Development Corporation and Empire State Development, we are thrilled that early construction work has begun, and we look forward to utilizing the new spaces to attract even more of the country’s leading trade shows, conventions and special events.”