by Michael J. Shapiro | October 01, 2017

Local Update

 The San Jose McEnery Convention Center wrapped up a $22 million renovation project last month, bringing major upgrades to the lighting capabilities and audiovisual infrastructure in the exhibit halls. The project pushes the envelope for convention center technology: A new 4K lighting chip -- a flexible, warm daylight tone -- was developed specifically for the venue, as was a custom Meyer Sound configuration. The new setup allows unprecedented control for show producers in the venue, down to automated, remote control over individual lights and speakers. The ceiling of the exhibit halls was removed as well, greatly increasing the efficiency in show turnover and facilitating complicated rigging requirements.

 The Bay Area is about to get even better connected, thanks to the Silicon Valley Extension project, introducing Bay Area Rapid Transit service to San Jose. Phase I of the project, slated to debut in June 2018, will consist of the 10-mile, two-station Berryessa Extension -- bringing BART from Fremont through Milpitas and down to the Berryessa area north of San Jose. Phase II, scheduled to wrap up in 2026, will add a 5-mile subway tunnel through downtown San Jose, ending in Santa Clara near the Caltrain station.

 The 805-room Fairmont San Jose revealed the renovated guest rooms in its South Tower earlier this year, with new carpeting, furniture and more. The property's 67,000 square feet of meeting space also has been refreshed. Still to come are upgrades to the South Tower's banquet rooms and the Club Regent, to be completed later this year.

 A 173-room Kimpton hotel will be part of the new Museum Place development, one block from the convention center. The hotel, Kimpton's first in the city, is expected to open in mid-2021. Museum Place also will consist of a 54,000-square-foot expansion to the Tech Museum of Innovation, along with residential units, retail space, restaurants and office space.