New & Renovated Meeting Venues Across the Five Boroughs of New York City
Across the five boroughs of New York City, new locales for meetings and events are popping up, and established options are being reinvented. In the Bronx—the borough that gave the world hip-hop—music halls and concert venues beckon. Edgy industrial rentals and millennial-approved hotels increasingly lure planners to choose Brooklyn. In Queens, delegate dreams of retro-infused glamour are taking flight, and champions are made at a world-renowned sporting venue. On Staten Island, a long-sought-after development will soon offer an unexpected option for events while a mainstay has recently enjoyed a refresh. On islands across the City’s waterways, hubs of inspiration and innovation are breathing new life into the meetings landscape. Lastly, Manhattan is booming with expansions, anniversaries, new offerings with waterfront views and entirely new neighborhoods. Plus, architectural standouts, game-changing debuts, artistic escapes and countless elevated experiences await discovery. Read on for a diverse array of buzzy NYC conference venues.
KINGSBRIDGE HEIGHTS/ BEDFORD PARK
- The largest concert hall in “El Condado de la Salsa” (the borough of salsa) is Lehman Center for the Performing Arts. Its ongoing $15.4 million addition and renovation will give planners 5,400 square feet of enlarged space to work with, beginning from its planned opening in late summer. Of note, an expansive new elevator is an ideal accommodation for delegates with disabilities. The venue is perfect for panel discussions and large group sessions, thanks to its 2,278-seat proscenium theater. For incentive trips, consider the wide variety of authentic and world-class entertainment available on-site, including the aforementioned salsa, as well as hip-hop, R&B, classical music and ballet productions.
- From salsa to the birthplace of hip-hop, the Bronx has been and continues to be a venerable destination to experience diverse music. Planners seeking an intimate setting for a small event or looking to book an authentic local performance for an incentive trip can consider Bronx Music Hall upon the new venue’s completion in 2020. Situated in the South Bronx, the 14,000-square-foot venue will be home to the Bronx Music Heritage Center, and its flexible performance space will accommodate approximately 250 seated.
- The North Brooklyn waterfront has been firmly established as a hot spot for events. Benefits to Williamsburg include easy access via the NYC Ferry—the same cost one-way as a MetroCard swipe—and its plethora of design hotels. First on the scene was the Wythe; its plush Screening Room seats up to 75. This trailblazing property was followed by the William Vale, whose 183 rooms and suites all feature balconies. The Williamsburg Hotel opened in phases from 2017, boasting a 6,500 square foot ballroom, with the one-of-a-kind Water Tower bar, unveiled in November 2018, ideal for events. Combined, these properties provide planners with a campus-style atmosphere and a wide variety of spaces.
- In late summer, Hotel Indigo will open in Williamsburg. Its ultra-contemporary architecture differentiates the property from the neighborhood’s existing warehouse-chic and boutique properties with an eye-catching exterior (comprising prominent tiers and urban terraces) and sleek interior design. Planners will appreciate the new hotel’s 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and ballroom accommodating up to 1,000. Outdoor event space, a rooftop pool deck and an event team on-site are perks, along with the pet-friendly policy, ideal for delegates who prefer to travel with their furry friends.
- Further west along Brooklyn’s waterfront, a 16 building 35-acre campus—once known as the nation’s premier manufacturing and distribution center—has recently been reinvented after sitting in a state of disrepair for some 40 years. Industry City in Sunset Park is home to cutting-edge tenants in industries including creative arts, design, government agencies, media, nonprofits, manufacturing, retail, tech and more.
Available rentals range from 500 square feet up to more than 100,000 square feet, including but not limited to raw industrial space; courtyards able to accommodate nearly 1,000 attendees, complete with bandshells; The Landing and The Landing Annex, loft-style spaces that boast bars with working taps and stunning views.
Planners can take advantage of more than 25 food and beverage entities within the industrial complex, including but not limited to Brooklyn Kura, the only sake brewery in the five boroughs; Japan Village, a massive new food hall; the vibrant and colorful bar and venue Frying Pan Brooklyn, ideal for team building—thanks to its game room with vintage arcade novelties and a ping-pong table—serving up New England clam chowder, lobster mac and cheese and more; and Gumption Coffee, roasted on-site and brewed fresh for under-caffeinated, struggling delegates who indulged in evening receptions and networking events.
- The magic of the Jet Age returns to JFK Airport and Queens with the May 15 opening of The TWA Hotel. The one-of-a-kind property—in the landmark Eero Saarinen–designed TWA flight center—features 512 ultra-quiet guest rooms and a staggering 50,000 square feet of meeting space. Meeting attendees will appreciate the thematic decor and eateries on-site. At the Sunken Lounge, retro drinks like The Aviation are served up and new drinks like Fly Me to the Moon (inspired by the Sinatra tune) are invented. Meanwhile, Connie is a 1958 Lockheed Constellation airplane-cum-cocktail lounge. The 10,000-square-foot rooftop deck and infinity pool overlook a runway. A dedicated conference center with more than 45 meeting rooms and the 15,000-square-foot Starstream Ballroom are a planner’s dream!
- For those flying into LaGuardia as opposed to JFK, look no further than the recently reimagined New York LaGuardia Airport Marriott. After completing a multimillion dollar transformation in October 2018, the hotel’s extensive meeting spaces—22 adaptable event rooms, which total 15,000 square feet of space—have enjoyed a contemporary refresh. Unique to the property is a curated art collection that embodies Queen’s status as “the world’s borough” (a nomenclature ascribed thanks to the 130 languages spoken across its neighborhoods). From decorative pendant lights manufactured in Egypt to a handwoven screen wall inspired by intricate Irish lacework to a handmade embroidery hoop art installation traceable to Central and South American stitchwork, the collection is sure to inspire domestic and international delegates alike.
FLUSHING MEADOWS CORONA PARK
- Planners are further encouraged to spread their wings and explore our diverse city’s most international borough, Queens, by considering an experience at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. In summer 2018, Louis Armstrong Stadium—the world’s first naturally ventilated stadium with a retractable roof and sustainable design (consuming 28% less energy and 42% less water)—debuted as the final phase of the complex’s extensive renovation. Overlook and the 1968 Room offer exclusivity for cocktail receptions and a champion-inducing atmosphere for top earners enjoying an only-in-NYC incentive program.
- Empire Outlets opens in phases from May 15 in Staten Island. The new outlet shopping destination—the first within the five boroughs—boasts stunning views of Lower Manhattan from its prime perch on the waterfront. Planners can consider its 40,000 square feet of F&B for events, including a 500-person beer garden and MRKTPL curated food hall, offering vendors Wasabi, Shack Shake, Mamoun’s and more. For incentive trips, 1.1 million square feet of retail await, boasting approximately 100 shops such as Brooks Brothers, True Religion, Nordstrom Rack, Nike Factory, Dennis Basso, U.S. Polo Association and more. Bonus points: planners can easily transport groups from Manhattan on the free Staten Island Ferry, which operates 24/7. NYC Ferry Service will also expand its service routes to St. George, Staten Island, in 2020.
- Husband and wife hoteliers Richard and Lois Nicotra established Staten Island as a viable convention and leisure destination upon opening the 198 guest rooms and suites Hilton Garden Inn New York Staten Island in 2001. Now, more than 15 years later, they’ve enhanced the overall experience thanks to a contemporary refresh of the lobby. A mere 15–20 minutes from Newark Liberty International Airport (an accessibility perk for delegates,) planners should also note a complimentary shuttle to and from the Staten Island Ferry is available by reservation.
Thirty-two thousand square feet of total event space is available on-site including a wide variety of meetings options and the Above Rooftop for gatherings with a view. The 11,000 square foot Nicotra’s Ballroom debuted a $4 million renovation in spring 2018. Two additional, unique considerations are garden inspired. Trevi Garden is a silk-tented space with cobblestone floors inspired by Italian piazzas. Tea House Garden inspires serenity in delegates, thanks to a waterfall wall and glass ceilings that splash the space in natural light. Additionally, the property features a curated collection of art.
ANOTHER NYC ISLAND
- In September 2017, Phase I of the Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech Campus opened, marking a transformational milestone for tech in NYC. A final debut is the grand reveal of the 40,000-square-foot Verizon Executive Education Center, set for early 2020. This venue for academic conferences and executive programs will be nearby the new boutique Graduate Roosevelt Island Hotel, opening mid-2020 as a convenient stay for event attendees.
- Pulsing Times Square is an iconic NYC draw. Its classic big box hotels offer a central location to the nearby convention center and the energy is unmatched. This year marks the 10th anniversary of NY5000, a cutting-edge co-location agreement between New York Hilton Midtown and Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel that jointly accommodates up to 5,000.
- The Javits Center—the nation’s busiest and safest convention center—is undergoing a $1.5 billion renovation. By 2021, it will boast five times the meeting space and will offer a nearly 1-acre roof farm for sustainable on-site catering, generating an estimated 40,000 pounds of fresh produce per year. A highly anticipated rooftop pavilion and a unique event hall accommodating up to 5,000 are two additional amenities planners can expect. The City’s largest rooftop solar generation project at 1.4 MW—estimated to offset more than 1.3 million pounds of carbon emissions annually—will contribute to Javits’ noted, ongoing sustainability leadership.
- Imperial Riverside Events at Pier 79 Atrium offers unobstructed views of the Hudson River, and its 30-foot ceilings splash the space in natural light. The venue offers a dramatic backdrop for photo and video shoots, is an ideal consideration for evening cocktail parties and is a convenient locale for press conferences adjacent to the Javits Center. Accommodating up to 350 seated or 500 standing, the venue is accessible via ferry service upon special request through NY Waterway.
- The Times Square EDITION debuted in February, bringing with it a dash of glamour. The hotel offers 452 rooms and suites and a 1,300-square-foot penthouse ideal for meetings. Pair that with privately bookable restaurants 701West, The Terrace at EDITION, Outdoor Gardens and Lobby Bar—all overseen by acclaimed chef John Fraser and already frequented by socialites like Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber—and there’s a new, compelling reason to book enviable meetings in Midtown. Of note to planners, Paradise Club is the edgy one-of-a-kind cabaret on-site at the hotel. Resident performers at this new nightlife hot spot hail from Bushwick’s House of Yes. With creative direction by legendary hotelier and nightlife impresario Ian Schrager—the visionary behind the iconic Studio 54—delegate entertainment is a guarantee!
- For a taste of the refined, The Plaza New York has long stood for elegance and exclusivity in Midtown. Historically a can’t miss destination for celebrities, politicians, presidents, royalty, musicians, socialites, famed authors and more, planners aiming to host dinner parties and events surrounded by legacy and glamour should look no further than the acclaimed property. After a string of uses including its run as The Green Tulip Restaurant—followed most recently by a decade as brick-and-mortar retail—in 2019 the Edwardian Room has been restored to a magnificent event venue. Its windows overlook Central Park, Grand Army Plaza, the Pulitzer Fountain and Fifth Avenue and this grand Spanish Renaissance Revival–style space can accommodate up to 300 for private events. At 2,500 square feet, it can be configured in “U” shape or boardroom setup for smaller events; rounds for larger gatherings and seated dinners; and in theater-style for performances and galas.
- The Glasshouse will open this fall at the northern reach of Midtown West, at 75,000 square feet with a more than 1,800-person capacity. Its elevated location, outdoor terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows ensure cityscape and Hudson River views. A VIP Lounge and green rooms, built-in production infrastructure and full-service planning capabilities plus two full-service commercial kitchens, will result in a highly customizable new option for large- and small-scale corporate, social and nonprofit events, including runway shows, broadcast productions, private dinners and more. The new flagship space joins established sister venue Glasshouse Chelsea.
- CNVS (pronounced canvas), housed in what was once Epace, is a newly reimagined venue around the corner from Hudson Yards. It offers planners a blank canvas set in neutral tones to create ideal corporate, nonprofit and social events. With a 6,500-square-foot ballroom and 3,500-square-foot prefunction room accommodating up to 1,000 attendees for a reception, planners have another high-capacity option to consider. The full-service venue allots a dedicated team for setup, breakdown, equipment and F+B plus on-site technicians for sound, lighting and digital projection needs.
- From the iconic to the as-of-yet undiscovered, a major development for planners to consider is Hudson Yards, New York City’s newest neighborhood, constructed over an active rail yard. Within a stone’s throw of the Javits Center on the west side of Midtown, it is easily accessible via the 7 Line to 34th Street-Hudson Yards. Currently, planners can take advantage of The Shops & Restaurants’ abundant culinary options, including Mercado Little Spain by José Andrés and the Adrià Brothers; Korean spot Kāwi by Momofuku; the first NYC outpost of Cali favorite Belcampo; Thomas Keller’s TAK Room; Greek delights at Estiatorio Milos and more.
- For nearby entertainment, The Shed commissions and presents works across the spectrum of performance and visual arts. The first season’s lineup includes Norma Jean Baker of Troy, Reich Richter Pärt, Björk’s Cornucopia and more. The building’s shell expands to create the McCourt, accommodating up to 2,000 standing. Private events can be arranged on a limited basis.
- The Vessel is a climbable sculpture by Thomas Heatherwick and an ideal Instagram backdrop. Planners should note that while admission to the attraction is free, timed-tickets need to be secured in advance.
- Debuting in July, Equinox Hotel, Hudson Yards will be the luxury-lifestyle brand’s global flagship property. Fifty-five-hundred square feet of meeting space, rooms with an on-call Equinox Sleep Coach plus a 4th floor Equinox Club—offering personal training, exclusive programming on The Vessel, HIIT, yoga and barre classes—will provide the resources a delegate requires to make the most of every resting moment while keeping up with the demands of a high-performance lifestyle.
- In early 2020, Edge at 30 Hudson Yards will come online as the Western Hemisphere’s tallest outdoor observation deck. Immediately above it on the 101st floor, planners will be able to rent out a dedicated event space with stunning views of the Hudson River.
- An ideal event consideration, situated adjacent to the new Hudson Yards neighborhood, is Location 05. Combined, its Loft 1, Loft 2, Studio 3 and Studio 4 spaces offer 10,000 usable square feet. Ideal for photo shoots and those seeking a blank canvas, 16-foot-high ceilings and 14-foot-tall windows create an airy space and result in a sunbathed venue overlooking the High Line. The family-owned event space is ideal for planners seeking suggestions for pre-vetted, preferred vendors including: equipment and party rentals; light and A/V services; bar and caterings providers. Of note, temporary truck parking, a freight elevator and loading dock are accessible 24/7.
- New to Chelsea as of August 2018, Studio 525 is an architecturally striking street-level space in the heart of the Highline. Centered in the world’s foremost contemporary arts district—surrounded by esteemed galleries, including Gagosian—the venue is a former gallery itself. A striking skylight, 25-foot ceilings and exposed steel beams accent its white box, crisp aesthetic. Major brands who’ve hosted events and product launches to date: Tiffany & Co., HBO, Ferrari, Louis Vuitton and more.
- Moxy Chelsea is the third NYC property from the youthful, design-centric Marriott imprint. Located in what was once considered the Flower District, nods to the neighborhood’s origins include a Putnam + Putnam flower shop at the hotel’s entrance. The floral aesthetic continues in The Fleur Room, a glass-enclosed rooftop lounge on the 35th floor, with Empire State Building views. In total, the property offers 10,000 square feet of flexible space for meetings and events, also including meeting studios, Bar Feroce, Feroce Ristorante and MONDO suite.
- Aligned with the auction house’s 275th anniversary, in May Sotheby’s will reveal reimagined galleries across its four-floor NYC headquarters, redesigned by Shohei Shigematsu of OMA New York. With 90,000 total square feet of exhibition space (expanded from the 67,000 square feet previously available), planners can book any of nine private salons—including The Library by Italian manufacturer Loro Piana, an exclusive, bespoke venue appointed with elegant textiles. Event attendees can experience 40 public galleries comprising works across African and Oceanic art, contemporary, impressionist and modern art, and various special exhibits.
- Built in 1886, Webster Hall is a famed venue in Manhattan’s East Village. In 2019, the storied destination reopened—after a renovation overseen by BSE Global and The Bowery Presents, AEG Presents’ regional partner—and was christened with an intimate and buzzy performance by native New Yorker JAY-Z. An ideal entertainment option for delegates interested in a classic New York City nightlife experience, the venue is also perfect for private events.
Three distinct spaces—Ritz Lounge, Ballroom Floor and Balcony Level—can accommodate a variety of events. Greenrooms A and B on the ballroom level—with a shared common lounge and private showers in each—as well as more modest Balcony House Left and Right greenrooms, mean the venue is well equipped for celebrity performances and keynote speakers to be accommodated in privacy, comfort and style. For those interested in renting the entire venue, it has a maximum capacity of 1,400 guests between the three main spaces, standing room only. For more-intimate affairs, banquet, cocktail and theater-style setups are possible.
- What Moxy Downtown lacks in size it makes up for in creative event space. Recreation is the 660-square-foot, 50-person capacity on-site basketball court-cum-coworking space. High-speed WiFi and light-splashed views of the surrounding Financial District add a playful touch to any meeting.
- Beekman, A Thompson Hotel is a historic property restored by designer Martin Brudnizki and reopened as a luxury hotel in 2016. The nine-story Victorian atrium and majestic skylight stun, along with event spaces Clinton Hall, Chapel Street Room, Kelly Room and Farnsworth Room. Chef Tom Colicchio and restaurateur Keith McNally contribute their distinct flavors and tastes to Augustine and Temple Court restaurants on-site. In April 2018, NYC’s late-night impresario Serge Becker lent a theatrical atmosphere to the property with the debut of a new nightlife venue Alley Cat Amateur Theater. Inspired by the property’s history as Chapel Street Theater (dating to 1761), meeting attendees have a go-to for the after party, as it remains open through 2am on weeknights and 3am on Saturdays.
- In March, Convene announced the forthcoming creation of a flagship venue at Brookfield Place, adding to the brand’s portfolio of 13 locations across New York City. The full-service 73,000-square-foot setting will be managed by Convene’s staff of hospitality professionals and will accommodate up to 1,000 attendees between two main spaces. In addition, the new destination will offer multiple rooms for smaller meetings and a retail café concept.
SEAPORT DISTRICT NYC
- Pier 17 joined tried-and-true waterfront event venues—including Pier 36; Pier 60; Pier 88/90 and Chelsea Piers—when it opened in Lower Manhattan’s Seaport District NYC in summer 2018. Pier 17’s 1.5-acre rooftop hosts concerts and outdoor film series and is also available for private events with stunning views of the East River and Brooklyn Bridge. By 2021, planners will be able consider a new 50,000-square-foot food hall by Jean-Georges Vongerichten in the restored historic Tin Building. Featuring a vegetarian restaurant, Chinese and Italian eateries and multiple true-to-origins seafood concepts including a market, raw bar and sushi offerings, delegates will have a wealth of choice in the evolving, revitalized neighborhood.
- 10 Corso Como is a 28,000-square-foot space, covering the entire first floor of the historic Fulton Market Building, that also debuted in summer 2018. Complete with Italian café and restaurant, high-end retail, design objects and books, the venue mirrors the aesthetic and ethos of the innovative 10 Corso Como Milan, which originated the “concept shop” in 1990. Its restaurant can be booked for events, and the art and photography gallery and garden are ideal for exhibits.
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