The City of Miami Beach will hold a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday evening for a $515 million renovation and expansion of the 58-year-old Miami Beach Convention Center.
The three-year project will increase the size of the convention center by 150,000 square feet to 1.4 million square feet. The renovated venue will feature a 60,000-square-foot grand ballroom, additional meeting rooms and a new kitchen.
The 5.8-acre parking lot next to the convention center will become a public park with a canopy of trees, a food pavilion and a veterans memorial. The lot’s 800 parking spots will be relocated within the convention center’s footprint.
Matt Hollander, the general manager of the convention center, said in a prepared statement that the property needed a fresher look. The building manager is Spectra Venue Management.
“Our building is dated, though guests that use it really love it, and we get great reviews,” Hollander said in a press release. “However, the meeting planner community has been telling us that the building needs to be updated with modern technology and newer finishes … As it is now, the building doesn’t reflect the energy” of Miami Beach.
Hollander said the interior construction phase should be finished by 2018, and “that’s when we will start work on the exterior where we are going to create some beautiful green space.”
Miami Beach commissioners last week approved putting a measure on next year’s ballot that would allow the city to lease public land for the construction of a convention center hotel.