First and foremost…Downtown San Diego is a convention city and Mayor Jerry Sanders has set forth a plan to finance the expansion of the San Diego Convention Center located along the San Diego Bay in the Marina District.
The Mayor is asking hoteliers to contribute $30 million a year towards the expansion of what has become a San Diego landmark. The expansion is anticipated to cost $550 million including $115 million to cover unforeseen cost increases. The annual cost to pay off 30 year bonds is estimated to be between $35 million and $38million. The projected annual revenue is between $28 million and $30million from proposed hotel surcharges ranging from a 1 to 3 percent surcharge to room rates depending on the hotel’s proximity to the convention center. Also being considered are surcharges from restaurants and taxis. 961,187 square feet would be added to the existing 1,762,876 square feet. 225,000 square feet would be added to the exhibit space 100,101 square feet would be allocated to meeting rooms 80,000 square feet would go for a new ballroom.
Also being considered is a $40 million pedestrian bridge from the center to the Gaslamp District which is the heart of Downtown’s entertainment and restaurant area. Naturally there is debate amongst hoteliers especially those not in proximity to the Downtown districts as to the benefit they might receive from the proposed expansion, and there are additional questions about how the remaining funds needed for the expansion will be raised.
To read the San Diego Union Tribune’s article click on Hotels asked to pay $30m a year for convention center expansion and to read 92101 Urban Living’s former blogs about the expansion click on Hotels to Help Finance Expansion of the San Diego Convention Center and Lead Architect Selected for the Downtown San Diego Convention Center Expansion. ')}