San Diego Convention Center Expansion

Posted on June 16, 2009 | by Denny Oh

ConventioncenterA while back, I wrote about the proposed downtown San Diego convention center expansion.  In today’s Union Tribune, they announced that there will be a $52.5 million dollar a year price tag on this endeavor.  The goal would be to approximately double the existing space in the San Diego Convention

Center.  Adding approximately 400,000 square feet, in theory, will keep and attract more trade shows.

The UT suggests that without the expansion, San Diego’s largest trade show, Comic-Con International, will find a better, larger host.  The original expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, was one of the major catalysts that stimulated downtown San Diego’s growth.  In theory, this would be a great addition to our growing downtown, but like everything in today’s world, the question is, can we afford it?  The article states that funds will come from a $1–2 surcharge on Seaworld and the Zoo sales, higher hotel taxes and from a proposed 500 room bay front hotel which would be adjacent to the Convention Center.

ConventioncenterexpansionIn my opinion, this is a much needed expansion and that San Diego would greatly benefit from this.  My problem with downtown is that everyone seems to be too nearsighted.  I understand that there’s little money to go around, but unless we really plan ahead, San Diego will never be a great metropolitan.  Condo developers need to create better buildings that will withstand the test of time.  The city must continue to develop the city’s infrastructure and move forward on projects like the North Embarcadero Visionary Project, adding green space, providing adequate parking and bringing in more businesses. 

Seeing what Petco Park has done for the city in such a short amount of time is a clear sign that downtown San Diego has tremendous potential and can only go up.  Today’s home prices are a bargain and those who realize it will surely make a killing in the years to come.  If you need more proof, just take a trip up to San Francisco, or Seattle or Vancouver – just remember to bring some warm clothes and an umbrella.

*photos courtesy of the Union Tribune.

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  1. Carol says:

    Denny, how are they proposing to expand it? Are they going up? Will anyone’s view be affected by the expansion?

  2. Denny Oh says:

    Hi Carol,

    From what I’ve heard and based on the renderings I’ve seen, it looks like they’re going to extend it slightly to the south/east and also bring it closer to the water. I don’t believe they’ll be building up, at least no higher than it currently is.

    I haven’t heard anything official though and I doubt they’ll have a finalized plan for quite some time. I don’t anticipate anyone’s views will be blocked, but it’s hard to tell from the little I’ve seen so far. I guess we’ll just all have to wait and see!