Office of the Manhattan Borough President

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Office of the Manhattan Borough President Powered By Docstoc
                              One Centre Street, 19th floor
                                 New York, NY 10007
voice: 212-669-8300
fax:    212-669-3380
For Immediate Release                     Contact:    Dan Willson
Sunday, November 16, 2003                             (212) 669-8139
                                                      (917) 292-0781


        New York, NY – Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields and Central Labor
Council President Brian McLaughlin called on Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg to reach
an immediate agreement in support of the $1.5 billion northward expansion plan for the Jacob K.
Javits Convention Center. They said the plan would create 16,000 badly-needed new jobs for
New York City residents.

        “We must explore every avenue and identify every new source of economic
development,” Fields said. “Expanding the Javits Center must become our number one priority –
to create jobs in the service sector – in tourism, restaurants, hotels, the theatre, museums and
such ancillary industries like taxis and limousines.”

        Despite two years of talks between the City and State, no progress has been made on the
development of the Convention Center, and Fields said it is time for the Governor and the Mayor
“to stop talking and start acting.” The Borough President also urged Governor Pataki and
Mayor Bloomberg to remove expansion of the Javits Center from discussions of the future
development of the West Side and make it a number one priority for job growth.

       Moreover, expansion of the Center’s would allow it to accommodate various events,
conventions and meetings. Currently, the Javits Center’s exhibit space ranks 18th nationally,
and according to NYC & Company statistics, the lack of space has forced New York City to turn
away 63 events, meetings and conventions since 1999. This has led to the loss of more than
750,000 hotel room bookings and an estimated $246 million in total visitor spending.

       The proposed new design would double the exhibit space, add a fifth floor ballroom
overlooking Hudson River Park, and includes a hotel. NYC & Company estimates that an
expanded center has the potential to add more than $1 billion in visitor spending and $100
million in city and state taxes.

                                            - more -

        As New York City has evolved into a more service-related economy over the last forty
years, the percentage of service sector jobs dependent on tourism has sustained tremendous
growth – going from 20 percent to 46 percent. The only other New York City job sector to
undergo an increase is the financial services industry, which grew by a mere three per cent
during that period. At the same time, severe job losses were sustained in manufacturing and
wholesale trade, with manufacturing sector jobs diminishing from 30 percent in 1960 to eight
percent in 2000. As a result, Fields believes that we must do everything we can to encourage
tourism and support the service sector.

        Borough President Fields has asked the Governor and the Mayor to consider using
Liberty Bonds to finance the project. Liberty Bonds provide low cost, tax exempt financing for
projects that help revitalize New York City. After 9/ll, $5.6 billion dollars of federal government
commercial bonds were allocated to New York City to further new investment.

       According to Fields, 20 percent of the commercial Liberty Bonds, or nearly $2 billion,
were allocated for areas outside of Lower Manhattan, leaving ample Liberty Bond money
available for the Convention Centers project. The Borough President also pointed out that
Governor Pataki recently reported that the $8 billion allotment of Liberty Bonds will expire at
the end of 2004, something she feels should not be allowed to happen.

         “Let’s use the bonds to create jobs for New Yorkers,” said Fields. “Although Governor
Pataki is urging Congress to extend the deadline for the use of Liberty Bonds through 2009, the
federal government may not agree. Let us act now to build an expanded Javits Center and help
our City to get back on its feet again. Time is of the essence.”