Pioneering Rooftop Farm and Event Space Completed

  • 14 Sep 2021
Innovative rooftop project, which achieved LEED Gold certification from U.S. Green Building Council, includes one-acre working farm for true roof-to-table experience, glass-enclosed pavilion and outdoor terrace for special events.
The New York Convention Center Operating Corporation today announced the completion of the Javits Center’s new rooftop event space as part of its $1.5 billion expansion project on Manhattan’s West Side. The 200,000-square-foot rooftop includes a glass-enclosed pavilion, an outdoor terrace and a one-acre working farm, which is expected to generate up to 40,000 pounds of produce each year. The farm, along with several other sustainable upgrades, builds on the success of the convention center’s robust sustainability program, which includes an existing 6.75-acre green roof that serves as a habitat for area wildlife. The expansion project, which has added 1.2 million square feet of total event-related space, will draw new events to New York City and generate new economic activity among the hotel, restaurant, transportation and tourism industries. The SALT Conference, which opened on Sept. 13, is the first event to utilize the expansion and its rooftop. 

Led by the New York Convention Center Development Corporation, a subsidiary of Empire State Development, the state’s chief economic development agency, a Lendlease and Turner joint venture and architectural firms TVS, Moody Nolan, Stantec and WXY Studio, the four-year expansion project was completed on budget despite the challenges related to COVID-19. With state-of-the art equipment and technology, the expanded Javits Center features 50% more front-of-house and back-of-house areas, including new exhibit and meeting room spaces, a separate entrance for special events and a first-in-the-nation truck marshaling facility that will accelerate event operations and reduce area congestion. The design-build project has achieved LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

“The Javits Center has set a new standard in sustainability that aligns with Lendlease’s global commitment to addressing climate change as a 1.5°C-aligned company targeting absolute zero carbon by 2040,” said Steven Sommer, Executive General Manager and President of New York Construction at Lendlease. “As an iconic New York structure, the expanded Javits Center will inspire all who visit to make their own contributions at both the corporate and individual levels as we work together to realize a greener, more sustainable future for our planet.”

“We are excited for the public to enjoy this pioneering design that exemplifies how the built environment can support the natural environment while prioritizing the health, safety and well-being of building occupants,” said Bill Barton, Construction Executive at Turner Construction Company at Turner Construction Company. “This intentional approach to sustainability in the design and build across the entire expansion has made the Javits Center one of the most cutting-edge facilities in the world.”  

“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 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.”

The expanded Javits Center features more than 200,000 square feet of new meeting room and pre-function space, including a 54,000-square-foot special event space — the largest event space of its kind in the Northeast. The new exhibition and meeting spaces are equipped with the latest technology in lighting fixtures, heating and cooling systems and wireless connectivity. The newly expanded Javits Center features 500,000 contiguous square feet of event space, which will help attract international business conferences, as well as a four-level truck marshaling facility that can house up to 200 tractor-trailers at one time. Construction of all of these spaces, which was considered a part of the original design, was completed in May 2021. As a part of the project, 75% or more of all construction waste was diverted from landfills for reuse, and all construction materials were chosen with sustainable characteristics including high recycled content and local sourcing (within 500 miles).

Highlights of the expansion rooftop include: 
  • The Farm. A one-acre rooftop farm that will provide fresh produce for on-site consumption, with recycled rainwater used for irrigation; includes a greenhouse that can host intimate gatherings such as board meetings or meals for up to 25 people. Brooklyn Grange, a Brooklyn-based urban farming company, will manage the day-to-day operations of the farm and the greenhouse and work closely with members of the facility’s new dining and hospitality team, Cultivated, to direct crops to on-site kitchens, where the produce will be incorporated into meals served to clients;
  • The Pavilion. A 15,000-square-foot, glass-enclosed space that can host events with up to 1,500 individuals throughout the year; adjacent to a massive outdoor terrace, along with a meadow, a shade garden and an orchard with 32 apple trees and six pear trees;
  • Solar Farm. More than 3,000 solar panels to be installed on the existing and expansion rooftops, making it the largest rooftop solar farm in Manhattan. It is expected to generate 1.7 megawatts of solar energy with an additional 3.5 megawatts of battery storage, providing the convention center with more than 2 gigawatt hours per year; and
  • Water Conservation. The installation of two underground retention cisterns helps capture and treat rainwater to be used for irrigation on the roof, reducing the need for potable water for irrigation by at least 50%.
From January to July 2021, the existing Javits Center served as the largest COVID-19 vaccination center in the United States, distributing more than 646,000 vaccines in less than six months. With the support of the New York National Guard and the state Department of Health, the vaccination center served as a model for similar facilities across the nation. The Javits 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. 

Since 2014, the Javits Center has reduced the building’s energy consumption by 26% and created a rooftop wildlife habitat that serves as a home to 35 bird species, five bat species and five beehives. Other recent infrastructure improvements include the creation of a state-of-the-art broadcast studio for virtual and hybrid events, the installation of more than 100 stainless steel bollards along the building’s perimeter and the construction of a new three-story building that houses transformers, back-up generators and other electrical equipment for the expanded convention center. With the installation of hospital-grade High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters to improve air filtration and ventilation throughout the venue, the Javits Center has received Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) accreditation, implementing the industry’s highest standards for cleaning and disinfection. 

About the Javits Center
Designed by I.M. Pei & Partners, the Javits Center opened in 1986 and has since become New York City’s primary venue for large conventions, trade shows and special events and serves as home to many of the world’s top 250 trade shows, hosting millions of visitors a year. These large-scale events have generated more than $2 billion in annual economic activity for New York City and New York State, supporting as many as 18,000 jobs in and around the facility. Located on 11th Avenue between West 34th and West 40th Sts. in Manhattan, the Javits Center has more than 850,000 square feet of total exhibition space, two new floors of meeting room and pre-function spaces and a wide range of catering, security, sustainability, and technology services. For more information, please visit

About Empire State Development  
Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Hochul’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I LOVE NY," the state’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, please visit and
About Lendlease 
Lendlease is a leading global real estate group with operations in Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Our purpose is to create value through places where communities thrive. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, Lendlease has approximately 10,800 employees internationally. Our core capabilities are reflected in our operating segments of Development, Construction and Investments. The combination of these three segments provides us with a sustainable competitive advantage and allows us to provide innovative integrated solutions for our customers. In the US, Lendlease offers over 100 years of experience in the construction industry. Our progressive and collaborative approach to providing construction services and solutions has resulted in more than 1,200 client partnerships and nearly 3,000 projects in the last decade.  The company offers property solutions through construction management, general contracting, program and project management, design/build and consulting services. For more information, please visit

About Turner Construction Company 
Turner is an international construction services company. Founded in 1902, Turner first made its mark on the industry pioneering the use of steel-reinforced concrete for general building, which enabled the company to deliver safer, stronger, and more efficient buildings to clients. The company continues to embrace emerging technologies and offers an increasingly diverse set of services. With an annual construction volume of US $15 billion, Turner is the largest builder in the United States, ranking first in the major market segments of the building construction field, including healthcare, education, sports, commercial, and green building. The firm is a subsidiary of HOCHTIEF, one of the world’s leading international construction service providers. For more information, please visit 

About Brooklyn Grange
Founded in 2010, Brooklyn Grange is the leading rooftop farming and intensive green roofing business in the US. Brooklyn Grange operates the world’s largest rooftop soil farms, located on three roofs in New York City; designs, builds, and maintains urban green spaces, and hosts events and educational programming aiming to connect community with food, farming, and green space. For more information, please visit

For additional information, contact:
Diane Nevin
Senior Corporate Communications Manager 
+1 773-610-2862 

Jeremy Barewin
Senior Account Manager, Taylor Johnson PR 
+1 312-267-4533

Photo Captions:
Javits Center Sustainable Rooftop – A Lendlease and Turner Construction joint venture recently executed the four-year, $1.5 billion expansion of the Javits Center, which added a new 200,000-square-foot rooftop event space that houses a glass-enclosed pavilion, outdoor terrace and one-acre working farm.
Image Credit: ©Albert Vecerka/Esto, adjacent to all reproduced and distributed material
Rooftop Event Space – A 15,000-square-foot pavilion on the new Javits Center rooftop can host events for up to 1,500 people. It was added as part of the convention center’s $1.5 billion expansion, executed by a Lendlease and Turner joint venture.
Image Credit: ©Albert Vecerka/Esto, adjacent to all reproduced and distributed material
Rooftop to Table – Sustainability was a major focus of the $1.5 billion Javits Center expansion, which added a one-acre rooftop farm expected to generate up to 40,000 pounds of produce each year. This and other eco-friendly features align with Lendlease’s global commitment to addressing climate change as a 1.5°C-aligned company targeting absolute zero carbon by 2040.
Image Credit: Javits Center