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New York
Gov. Andrew Cuomo threw out a whopper of a proposal in his State of the State yesterday: Build the country's biggest convention center in Queens, take down the hopelessly small Javits Center, and build something new and improved and master-planned on that more-valuable-than-ever land. Our vote is a curling stadium in another Olympic bid.
LePatner & Associates' Barry LePatner (snapped at Bisnow's NY Post-Recession projects event last month) tells us the city has lost billions over the past 30 years as conventioneers have headed to cities with bigger venues (Javits, on 18 acres, is the country's 12th largest). Cuomo's proposed development at the Aqueduct Racetrack venue in Jamaica (with $4B of private investment) would be 3.8M SF and could attract 30,000 more people to the city on some days. That's a lot of construction jobs, sales tax, income tax, hotel taxes, and tourism revenue. It also demands infrastructure work. Imagine the NIMBYism, Barry says, of those who frequent the Southern State and the LIE.
Aqueduct Racetrack subway sign
Cuomo also says he will push for a constitutional amendment to allow gaming in the state and is pursuing a JV with gaming development firm Genting Organization for the Aqueduct site. Genting operates the slots there now. That called to Barry's mind the design and construction work he did on Vegas' 3,000-key Venetian hotel and casino next to the Sands Expo center and the synergy of those components. (Did we mention that Cuomo says 3,000 hotel rooms will go up in Jamaica?)