Javits Center’s green roof just got even greener, with the completion of a one-acre working farm which is expected to generate up to 40,000 pounds of produce each year. And in true farm-to-table style, the food grown there will find its way into meals created in the conference venue’s on-site kitchens.
The farm is just one small part of Javits’ newly opened rooftop event space, which also features a 15,000 square-foot, glass-enclosed pavilion that can host events for up to 1,500 participants throughout the year; a massive outdoor terrace, with a meadow, a shade garden and an orchard with 32 apple trees and six pear trees; and boasts the largest rooftop solar farm in Manhattan — 3,000 solar panels creating 1.7 megawatts of solar energy and an additional 3.5 megawatts of battery storage, providing the center with more than 2 gigawatt hours per year.
“This new rooftop is one of the most exciting event spaces in New York City in more than a generation,” said Alan Steel, President and CEO of the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation, which operates the Javits Center. “With stunning skyline views and state-of-the-art technology, the rooftop creates a unique roof-to-table experience for our guests while enabling our staff to push the boundaries of sustainability and further explore how to improve the quality of life for our neighbors — those with wings and those without.”
The center’s $1.5 billion expansion project has added 1.2 million square feet of total event-related space, while the farm, and several other eco-friendly upgrades, add to Javits sustainability program, which includes an existing 6.75-acre green roof that serves as a habitat for the area’s wildlife. The SALT Conference, which opened earlier this week, is the first event to utilize the expansion and its rooftop.
Following a transformation into a 2,500-bed emergency hospital in the early days of the pandemic, from January to July this year, Javits served as the largest COVID-19 vaccination center in the United States, distributing more than 646,000 vaccines in less than six months, serving as a model for similar facilities across the nation. The Center has since reopened for events, including The Armory Show, the SALT Conference and the Nest Summit, as a part of Climate Week NYC, scheduled to open this month.
“The Javits Center has played a critical role in New York’s fight against COVID-19, and with this new expansion, it will continue to serve as one of the Empire State’s greatest economic assets,” said Kevin Younis, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Deputy Commissioner of Empire State Development. “With the construction of a one-of-a-kind rooftop pavilion, along with a one-acre rooftop farm, the Javits Center will continue to attract dynamic events that support New York’s economy while serving as a model of sustainability for other venues and buildings throughout the country.”