Los Angeles Convention Center

Los Angeles Convention Center

Anschutz Entertainment Group has proposed a $1.2 billion expansion of the Los Angeles Convention Center that would add as much as 350,000 square feet to the facility, including 250,000 square feet of meeting rooms.

AEG sent city officials a letter on May 7 detailing the proposals, according to the Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Councilman Curren Price, whose district includes the convention center, have given their preliminary support of the plan, the Times reported.

The aging, undersized facility at 1201 S. Figueroa St. in downtown Los Angeles was first built in 1971 and then was renovated in 1997.

AEG also called for a $700 million addition to the nearby JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live hotel, with a 40-story hotel structure with 850 rooms that would be connected to the existing JW Marriott and West Hall of the convention center by pedestrian bridges.

The company also plans to demolish a parking structure on L.A. Live Way and replace it with a larger structure that could hold more than 2,000 vehicles.

AEG told city officials it hopes to complete the expansion and new hotel tower by 2021, once construction approvals have been secured, the Times reported. Development rights acquired during AEG’s last convention center expansion plan, for the never-built pro football stadium Farmers Field, could accelerate the project’s completion.

If approved, the plan would boost the total floor space at the convention center to more than 1.2 million square feet.

By comparison, the Las Vegas Convention Center has 2 million square feet of space and plans to add 1.4 million square feet to its facility. Chicago’s McCormick Place has 2.6 million square feet of space. The Anaheim Convention Center last year added 200,000 square feet to boost its to boost its exhibit space to more than 1 million square feet.

Civic leaders have complained that the city loses as much as $1 billion per year because the current facility is poorly laid out and too small to attract large-scale conventions and trade shows, the Times reported.

Real estate reporter Ciaran McEvoy can be reached at cmcevoy@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 556-8337.