After briefly wavering on the project, the Los Angeles City Council has moved to complete the long-awaited expansion of the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) in advance of the 2028 Summer Olympics.

On July 2, the City Council voted to construction project through a design-build model with private sector partners AEG and Plenary Group. The $1.4-billion expansion would include 190,000 square feet of new exhibit hall space, 55,000 square feet of meeting room space, and 95,000 square feet of multi-purpose space. At the exterior, the existing Gilbert Lindsay Plaza at Pico Boulevard and Figueroa Street would be renovated with new greenery and open space amenities.

Aerial view of the expanded Convention Center and Downtown Los AngelesPopulous

“Despite being in the second largest city in the United States, the LACC is currently a second-tier facility and we are losing out on business to other cities due to the constraints of the Convention Center," said City Tourism Department Doane Liu in a news release. "With this expansion, LACC will become a premier destination that is able to pursue larger events that bring visitors to L.A. who spend money at our local hotels, restaurants and attractions, adding additional revenue to the City’s General Fund.”

According to the City Tourism Department, the expansion is expected to draw more than $165 million in visitor spending each year, creating 7,445 temporary construction jobs and 2,147 permanent jobs.

In addition to AEG and Plenary Group, the project team also includes architecture firm Populous and general contractors PCL and Webcor.

Rendering of a redesigned Gilbert Lindsay Plaza at Pico and FigueroaOlin

By bridging over Pico Boulevard to connect the existing South and West Halls, the extension is intended to address what many have long considered the Convention Center's key shortcoming: a relative dearth of contiguous exhibition space. Numerous plans have been floated to expand the center over the past two decades, including a scuttled city-led project and an earlier proposal tied to a never-built NFL stadium. The current project will increase the total footprint of the Convention Center to more than 1 million square feet.

Construction of the project is expected to kick off in Spring 2025.

The project that is moving forward in 2024 differs in some ways from what was approved for the site in 2022. Notably, while AEG is still planning to add a 37-story, 861-room hotel tower to the neighboring J.W. Marriott complex, work on that expansion is being delayed until economic conditions improve. As a result, the Convention Center expansion will no longer include new parking garages at Cherry Street and Bond Street, as those facilities are no longer needed to support a larger hotel.

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