Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today approved the plan for the Albany Capital Center, an 82,000 square feet space that will create 157 permanent jobs and 114 construction jobs over the next two years. The Albany Capital Center will serve as a vital link between downtown Albany, the DeWitt Clinton Hotel, the Times Union Center and the Empire State Plaza. Construction at the 1.3 acre site is set to commence this coming June.
This plan for a new convention center in downtown Albany has been a dream of the local community for more than a decade and I am pleased to announce it will finally become a reality, Governor Cuomo said. The vision for a new convention center in the area has been years in the making, but today, it is actually moving forward with the support of a functioning government that works with the private sector. This project, which requires no new state money, will generate $160 million in investment and create hundreds of new and much-needed jobs to revitalize downtown Albany. When completed, the new Albany Capital Center will help transform the Capital Region into a top destination for major events and conferences, attracting visitors and growing the local economy.
The enacted state budget continues to provide the remaining funds against the original $75 million state appropriation not already utilized to support the development of the Convention Center. With the nearly $63 million remaining, the Governor challenged the Albany Convention Center Authority and the local government stakeholders to come up with a plan that included:
- No additional state dollars would be appropriated; This will be the last opportunity for development
- Advance a scaled back, right-sized alternative plan that will achieve the same statutory goals
- Leadership of the city, county, & Convention Center Authority must support the alternative
- Provide for a physical & program linkage between the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, the Times Union Center and the alternative convention center facility to maximize synergy and create financial and management efficiencies
Furthermore, the land accumulated by the Authority for the first proposed location would be conveyed to the Office of General Services (OGS) and would be made available for appropriate development through a Request for Proposal managed by OGS and Empire State Development (ESD), with the goals of expanding the local commercial tax base and the creation of jobs and opportunities
The Albany Capital Center, located at the corner of Eagle and Howard streets, will house the most meeting space in Upstate New York, as well as a three-story parking garage with 250 spaces. The total cost of the project will be $66.5 million with no additional state subsidizing required. The Capital Center is projected to make $2.1 million in annual stabilized revenue and $900,000 in annual fiscal benefits.
The proposal includes footbridges that will serve as a link connecting the convention center, the DeWitt Clinton, the Empire State Plaza and the Times Union Center, which is the area's largest indoor venue. In doing so, the proposal will almost double the meeting space offered by solely in the Albany Capital Center, and will create a meeting space triple the size of any other convention center in Upstate New York.
The first floor of the Albany Capital Center will have a Porte Cochare on Eagle Street, a 6,300 square foot Pre-Function Space, 25,000 square foot Multi-Purpose Room, in addition to administrative and storage spaces. The second floor will feature a 9,700 square foot Pre-Function room, 9,000 square foot Meeting Rooms, 10,000 square foot Junior Ballroom and a 3,500 square foot Kitchen.
Senator Neil Breslin said, "I commend Governor Cuomo for approving the Albany Capital Convention Center, a new facility that will bring world class conferences and new investment and jobs here to the Capital Region. This is a smart, well-constructed plan that is feasible for New York States Capital city and cost effective for taxpayers. Todays announcement is great news for Albany and holds the promise of unveiling a new era of economic growth and investment in our downtown neighborhood."
Assembly Member John T. McDonald III said, "This is an exciting and transformational time for the city of Albany and the Capital Region. As a member of the Albany Convention Center Authority (ACCA), I believe this proposal will meet the needs of the region in a productive fashion and will lead to future interests, tourism and opportunities for the years to follow. I commend Governor Cuomo, Mayor Jerry Jennings, Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy, ACCA Chairman Gavin Donohue and my colleagues on the ACCA board for their hard work and efforts."
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said, "We thank Governor Cuomo for approving the plan for the Albany Capital Center, paving the way for a state of the art conference facility here in Albany County that will bring more than a hundred jobs and millions of dollars in annual economic impact. As home of the state's capital, our county is an ideal place to host major events, conferences, and professional functions. This new facility will be a major boost to the economy of the city of Albany and lead to new jobs for our residents and more money to downtown businesses."
Mayor Gerald Jennings said, "This is great news for the City of Albany. For many years we have discussed building a convention center, and today that dream is on the way to becoming a reality. I commend Governor Cuomo for his leadership in seeing this project happen and for his approval of this plan. The new facility will revitalize Downtown and drive new business, jobs, and investment in our city."
Albany Mayor-elect Kathy Sheehan said, The new convention center will be a great addition to downtown Albany and will spur even further economic development in our city. I thank Governor Cuomo for his approval of this plan and look forward to working to get the new project off the ground.
Gavin Donohue, Chairman Albany Convention Center Authority said, "Governor Cuomo's approval of the plan to build the Albany Capital Center is great news for Albany and the entire capital region. This facility holds the potential to transform downtown Albany and establish the city as a stronger magnet for hosting major events and conferences. With this approval, this long awaited project can finally begin and we thank the Governor for his approval."