by Sarah J.F. Braley and Lisa A. Grimaldi | March 01, 2017
> Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York City

Manhattan's West Side is in the midst of a metamorphosis, gradually transforming a once-gritty area into a vibrant neighborhood anchored by Hudson Yards, an ambitious residential, retail and dining development slated for completion in 2025. 
In the heart of this terrain is the Javits Convention Center, which will soon undergo a transformation of its own; in February, the state of New York selected a designer/builder and final plans for a long-awaited $1.5 billion expansion. At press time, a completion date had not been announced.

"This expansion will unlock the center's true potential as an international hub of business, politics and pop culture and as an economic engine for the state," says Tony Sclafani, senior vice president and chief communications officer for the facility.

The project will add 90,000 square feet of designated exhibit space, which will be combined with existing space to create a 500,000-square-foot exhibition hall on a single floor, as well as 45,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting space and a 55,000-square-foot ballroom - the largest of its kind in the New York region. Currently, the center has 840,000 square feet of exhibit space and 102 meeting rooms.

 The Javits Center's 6.75-acre green roof, which is a sanctuary for area wildlife, home to 17 bird species, five bat species and 300,000 honeybees, will be expanded to add a rooftop event terrace and pavilion that will accommodate up to 1,500 attendees.
Other key components of the project include the construction of an on-site truck garage and a marshaling, loading and storage facility to expedite the event move-in/move-out process. "By relocating these vehicles, we will increase the efficiency of our operations while improving area traffic flow and pedestrian safety," notes Sclafani.

> Moscone Center, San Francisco

Now undergoing a $500 million expansion (see San Francisco Hotels Look Elsewhere for Business as Moscone Expansion Causes Cancellations for additional details), Moscone Center kept its primary clients -- tech firms and medical groups -- in mind when reimagining its new layout and concept. The work, expected to last through the end of 2018, will turn the facility from a "big box space" into a university or Silicon Valley-style campus, complete with outdoor terraces, flexible spaces, breakout areas and hubs, according to John Reyes, executive vice president and chief sales officer for San Francisco Travel. 

The expansion also will allow Moscone to host simultaneous events. "Our success is not just determined by rooms nights booked, but by the number of events booked," explains Reyes. "Some of our annual meetings are growing and need all three center buildings; the expansion will allow them to use two buildings, North and South, so West can host another event."  

The blueprint for meeting these modern needs includes the creation of 509,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space; the expansion of the Moscone North and South lobbies; the addition of a pedestrian bridge connecting North and South; a reconfiguration of open public spaces, and the addition of outdoor event spaces with city views.

Plans also call for new retail space and restaurants on the streets around Moscone that can be enjoyed by locals and attendees alike. "People forget that there's a whole community that lives around the center," notes Reyes.

> Anaheim Convention Center

With its 813,000 square feet of exhibit space, the Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center is one of the largest such facilities on the West Coast. It's latest expansion (of seven since the center opened in 1967) will add 200,000 square feet of sorely needed flexible space that can be used for exhibits, meetings and banquets, as well as a new climate-controlled connection to the second level of the existing center expansion. 

The project's primary objective is to accommodate the growing need of groups -- particularly in the corporate, tech and medical segments -- for meeting space. Current clients that use just two or three of the center's five exhibit halls typically need all of its meeting space, leaving the unused exhibit halls without space for meetings and therefore hard to fill with simultaneous events. 

When the latest expansion debuts this fall, the Southern California facility will have 360,000 square feet of flexible meeting space.