With unanimous approval from the Public Authority Control Board, the last hurdle has been cleared in the 10-year-long process to expand New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, paving the way for construction to begin this fall.

The $1.7 billion expansion project, which will be completed in 2010, will increase exhibition space by 45 percent to 1.1 million square feet (from 760,000 square feet) and meeting space by 600 percent to 210,000 square feet (from 30,000 square feet). Upon completion, it will be the eighth-largest convention center in the country, up from its current ranking of 16th-largest.

“New York City will gain a world-class convention center that will be able to compete for the bigger and more financially lucrative shows, while creating more than 20,000 jobs, and generating tens of millions of dollars a year for New York,” said Jonathan Tisch, chairman of NYC & Company, in a news release. On the promise of an expanded center, NYC & Company has already secured nine new conventions representing 310,000 hotel room nights, $228 million in economic activity, and $10 million in new tax revenue.

As a result of the expansion, operations at the center, located on Midtown Manhattan’s West Side, are expected to generate more than $1.1 billion annually for the city in direct spending by delegates, exhibitors, and event organizers. It is estimated that an additional $47 million in incremental revenue will be generated annually as a result, and the increased numbers of delegates and visitors is expected to yield approximately 400,000 additional hotel room nights per year.