Phases I and II of a $279 million renovation and upgrade have been completed at Detroit’s Cobo Center. Construction, which is on time and under budget, has not affected day-to-day operations, with the convention center remaining open.

Upgrades to date include electrical and other infrastructure improvements, and the opening up of views from the main level concourse to the Detroit River. In addition, 22,500 gross square feet of exhibition space was added, and 400 additional parking spaces were created under Detroit Hall.

Among the major improvements scheduled for the next phases of construction are a new 38,000-square-foot ballroom with the capacity for 3,800 classroom-style and 2,375 for dining, scheduled to be completed in May 2013. Six meeting/breakout rooms will be located one floor below the ballroom. The Cobo Center has 70 meeting rooms and 178,446 square feet of meeting space, and 725,000 square feet of exhibit space.

An exterior terrace will overlook the Detroit River, with views of Windsor, Ontario, and busy shipping traffic.