LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) AEG has proposed a $1.2 billion expansion so the JW Marriott hotel at LA Live and the Los Angeles Convention Center, which would be the first expansion to the facility since 1997.
LA officials say that the city loses as much as $1 billion a year in convention business, according to the Los Angeles Times. The expansion would a public-private partnership and add hundreds of nearby hotel rooms, according to the paper.
AEG, which operates the convention center, sent a letter to city officials on Monday with a plan that would add as much as 350,000 square feet to the convention center, including 250,000 square feet of meeting rooms, the Times said. The plan, which has already received preliminary support from Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Councilman Curren Price, would give the LA Convention Center an overall space of 1.2 million square feet.
The expansion would cost $500 million and require city tax incentives. The $700 million expansion of the nearby Marriott would involve a 40-story hotel tower with 850 rooms that would connect to the West Hall of the convention center via pedestrian bridges, according to the paper. The overall expansion would increase AEG’s L.A. Live entertainment center to 100 acres.
“This is not just about competing with Anaheim, San Diego and San Francisco,” AEG Vice Chairman Ted Fikre told the Times. “The bigger opportunity here is to create this unrivaled destination.”
City officials have long complained about the lack of convention space needed to draw major events to the facility. AEG considered an expansion when it proposed the Farmers Field football stadium that would have been built across the street from LA Live, but those plans feel apart.
“We want it completed by 2022 at the latest,” Garcetti told the paper. “Tourism is one of our huge success stories, but we have been playing with one hand tied behind our back.”
Even with the expansion, the convention center would be too small to hold events like the massive Consumer Electronics Show, which uses the Las Vegas Convention Center and the meeting spaces at several hotels, the Times noted.