San Diego Business Journal

Convention Center Plan Ready for Public Review

By Lou Hirsh Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Port of San Diego has completed a report on the environmental impacts of the proposed San Diego Convention Center expansion and hotel project.

A public hearing on the report will be held Sept. 19, at the regular Board of Port Commissioners meeting, according to a port district statement. The environmental report is also on the port’s website, portofsandiego.org.

The final environmental impact report summarizes possible impacts of constructing the project, including impacts on parking, noise, geology and soils, water and air quality. It also lists proposed measures to mitigate those impacts.

San Diego city and port officials are in the process of finalizing financing plans for the proposed $520 million convention center expansion, with the bulk of costs expected to be paid by local hoteliers through room rate assessments.

The project includes the addition of approximately 220,150 square feet of exhibit hall space, 101,500 square feet of meeting rooms and 78,470 square feet of ballroom space to the existing convention center. Also proposed are a rooftop park and plaza, retail areas and a relocated water transportation center.

Separately, operators of the next-door Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel have proposed a second building that would add a maximum of 500 guest rooms, with additional ballroom and meeting facilities. The Hilton’s owners would finance the expansion.

— Lou Hirsh