San Francisco officials celebrated the completion on the second phase of the $551 million Moscone Convention Center expansion project on Tuesday.
The second phase completion will see the Saturday reopening of Moscone North and South, which have been closed during the last five months for renovations. A new ballroom, an expansion of exhibition halls, meeting rooms and a larger lobby, were all part of the second phase of the project.
The entire project is a four-year, four-phase project that will expand the convention center space by 21 percent, from 1.2. million square feet to 1.5 million square feet.
Mayor Ed Lee said it was important for parties involved with the project to meet the deadline in order for The City to compete with other cities who are also vying for companies to hold conventions:
“It was very clear that everybody had to respect it [deadline] and honor it so that we can really have this particular day to cut a ribbon, and know the Board of Supervisors and I dealing with the budget, will continue to have a great source of revenue for The City because it is the No. 1 economic driver.”
In 2016, The City hosted 25.2 million visitors that generated $9 billion in spending. Of those visiting The City, 35 percent came for a convention or meeting, said city officials.
Once the project is complete in the fall of 2018, a zero emission electrical grid and solar panels that will serve as the convention center’s energy needs.
While workers continue to complete the rest of the expansion project, the convention center will still remain open to host conventions, including the GSMA Mobile Word Congress Americas, Oracle OpenWorld, Saleforce’s Dreamforce and the San Francisco Auto Show.
The final phase of the project includes installing two pedestrian bridges over Howard Street that will connect the upper levels of Moscone North and Moscone South, according to the Department of Public Works.