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Dallas Convention Center to Enter Phase One of Construction

Construction to begin in 2024 with new developer.

By Amy Durham

airy lobby of a convention center in Dallas
Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center lobby || Courtesy of City of Dallas

The Dallas city council has granted a $71 million contract to the developer who will oversee the initial phase of the extensive expansion project for the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center located in downtown Dallas. The initial phase will begin in late 2024. Sections of the current convention center are expected to remain operational during the construction period.

Inspire Dallas, a consortium spearheaded by Matthews Southwest, Kaizen Development, and Azteca Enterprises, will manage the first part of the project, which encompasses the expansion of the convention center, the construction of a deck park over an adjacent downtown stretch of Interstate Highway 30, and the demolition of the existing center.

As plans become more detailed, the city announced that the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center expansion plan encompasses 170,000 square feet of ballroom space, 260,000 square feet of meeting rooms, and 800,000 square feet of exhibit space. In addition, construction will include comprehensive accessibility features for visitors with various disabilities, including mobility, hearing, or visual impairments.

Matthews Southwest, known for previous successful Dallas projects, such as the Omni Hotel, Gilley’s, South Side on Lamar, and the Canvas Hotel, has collaborated with the City of Dallas on workforce housing development. Inspire Dallas comprises a consortium of 28 subcontractors, with a notable 75 percent being local Dallas enterprises and over half identified as Minority and Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE).

In 2022, the Dallas City Council greenlit plans for an expanded 2.5-million-square-foot convention center, which subsequently appeared as a ballot measure in the November 2022 election and received approval from voters.