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Rogers Selected for Jacob Javits Convention Center Expansion

British architect Richard Rogers has been chosen to design a much-needed expansion to New York City's Jacob Javits Convention Center. The 790,000-square-foot building, originally designed by I.M. Pei, is currently one of the smallest convention centers in any U.S. city. The expansion will increase its size to 1.5 million square feet.

Rogers's expansion is being designed with New York-based FXFowle Architects (formerly Fox & Fowle) and A. Epstein & Son. No designs have been released yet. The selection, made via RFPs issued last July by the Convention Center Development Corporation (CCDC), a subsidiary of the Empire State Development Corporation, is expected to cost about $1.4 billion. The state and city of New York will contribute $350 million apiece. The sale of bonds, backed by a $1.50-per-key surcharge paid by the local hotel industry, will cover $500 million. The expansion will also include a 1,500-room hotel, which will be paid for by $200 million in private financing. The project's two stages are expected to be completed by 2012.

In June of 2004, Saint Louis-based HOK had been selected by the Javits Center's operating corporation, which oversees the center's day-to-day operations, to design a sketch, calling for one of the world's largest-ever green roofs. Deborah Wetzel, a spokesperson for the Convention Center State Development Corporation, says that the CCDC used HOK's plan as a "starting point" for the design, but that their design came before legislation authorized the CCDC to lead the expansion.

Rogers is well known for his designs of the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Millennium Dome in London, and his recently completed Barajas Airport in Madrid.

Sam Lubell





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