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Moscone Center expansion lifts toward final phase

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Dante Thompson, who bolts up buildings - putting bolts in beams to secure metal structures - looks up at a beam signed by San Francisco city leaders raised at a "topping off" ceremony signaling the nearing completion of the Moscone South center in San Francisco, Calif. on Monday, March 12, 2018.

The last beam for the $551 million project for the expansion of San Francisco’s Moscone Center was lifted and “topped out” Monday for the final phase of the project.

When crews complete the project by end of the 2018, the convention center will expand by 21 percent with more than 80 meeting rooms, a 50,000 square foot ballroom, and more than 500,000 square feet of exhibition space and outdoor terraces, according to the Department of Public Works.

In addition, there will be improvements made outside of Moscone Center on Howard between Third and Fourth streets such wider sidewalks, open-air plazas, four art installations and play area for children.

The final phase of the project includes the construction of the western half of Moscone South and two bridges over Howard Street.

Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru said at a press conference on Monday:

“We will see and feel a different neighborhood. One that is safer, one that is more beautiful and one that is more inviting.”

The City is a known destination for conventions including Dreamforce and Oracle OpenWorld, both occurring in the fall. In order to stay competitive with other convention centers in the nation, Mayor Mark Farrell said the upgrades and expansion for Moscone Center needed to happen:

“What we’re doing here today is celebrating the future of San Francisco, the future of our workforce, the future of our economy, the future of our tourism industry.”

President and CEO Joe D’Alessandro said while construction was occurring last year, The City attracted 24 million visitors to The City with more than 20 percent of those visitors passing through Moscone Center.

City officials are expecting more visitors and conventions after the expansion is complete. City Administrator Noami Kelly noted that more hotels are booked in 2019.

Project and city officials are also touting the Moscone Center as one of the most environmental sustainable convention centers upon competition.

They hope to achieve a platinum rating from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which is a green building rating system.

The environmental features of the project include an on-site center to capture and treat rain water and the largest range of solar panels on a building in The City.

City officials plan to have a ribbon cutting in January 2019.

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