Mayor Ed Lee to expand Moscone Center

June 21, 2012 8:15:01 PM PDT
San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center is about to expand. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced a 25-year master plan for the expansion of the center which would double in size.

The Moscone Convention Center was just renovated at $56 million. The city's marketing organization talked about some of the improvements at the San Francisco Travel Association luncheon Thursday.

According to a San Francisco Travel Association spokesperson some of the improvements include: new carpets, painting, lighting, ceilings, operable walls, furniture and ADA upgrades.

The Moscone Convention Center will also have a wireless system that can handle 60,000 devices running at the same time at peak performance. The hotel industry paid for the wireless system through a special assessment tax, but Lee says it is not enough if the city wants to stay competitive.

"Who are we competing with? It's no longer New York, or Florida, San Diego, Chicago. It's Beijing, It's Shanghai, It's Paris," Lee said.

Lee says that the Moscone Convention Center must expand in order to attract more conventions to San Francisco.

"We are still contemplating whether or not it's necessary to do another building, but I don't think we want to put the emphasis on there. I think we want to work with underground space first and expand that way," Lee said.

The development will be done in the next 25 years. Phase one is expected to be completed by early 2018.

The details of the plan are still being hammered out. The mayor anticipates the hotels through that special assessment will raise the money with matching city funds.

David Nadelman with the San Francisco Travel Association says a new larger Moscone would boost the city's economy.

"Moscone Center is vital. It's vitally important to the success of San Francisco moving forward," Nadelman said.

The mayor did not say how much it would cost to expand the Moscone Center, but he says that other cities are already doing it and that San Francisco should do it too.


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