Los Angeles to Expand Conventions Center

Nighttime photo of the L.A. Live district in Los Angeles, CA
Nighttime photo of the L.A. Live district in Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles city officials have made critical initial-step approvals for a proposed $500 million transformation of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Part of an overall $1.25 billion project, LACC's total useable space would grow to more than 1.2 million square feet — including 250,000 square feet of meeting space and a 51,000-square-foot ballroom — with total contiguous exhibition space between the existing South and West Halls expanding to 750,000 square feet.

The public-private proposal also calls for a $700 million addition to the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live hotel on Olympic Boulevard. A 40-story tower with 850 rooms would be built just south of L.A. Live's Regal Cinemas complex, to be connected by pedestrian bridges to the existing JW Marriott and the West Hall of the convention facility.

Melding the expanded convention center with the new hotel tower, Staples Center and L.A. Live would create a 100-acre campus with multiple meeting spaces, lodging, theaters and restaurants, said Ted Fikre, vice chairman of Los Angeles entertainment giant Anschutz Entertainment Group, which operates the LACC and owns L.A. Live. "This is not just about competing with Anaheim, San Diego and San Francisco," he noted. "The bigger opportunity here is to create this unrivaled destination."

This past December, the city had thus far approved nearly $98 million for AEG's convention center/hotel project. AEG hopes to begin negotiations immediately to secure construction approvals so the expansion and hotel can be completed as early as 2021.