Design revealed for Convention Center’s proposed expansion

The plans for a new Convention Center took a big step forward, Tuesday, for the proposed $700 million expansion of the San Diego Convention Center. The architect and the design for the project have been revealed.

Much of the dialogue and work for the third phase of the Convention Center has been taken up with getting the land and the funding for the expansion.

But getting the design in place has been a big deal for the expansion project because you don't know what you're financing till you have a design and Convention Center officials think they've hit a home run with the proposed design from Fen tress Architects.

Fen tress and it's team not only have designed a smaller, more efficient phase 3, which will significantly lower the cost, but the wow factor is big. There is a planned five acre park on the roof of the facility which will be accessible to the public, plus it's designed to host everything from community events such as music and arts festivals to outdoor receptions.

City Officials have talked for years about how the waterfront is walled off from the public, there are places you go where you're not even aware your on the bay front.

Now comes the permitting, including an environmental impact report for Port District consideration by the end of 2011, and then the Coastal Commission in 2012. Construction is expected to take 2 years, targeting 2015 for the grand opening.

Of course, the parallel track is the financing for the expansion and everybody will have an opportunity to give. The hotel industry has been very supportive of working out a relationship, the restaurants and taxi-cab fares.

The Mayor's assistant on the Center expansion project Steve Cushman says the financing plan will be announced in the first quarter of next year.

Now, the design's impact on the cost. Initially, the project was thought to be around 750-million then 710-million but officials choose the winning bid's efficiency which they say will substantially lower the price tag.

You may have also seen a new hotel in the design, it's been moved to the side so it will not block the bay view.

Categories: KUSI