The $120 million expansion and renovation of the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, Calif., got the green light following a vote by the city council to appropriate the funding.
The expansion will add 125,000 square feet of meeting space, including a new ballroom, to the center’s existing 425,000 square feet of space. The project also calls for renovation of the existing structure.
The $120 million price tag is being funded through a dedicated hotel tax that can be applied only to capital improvements at the convention center. The special hotel tax means the project will not have to rely on funding primarily from the city's general fund, which helps the city address its current budget challenges. "I'd like to thank San Jose hotel owners for providing the funding necessary to move this project forward during challenging budget times," said Mayor Chuck Reed.
Bill Sherry, the new chief executive officer at Team San Jose, said the expansion will help the city attract meetings. "The new convention center will become an icon of pride for San Jose and increase Team San Jose's competitive edge selling San Jose as a destination in the meetings and convention marketplace," added Sherry, who also runs the Mineta San Jose International Airport. The goal is to make the building Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design–certified.
The convention center will remain open during construction and there will be minimal impact on groups. Officials are targeting September 2013 for completion.