Javits Center in NYC to Get $1.2 Million Expansion

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The state-operated Javits Center will get a $1.2 billion expansion -- complete with a new 1,500-room hotel and a sprawling ballroom -- under a deal Gov. Pataki struck with lawmakers yesterday.

Pataki said the center was a "den of corruption" a decade ago, but will now become a gleaming beacon for tourists and one of the nation's top draws for convention business.

The measure authorizing the expansion does not require the project to go through land-use hearings, a hurdle that had been erected by an earlier bill. It also isn't linked to controversial plans to build a nearby stadium that would be a home to the Jets and the centerpiece of New York's 2012 Olympic hopes.

The Javits expansion project would partially be financed by a new $1.50 hotel tax surcharge that's expected to generate $500 million. The plan allows the state to borrow $350 million, with New York City kicking in an additional $350 million.