SAN FRANCISCO—Mayor Edwin M. Lee, San Francisco Board President London Breed, Supervisor Jane Kim, San Francisco hospitality industry leaders and city officials on September 5 celebrated a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Phase II completion of the $551 million Moscone Expansion Project. The expansion project will assist with keeping San Francisco a competitive draw for major conferences and trade shows in the region.
“With tourism being the top industry of San Francisco, we need to ensure that our travelers and conventiongoers can enjoy state-of-the-art amenities and cutting edge resources,” said Mayor Lee. “The Moscone expansion project will make our convention center an even more attractive and innovative site for our visitors. Now when people arrive in downtown San Francisco, they will be greeted by one of the finest convention centers in the world.”
The Moscone Expansion Project is a partnership between the city and county of San Francisco and the San Francisco Tourism Improvement District Management Corporation (SFTIDMC), that is a four-year, four-phase expansion and renovation that increases the convention center space by 21 percent, from 1.2 million square feet to 1.5 million square feet.
According to a press release from the Mayor’s Office, after the project is completed, the center will include more than 80 flexible meeting rooms, a 50,000-square-foot grand ballroom, more than 500,000 square feet of contiguous exhibition space and outdoor terraces. Additionally, improvements to public amenities include wider sidewalks, multiple open-air plazas, improved landscape area and four separate public art installations.
“The South of Market and Yerba Buena community helped to envision an updated Moscone Center which includes preserving and improving recreational space for children and families, more pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, and open-air plazas to create a more welcoming neighborhood for residents, spenders and tourists to enjoy,” said Supervisor Kim. “The expansion of the Moscone Center furthers the vitality of the Yerba Buena neighborhood.”
“San Francisco attracts conventions from all over the world, with many booking the Moscone Convention Center years in advance,” said Board President London Breed. “The expansion is long overdue and will increase our capacity to provide optimum space to support more conventions. I’m excited about the growth to our economy as well, with more revenue for our hotels, restaurants, and small businesses, which in turn increases tax revenue for the city.”
The completion of Phase II marks a major milestone in the upgrade of the San Francisco’s convention center, encompassing 200,000 square feet of expansion and renovation, including a new ballroom, expansion to exhibition halls, flexible meeting rooms and an expansive lobby. For the last five months, Moscone North and South were closed for construction, while Moscone West has remained open. On Saturday, September 9, Moscone North and South were re-opened hosting a fall lineup of conferences that includes the GSMA Mobile World Congress Americas, Oracle OpenWorld, Salesforce’s Dreamforce and the San Francisco Auto Show, all of which draw tens of thousands of visitors to San Francisco.
“Since the start of construction, it’s been amazing to see the transformation and new life brought to this historic facility,” said City Administrator Naomi Kelly. “Including the community in the design was key to creating a better Moscone Center. The expansion of the center is transforming the Yerba Buena neighborhood and creating a better quality of life for residents and visitors to our great city.”
“The Public Works Moscone Expansion team, along with our partners at Webcor Builders and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, have been working around the clock to make sure this game-changing project gets completed on time. The deadline is not flexible,” said Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru. “This time next week, there will be thousands of convention-goers using this fantastic new building, and I am confident that they will agree with us that San Francisco is a world-class City with world-class facilities.”
Expansion work is crucial to ensuring Moscone’s status as a premier venue equipped to attract the large, high-profile shows of the convention industry. The increase in hotel tax revenue, job creation, and the general positive economic impact of this project will serve the needs of San Franciscans and visitors alike. In 2016, San Francisco hosted 25.2 million visitors, generating $9 billion in spending. Nearly 35 percent of those who visit San Francisco during travelling, come to the city for conventions and meetings.
“After years of planning and construction, we are happy to be opening this new convention space to our clients,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association. “This space will showcase what is to come when the entire Moscone Expansion Project is completed late next year. As the city and convention landscape continue to grow, it was imperative to expand the Moscone Center to meet future needs. The finished expansion will create more than 500,000 square feet of contiguous exhibition space, contain more than 80 flexible meeting rooms, enhance the pedestrian experience and strengthen the connection to the neighborhood.”
The final phase of the project is slated to be completed by fall 2018, the LEED Platinum-designed facility will rise above its competition as a zero-emission facility served from a zero-emission electrical grid and solar panels that generate nearly 20 percent of its energy needs. The renovated convention center is aimed to save on energy and water usage.
The convention center will remain open during the final phase of the project, which will construct two bridges over Howard Street, pedestrian-safety enhancements and other improvements to create a welcoming neighborhood, in addition to the second half of the Moscone South building and Moscone North extension. The final phase will be completed within the next 16 months. For more information on the project, go to www.mosconeexpansion.com.