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Convention Center plans released
ALBANY Plans for a new
convention center were unveiled Monday morning during a meeting of the Albany
Convention Center Authority board. The $66.5 million price tag is less than a
third of original plans.
"The reality is there's only so many dollars to work with in these difficult fiscal times we want to make sure something we put forward is going to be sustainable and that's clearly demonstrated," said Asm. John McDonald (D) Cohoes, who serves on the board.
The plans were scaled in hopes of getting state approval for financing the new center. It will connect to existing walkways and facilities near the Times Union Center at the corner of Eagle St and Howard St.
"It looks as though this is very promising. There's support at the state level.
It's been done with the Convention Center Authority, with the county, they've
thought of a lot of issues, we have to make sure we can really build it for the
amount of money that we anticipate and how is it going to operate", said
Mayor-elect Kathy Sheehan.
The new center could also be a boon for downtown. The visitor bureau estimates $20 million is lost each year it isn't built.
Plans call for construction to be substantially completed by July 2016. An estimated 114 construction jobs will be added for the 22-month build. Once in operation 157 permanent jobs will be created.
"The convention center will have almost a million dollars a year in economic stimulus to the businesses in the downtown district," said McDonald. "That will have positive impacts on sales tax, hotel and mortgage tax, bed tax, which helps municipal budgets."