Cuomo returns to Sunnyside Yards convention center idea

Governor calls city's affordable housing plan complicated and expensive

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sunnyside Yards
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sunnyside Yards

The idea of a massive Queens convention center that would replace the West Side’s Jacob Javits Center has foundered before, but now Governor Andrew Cuomo appears to be returning to the concept in the face of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s designs to build affordable housing in the Sunnyside neighborhood.

Wednesday morning, the day after de Blasio proposed building a Stuyvesant Town-sized affordable housing development on a platform above Sunnyside Yards in Queens, Cuomo said that he the plan is complicated and expensive and that he is considering alternatives, according to Capital New York.

“There have been a number of uses proposed,” the governor said.  “One of them is to make that a convention center site to supplement the Javits convention center, which is on the west side of Manhattan, or replace the Javits Center on the West Side of Manhattan. And that’s one of the possibilities that is being studied, along with several other possible scenarios.”

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Cuomo appears to be referencing former Bloomberg CEO Dan Doctoroff’s proposal to replace the 1.8 million-square-foot Javits Center with a 3.1 million-square-foot convention center in Sunnyside Yards, and partially fund the project with 25,000 housing units, 9,000 of which would be affordable, that would be built on both the old and new convention center sites.

While Doctoroff has put a $5.6 billion price tag on his proposal, De Blasio has not yet delved into specifics for his plan. [Capital NY] — Tess Hofmann