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Plans to bring the aging Miami Beach Convention Center up to date were unveiled at a media event Thursday. Construction begins on the $615 million expansion and renovation project in December, immediately following Art Basel, and it’s expected to be completed in 2018.

The improvements, paired with the headquarters hotel being constructed along side it, are expected to make Miami Beach a premier place for meetings and events, said tourism and city officials to a crowd of about 100 attendees.

“The city of Miami Beach is a world-class city with world-class amenities, hotels, restaurants, shopping and beaches,” said Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau President William Talbert III. “Now with an expanded and renovated state-of-the-art convention center, the GMCVB will be better able to sell the destination and convention center to meeting planners.”

When complete, the center will have 505,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space, a newly added 60,000 square foot grand ballroom, three 20,000 square feet junior ballrooms, 59,000 square feet of breakout meeting spaces, 806 on-site rooftop parking spaces and an additional 12 acres of surrounding parks and landscaped areas. The project is estimated to generate $5 billion in economic impact over 30 years.
New features that will be developed along with the improvements include a bus that will loop around Miami Beach to the convention center, a renovation of the Carl Fisher Club House built in 1916, $6.5 million in commissioned public art incorporated throughout the building.

“The renovation of the convention center will bring in new business opportunities contributing more to Miami Beach’s bustling economy,” said Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine.

Full Article By Emon Reiser of South Florida Business Journal