April 12, 2016
Albany

Governor Cuomo Announces Request for Qualifications from Design-Build Teams for Major Expansion of Jacob K. Javits Convention Center

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New legislation will allow state to use design-build approach to increase efficiency and reduce cost of Javits expansion

Conceptual renderings: view Javits after expansion here; zoomed in on expansion here; inside new ballroom here and inside 500,000 sq. ft. contiguous event space here

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today officially kicked off the major expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The New York Convention Center Development Corporation, which is a state subsidiary that owns the Javits Center, has issued a Request for Qualifications from Design-Build teams interested in completing the project. The Corporation will evaluate the respondents and select up to three qualified developers, which will then receive Requests for Proposals in June of this year to design and build the facility’s additions.

The Design-Build procurement method was made possible for this project by the New York Transformational Economic Development Infrastructure and Revitalization Projects Act, which goes into effect today. Design-Build is a cost-saving procurement approach that incentivizes the private sector to accelerate the completion of large-scale infrastructure projects and to shift the risk of cost-overruns and delays to the private contractor building the project. This approach is currently being successfully used to reconstruct the Tappan Zee and Kosciusko Bridges, as well as advance a number of priority transportation projects throughout the State.

“Javits is the busiest convention center in the nation – but we need to keep building and growing if we want to remain competitive, and that is exactly what we are doing,” said Governor Cuomo. “This is part of the most ambitious and far-reaching agenda we have ever done. We’ve set the bar very high – not just rebuilding what is, but building for what can and should be – and the massive expansion of the Javits Center is proof that we are building for the future.”

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The RFQ can be viewed here. Responses are due May 10, with the selection of up to three finalists expected in late May, the RFP issued in June to the finalists, and a developer selected by the end of 2016.

Howard Zemsky, President, CEO & Commissioner of Empire State Development, said: “Design-build will streamline the process of getting this necessary expansion built and take years off the project’s ultimate timeline. This expansion will support the local tourism, hotel and restaurant industries; attract more events; and significantly increase the efficiency of operations.”

The Design-Build process, implemented by Governor Cuomo in 2011, allows combining design and construction services into a single contract to help expedite vital infrastructure and save taxpayer money. Design-Build contractors will submit proposals to design and build the convention center’s addition at the same time. This usually results in a design consultant teaming up with a construction contractor to jointly deliver the project.

Alan Steel, President and CEO of the New York Convention Center Development Corporation, which operates the Javits Center, said: “This expansion is a game changer for the Javits Center and Manhattan’s West Side, and since the announcement in January, there has been a significant increase in demand for our event space, especially the soon-to-be largest ballroom in the Northeast. Thanks to Governor Cuomo, the expansion will be completed in a speedy and efficient manner, and this international hub of commerce will be able to welcome more events, improve the neighborhood’s quality of life and spur job creation across the region – without delay. It’s a win-win for our customers and all New Yorkers.” 

The Javits Center is the busiest convention center in the United States. Located on Manhattan‘s West Side on 11th Avenue between West 34th and West 40th Streets, the six-block facility hosts trade shows, conventions and special events that spur economic activity and job creation. In 2014, the facility hosted 177 events and more than 2 million visitors – ultimately supporting 17,500 jobs locally and generating an estimated 478,000 nightly hotel room reservations. In total, the Javits Center had an economic impact of $1.8 billion in 2014. 

Ultimately, the Governor’s proposal will strengthen the regional economy, create more permanent jobs, and increase tourism and business involved with the Javits Center. Specifically, it is projected to:

  • Create 4,000 full-time jobs, 2,000 part-time jobs and 3,100 construction jobs; and
  • Generate $393 million in new economic activity a year, a 22 percent increase to the $1.8 billion of activity generated in 2014;
  • Generate 200,000 additional hotel room nights a year, a 42 percent increase in the number of room nights booked by event guests.


Consistent with Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading goal of 30 percent participation of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises, construction of the project will provide extensive economic opportunities for MWBE contractors.

The Convention Center Development Corporation plans to establish an affordability ceiling in the RFP for the Design-Build price. The project will be funded through a state appropriation of $1 billion, bond issuance proceeds, finances available on hand, and other sources as needed. 

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