Looks like we’ll be slogging over to the Javits Center for a while yet, as NY state Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan for a giant convention center in Queens has fallen apart for now. The reason? Negotiations didn’t go so well with Genting, the Malaysian casino company that would have funded the plan in return for building a giant casino adjoining the facility:
Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, said during a radio interview that negotiations between the state and the Genting company, which was expected to pay the development costs, had broken down.
“The conversations haven’t really worked out,” he said.
The revelation left a fog of uncertainty over Mr. Cuomo’s drive to bring casino gambling to New York City, which his administration views as a key source of jobs and revenue. The Genting proposal alone was expected to create 10,000 construction jobs and 10,000 permanent jobs.
Genting issued a statement saying that company officials “continue to want to invest in New York and plan to do so for years to come,” but that the uncertainty surrounding Mr. Cuomo’s efforts to push through a constitutional amendment to create a framework for casinos in the state made it difficult to reach a deal.
As we noted last time, this is all pie in the sky stuff. Yes, the Javits is a problematic, charmless facility. But it’s all we’ve got for now. Our suggestion: put up a few slot machines over in the Meatpacking district and use the moolah to build a Javits expansion.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.