Mayor Edwin M. Lee this week announced the development of a 25-year master plan for the expansion of Moscone Convention Center with completion of the first phase expected by early 2018.
“The recent renovations at Moscone North and South are exciting, but they don’t address San Francisco’s need for more convention and meeting space to remain competitive with cities around the world,” said Mayor Lee.
“Tourism is our city’s number one industry and bringing Moscone into the 21st Century will boost our economy,” he said.
“This is one of the most utilized convention centers in the nation and many of our convention clients are simply outgrowing it,” said President and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association Joe D’Alessandro.
“Other competing cities have either recently expanded their convention centers or are planning expansions. We can’t sit back and let other cities around the world take our business away,” he said.
“With over 10 groups breaking attendance records at Moscone this year alone, the demand for additional space is clear,” said San Francisco Convention Facilities Director John Noguchi. “An expanded facility will provide us with the type of venue that will help convention business continue to thrive here in San Francisco.”
Moscone Center was built in a series of phases beginning with Moscone South in 1981; Moscone North and the Esplanade Ballroom in 1991; and Moscone West in 2003 providing nearly one million square feet of meeting and event space.
The expansion is funded by a public-private partnership with the San Francisco Tourism Improvement District (TID) and the City. The Department of Public Works and Sares Regis, representing the TID will manage the project. Architects Skidmore, Owens & Merrill LLP with Mark Cavagnero Associates was selected by the TID to create the Master Plan, which they will submit later this year.
From the Master Plan will come a timeline to complete the plan in phases. The project team will select a general contractor in the next few months.
Moscone Center attracts 50 events annually and is a major generator of demand for hotel rooms in San Francisco, where tourism is the largest industry and generates more than $8.4 billion annually and supports over 71,000 jobs.