New York Buzz: Queens to Get Convention Center, Luxury Hotel

The New York Daily News is reporting that a new convention center is planned for an outer borough of New York City.

According to the paper, the new space will be joined by a 25-story hotel and apartment complex near the Mets’ home of Citi Field.

Fleet Financial Group plans to break ground on the $200 million project in June. The Flushing-based group purchased the 1.67-acre space, formerly a Ford dealership, at 112-21 Northern Blvd., for $17 million last month.

When the project is complete, 292 five-star hotel rooms and 236 apartments will be located above the roughly 106,000-square-foot convention center. The project will also include about 97,000 square feet of retail space, a restaurant and parking.

Queens Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Seth Bornstein told International Meetings Review that Queens has two major airports (LaGuardia and JFK) and sees lots of incoming business travelers pass through. A new convention center may help keep them in the borough. “Queens has a lack of good convention space,” he said. “There are very few venues to accommodate large numbers of people for shows, so a new space is needed”

Large-scale expos and trade shows may opt for Queens over Manhattan, he continued, because the outer boroughs can often offer better prices. “This space will be close to LaGuardia, transportation and Flushing Meadows–where two World Fairs were held. Queens is ripe for development.”

Over the last several years, Queens has seen new hotels rise, and he estimates that 100 properties in the borough now offer 9,000 beds. “This will put a new emphasis on Queens as a unique place for business,” Bornstein said.

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