Lendlease-Turner selected as design-build team for $1.5B Javits Center expansion

February 1, 2017

A Lendlease-Turner Construction partnership has been chosen to coordinate and build the planned 1.2 million-square-foot expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Manhattan’s far west side. Commercial Observer reports that the New York Convention Center Development Corporation, the entity that controls the state-owned venue, announced Tuesday that they had approved the team for the project, which is expected to cost $1.55 billion. Atlanta-based architecture firm tvsdesign is also part of the LendleaseTurner consortium. According to the announcement, the winning proposal offered, “significant design, logistical and operational benefits, including increased atrium space, integrated public and support spaces and a commitment to maintaining current operations during all phases of construction.”

Empire State Development, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, ESD, Javits Center, Javits, Lendlease, Turner, Midtown West, New York Convention Center Development Corporation

The winners were in competition with a consortium comprised of Skanska USA, HOK and STV. Gilbane Building Company was on the shortlist of eligible developers but didn’t make it to the final round.

According to Sarah Saint-Amand, president of the convention center committee, the winning proposal edged out the Skanska-led group based on ability to meet technical requirements regarding scheduling and design–and the fact that the winning bid came in at $26 million less. Officials also said the selected design was in line with that of the existing 31-year-old glass-and-steel structure.

Empire State Development, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, ESD, Javits Center, Javits, Lendlease, Turner, Midtown West, New York Convention Center Development Corporation

Under the winning proposal the expansion will provide state-of-the-art exhibit and meeting spaces to attract higher-spending, large-scale trade shows and conventions, while adding to the quality of life in the surrounding west side community. As 6sqft previously reported, the project includes the following major components:

  • A four-level, on-site truck marshaling facility, including 27 new loading docks;
  • New prime exhibit space, to be combined with the existing exhibit space, to create an approximately 500,000-square-foot exhibition hall;
  • New state-of-the-art meeting room and ballroom space;
  • A green roof terrace and pavilion accommodating 1,500 people for outdoor events, including an expanded green room area;
  • New kitchen and food service areas;
  • Back-of-house and administrative space; and
  • LEED Silver certification.

The expansion is expected to:

  • create 4,000 full-time jobs, 2,000 part-time jobs and 3,100 construction jobs;
  • generate $393 million in new economic activity a year; and
  • generate 200,000 additional hotel room nights a year.

The new construction will be attached to the current convention center at West 38th Street and 11th Avenue. Basic construction is projected to cost $1.2 billion, with $350 million more needed to cover additional costs like new furniture and insurance. If the project is completed ahead of its 46-month timeline, the development group can get a $12 million bonus (included in the $1.55 billion cost projection). New York state has earmarked $1 billion for the project, with government bonds that were issued in 2015 and 2016 covering the remaining $550 million.

The area has seen a huge surge of development since the convention center first opened its doors in 1986. Within blocks, the Hudson Yards and Manhattan West megaprojects will be adding to the residential and commercial population and bringing continued change to Midtown’s westernmost reaches. Located on 11th Avenue between West 34th and West 40th Streets, the Javits Center is the busiest convention center in the United States. The project is expected to generate $393 million in new economic activity annually, mitigate traffic congestion in the area and increase the efficiency of the center’s operations.

Current view of the Javits Center

Alan Steel, president and CEO of the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation said in a press release announcing the selection, “For the past 30 years, the Javits Center has fueled the Empire State’s economic engines, and thanks to Governor Cuomo’s vision, we will unlock this New York icon’s true potential and host the most dynamic events anywhere in the world. With a recent renovation and a rapidly changing West Side neighborhood, there has never been better time to visit the Javits Center, and this new project will showcase our spaces to new audiences for generations to come.”


Renderings of the Jacob K. Javits Center expansion courtesy of Empire State Development Corporation.

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