Storm-damage repairs add millions to Miami Beach Convention Center renovation cost

Total price of the project rose to about $627M

This year’s storms have proven costly for the $600-plus million renovation and expansion of the Miami Beach Convention Center.

To get the center ready for the annual Art Basel extravaganza, an extra $6.9 million was added to the $619.9 million renovation budget, the Miami Herald reported. The additional money was spent on workers cleaning up damage wrought by Hurricane Irma, as well as a storm coined the “rain bomb” that drenched Miami in early August.

Getting the job back on track entailed cutting out and replacing drywall and mold-proofing the building. After Irma blew off the convention center’s insulation and damaged some safety structures — like those used to support the parking lot above the center — crews had to repair the damage and install new ceiling tiles and light fixtures.

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The renovation of the 60-year-old building is one of the most expensive projects ever undertaken in Miami Beach, with cost to fix damage caused by the storms bringing the total price to about $627 million.

Some of the extra costs may be covered by the project’s insurance or FEMA, according to the Herald, but most of the money being used comes from tax revenue collected around the Lincoln Road area, which encompasses the convention center.

The convention center will continue to host Art Basel for years to come. In October it decided to stay for at least five more years after Miami Beach agreed to pay $2.8 million for a new elevator and escalator at the convention center. [Miami Herald] –Amanda Rabines