Orange County looks at $500M expansion to convention center
Florida– Orange County officials have been discussing the expansion of the Orange County Convention Center since 2014. The county hired a Missouri-based architecture company to conduct a feasibility study and recommendations included a parking garage, shuttle system and better connector between the North and South concourse. Expanding the 2.1 million square foot exhibition floor space and recommendations would cost nearly $500 million. The timeline for completion is four-and-a-half years, but convention center organizers and board members want to speed up the construction time.
The expansion could help draw 25 new events a year, or 250,000 people, according to the convention center’s estimates. The county’s tourist-development tax would pay for the proposed convention center expansion. The 6 percent surcharge on hotels and motels, which generated about $240 million last year, has caused county and city officials to sometimes be at odds with how to spend the money. Under the plan, a multi-purpose venue with 200,000 square feet of open space for trade shows and 40,000 square feet for meeting space would be added onto the North-South Building’s east side. On the opposite side of the building, a project known as Convention Way Grand Concourse would expand 60,000 square feet for ballroom space as well as 40,000 square feet for meeting rooms. It would also create an enclosed walkway for people to travel in between the north and south concourses.