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Albany convention center project to proceed

Albany convention center project to proceed

The Albany Convention Center Authority will move forward with plans to build a convention center, 40

The Albany Convention Center Authority will move forward with plans to build a convention center, 400-room hotel and a parking garage despite an increase in the price tag to an estimated $397.5 million.

The board met this morning to discuss the project, and members were given a specific cost breakdown. The project includes $192.5 million for the convention center and a pedestrian walkway to the Times Union Center and $152.2 million for a hotel. Other costs include $32.3 million for a parking garage behind the convention center, $6.9 million to purchase the land and $12.6 million for other improvements.

Convention center plan

To view a Powerpoint presentation on the proposed convention center in downtown Albany from Friday's Albany Convention Center Authority meeting, click here.

Mayor Jerry Jennings, a strong proponent of the convention center, raised concerns about the increased cost this week and said it may be time to reexamine the project in light of other priorities.

In December, the Albany Convention Center Authority chose firms to operate its convention center and hotel. It entered into negotiations with Starwood Hotels to operate a 400-room Sheraton Hotel and with SMG, which operates the Times Union Center, to run the convention center.

The proposed convention center and 400-room hotel would be built in the area bounded by South Pearl Street, Broadway and Hudson and Madison avenues.

The authority is expected to seek additional state funding to cover increased costs and will also look for other sources of funding. A spokeswoman for Gov. Eliot Spitzer said the revised costs will be reviewed.

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