AEG proposes $1.2-billion expansion of L.A. Convention Center and JW Marriott hotel
The last time the Los Angeles Convention Center was expanded in 1997, the Lakers were still playing in Inglewood and Richard Riordan had just won a second term as mayor.
Since then, as other cities have upgraded their facilities, plans to enlarge the L.A. center have gone nowhere — to the point tourism officials say Los Angeles loses as much as $1 billion annually in convention business.
Now, the operator of the Los Angeles Convention Center is proposing a $1.2-billion expansion that would involve a public-private partnership and add hundreds of nearby hotel rooms.
Los Angeles entertainment giant Anschutz Entertainment Group sent city officials a letter late Monday outlining the proposal, which would require city tax incentives and has already received preliminary support from Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Councilman Curren Price, whose district includes the convention center.
The plan calls for adding as much as 350,000 square feet to the South Figueroa Street center, giving it more than 1.2 million square feet of space, including 250,000 square feet of meeting rooms.
The $500-million addition would result in about 800,000 square feet of contiguous exhibition space, a key measure that would make it more competitive with other big convention venues in the country.
The proposal separately calls for a $700-million addition to the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live hotel on Olympic Boulevard. A 40-story hotel tower with 850 rooms would be built just south of L.A. Live's Regal cinemas complex and would be connected by pedestrian bridges to the existing JW Marriott and the West Hall of the convention center.
Gilbert Lindsay Plaza, currently used as a bus and car drop-off point near the West Hall entrance, would be redeveloped into a landscaped garden and event space that could be used for outdoor exhibitions and receptions. Bus loading would be moved to Pico Boulevard.