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Albany Convention Center approved, expected to create 150 jobs

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Updated: 12/18/2013 5:26 pm

ALBANY, N.Y. - Governor Cuomo has approved a plan for the Albany Capital Center, after years of planning and numerous designs.

Work on the new convention center will begin in June 2014 near Eagle and Howard Streets in the city's downtown.

For nearly a decade a plan has been in the works to revitalize downtown Albany by building a large scale convention center, but after numerous proposals failed to meet the Governor's approval, a scaled back plan passed the test.

The design of the 82,000 square foot facility will consist of meeting rooms, a ballroom and a kitchen. Cuomo says it will create more than 150 permanent jobs.

The project is funded through a grant and will cost around $66 million.

Owner of Jack's Oyster House and Convention Center Authority member Brad Rosenstein says the new design is fiscally responsible.

"The original plan was really incredible and would have been the best case scenario but with the economy the way that it was we just didn't have unlimited funds," said Rosenstein.

Originally, the plan would have cost $220 million which would have put the convention center behind Broadway and included a hotel.

Sherri Brooks, a member of the Albany Convention Center Authorities said no new state money will be used for the project.

"Once the construction on this project is done this will be a great addition to the local businesses," said Brooks. "It will draw people to the area. It will create customers."

The project is expected to take about two years to complete.

Brooks said a plan to physical link the center to the Empire Plaza, the Times Union Center and the newly remodeled Dewitt Clinton Hotel is being finalized.

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