Albany awaits state funding to move forward on Convention Center - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Albany awaits state funding to move forward on Convention Center


ALBANY - It's the one thing many people say is missing from the Albany skyline, a convention center.

While plans for a convention center have been in the works for decades with a model already fully developed and vetted, the project has never moved forward.

"Its a major void," Assemblyman Jack McEneny said. "If we're going to function as a state capital we need something that works."

McEneny is a supporter of the project and member of the Albany Convention Center Authority. In that post, he helped make the project that would more affordable.

He worked with private partners to fund the new hotel, bus station and parking that would be part of that convention center; tranforming six acres of downtown Albany. 

The price tag rests at $220 million, but still relies on state money that has not yet come through.

Governor Cuomo's administration has yet to approve the finance plan for the convention center, which has frustrated many local lawmakers and business leaders.

In order to move the project forward, Mayor Jerry Jennings said the plans may have to be reconsidered; calling the state money "unrealistic."

"I use that term because everyone is being asked to pay attention to expeditures but I don't want to sit much longer on a very, very value piece of property that can develop," Mayor Jennings said.

But Jennings says he remains committed to the project and it's potential for revitalizing the downtown.

"What we're looking at is more private investment in a larger master plan, not just a stand alone convention center but some private sector," Jennings said.

Supporters are calling on the Governor to come forward with his intentions, explaining that his support is crucial.

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