SAN JOSE ANNOUNCES CONVENTION CENTER EXPANSION AND RENOVATION PROJECT
Plans include a $ 120 million expansion and renovation funded through a special hotel tax
SAN JOSE, CA. - (April 12, 2011) -With a recent successful bond sale approved to fund a $120 million project upgrade, City of San Jose and Team San Jose officially announced today plans to move forward with the construction of an additional 125,000 square feet of meeting and ballroom space and renovation at the San Jose Convention Center. The City Council approved an appropriation of funds this afternoon, the final step needed to officially launch the project.
The project is a key component of the city's Economic Strategy and will be delivered through a Public Works-led, Design-Build approach, similar to the award-winning San Jose Mineta International Airport's successful $1.3 billion terminal modernization program.
Mayor Chuck Reed announced the official project launch alongside City Councilmembers, hotel owners, and City officials. Team San Jose and the local hotel and tourism industry, has supported the expansion in an effort to increase San Jose's appeal as a lucrative meetings and events destination.
"The expansion and renovation of our convention center will help San Jose remain competitive as a meetings and convention destination," said Mayor Chuck Reed. "I'd like to thank San Jose hotel owners for providing the funding necessary to move us project forward during challenging budget times.”
In 2009, San Jose hoteliers voted to institute a special, dedicated hotel tax to finance the project. By legal requirement, the tax can only be used to support capital improvements at the Convention Center and includes ongoing revenue for future maintenance. The special hotel tax shifts reliance on funding primarily from the City’s General Fund and San Jose Redevelopment Agency further helping address the City's current budget challenges.
"The skilled Public Works team leading this project will ensure that our Convention Center expansion will provide a modern new facility that will serve convention planners and the travel industry for decades to come," said Debra Figone, San Jose City Manager. "This will allow San Jose to offer visitors a seamless world-class experience, from their arrival at the airport to their meetings, entertainment and hotel stays throughout the city."
The Convention Center project will showcase San Jose's innovative spirit, unifying the facility's urban appearance, increasing operational efficiency, and providing long-term sustainability that will improve service delivery. The expansion will be going after LEED silver certification, furthering San Jose's Green Vision.
"The new Convention Center will become an icon of pride for San Jose and increase Team San Jose's competitive edge selling San José as a destination in the meetings and convention marketplace," said Bill Sherry" CEO of Team San Jose, which operates the Convention Center and several other city cultural facilities. "We will use the same strategies we used at the Mineta San Jose International Airport where we were under budget and on time with no minimal impacts to operations, to deliver the convention center project."
On March 29 and 30, the bond offerings were received favorably in the market, with a total bond issuance for both series of bonds of S138,41 0,000. The bonds are set to close on April 12'h The interest rates for both bond series came in better than anticipated which will result in a lower cost of financing over the life of the bonds than initially anticipated.
The Convention Center opened in 1989 and currently offers 425,000 square feet of exhibit, ballroom and meeting space. Since 1989, San Jose’s hotel and tourism industry has grown to an estimated $123 million hotel revenue industry, generating over $10 million annually ill tax revenue to support city services. The expansion will add an additional 125,000 square feet of flexible ballroom and meeting room space, increasing San Jose's Convention Center space to 550,000 square feet of usable space.
Expansion and Renovation at a glance:
· 125,000 total sq. ft. of new, flexible space, which includes:
· 25,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space
· 35,000 sq. ft. flexible ballroom space
· Renovation and integration with the existing structure
· The new construction is a new footprint that expands tile square footage with minimal impact to the current convention center.
The San Jose Convention Center will be open during construction and will celebrate a grand reopening in Late Summer or Early Fall 2013.
For more information on the expansion and renovation please go to Team San Jose news on Expansion.