2001-05-19 / Editorial/Opinion

A Convention Center For Rockaway

A Convention Center For Rockaway

The Queens Chamber of Commerce wants to find out if a medium-sized convention center would attract organization meetings to the borough. The chamber believes that a Queens center would attract national and international business for a number of reasons: Manhattan’s Javits Center is too large to attract many organizations and Queens is accessible to the two major New York City airports and to Long Island. The Chamber has hired a prestigious and expensive Massachusetts consulting firm to find out if the plan to build the center is feasible. We agree that it would be a good idea to have a convention center in Queens.

We would, however, like to save the Queens Chamber lots of time and money by pointing out that the Arverne Urban Renewal Area in Rockaway would be the perfect spot for that convention center.

Rockaway is fifteen minutes from Kennedy Airport and no more than 40 minutes from LaGuardia. Long Island’s Five Towns are only fifteen minutes away as well. Granted, Manhattan is a long trip by subway, but a much quicker trip by express bus or by the new express ferry service beginning in June.

Rockaway has an added attraction that might well sell the project as well. It is a beachfront community that would attract many organizations during the summer months if there were something to do here and someplace to stay here.

Our recommendation to the chamber is to send the Massachusetts firm home and plan to build the convention center in Rockaway. It is the perfect spot at the perfect time and you can’t do better than that.

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