On Victory Monday, Bloomberg Keeps His Eyes on the Convention Prize

Javits
Soon to be less crappy? Photo: Getty Images

Eliot Spitzer declared last week that the clock had run out on plans to expand the Javits Center, but Mayor Bloomberg — jazzed by the Giants' comeback win — today said that the city's hunt for a bigger convention center is far from over. After rhapsodizing for minutes at a press conference about how “Big Blue came back” in Arizona, Bloomberg took Spitzer's Javits announcement last Thursday (“that chapter has closed”) as just another stall. Even if Javits doesn't expand north because construction has gotten too expensive and at-capacity hotels have gotten too stingy to finance expansion with a surtax, the mayor says we need a bigger trade-show space if we want to keep pace with other cities. “The city could use a much-expanded convention center,” the mayor said. “I looked at the stadium in Glendale, Arizona, where one end creates a whole convention center and kept saying we could have had something like this in New York City.” So will he pursue a convention project in another borough — perhaps the oft-invoked Sunnyside rail yards? “If you want to look where else it might be, look at where mass transit goes,” he offered. “Though some cities do have convention centers outside the city.” Given the mayor's determined tone, the official reason for the press conference — naming the hard-driving Seth Pinsky to head the city's Economic Development Corporation, which steers big projects — could be the start of a something big. —Alec Appelbaum