The Austin Convention Center is taking a crucial step in an ambitious redevelopment and expansion plan. In May, the convention center put out a call for a professional design and engineering firm through a request for qualifications solicitation. The goal is to transform the convention center into a world-class facility that caters to the growing demand from larger conventions and meeting groups seeking to gather in the vibrant city of Austin. The aim is to nearly double the rentable space from the current 376,000 square feet to ensure the convention center remains competitive in the marketplace.
With a larger convention center, the estimated annual economic impact is expected to soar to more than $750 million, a significant increase from the current $468 million. This growth will ideally attract more meetings and events to Austin, contributing to job opportunities within the thriving hospitality industry. Building closure, demolition, and construction activities are slated to commence in 2025, with the grand reopening of the expanded facility scheduled for 2029. The estimated project cost of $1.6 billion is fully funded by the Austin Convention Center’s allocation from the municipal Hotel Occupancy Tax and Austin Convention Center revenue.
Maintaining the iconic nature of the Austin Convention Center is paramount in this redevelopment, so the project will integrate the exterior of the building seamlessly into the surrounding Palm District.