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Land agreement reached for new Albany convention center

ALBANY -- It's another step in the right direction for a new convention center in downtown Albany. Friday morning it was announced that this land has been purchased for $4,050,000 so building can begin on the Albany Capital Center. With 82,000 ft. of convention, ballroom, and meeting space, as well as on site parking and direct connections to the Empire State Plaza, Egg, and Times Union Center, the new center will be marketed as a package deal.

"I think it's brilliant to incorporate existing assests like the convention center the new capital center and the Times Union Center what a great opportunity to attract more people to the Capital Region," says Asm. John McDonald.

Taxpayers will be funding the project, but lawmakers are working to extend the current hotel tax through 2016 to help cover the cost. But, if all goes according to plan we're told it will directly benefit the Capital Region.

"We're going to get NCAA basketball back here, NIT basketball there's going to be many events that right now Albany loses out on so we're going to get a lot of spin off revenue, hotel rooms, a lot of things for the benefit of Albany," says Gavin Donohue, Chairman of the authority board. 

The land purchased on the corner of Eagle and Howard Streets was a good deal, they say they got it for $500,000 less than the average appraisal making it a good deal for tax payers but first before they start construction in June several buildings will have to come down.

A deal has been reached with Columbia Development, and they are required to remediate and demolish these buildings.

"So what I think is very important for the public to understand is that when we receive these buildings that is going to be a permanent clean site foundations all environmental issues addressed that is a huge accomplishment," says Donohue.

Along with the removal of urban blight, jobs. The center is expected to create about 150 new ones, and 114 construction jobs. Construction is expected to start in June.
 
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