by Elise Schoening | September 20, 2019

The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority has voted unanimously to approve the sale of the Hynes Convention Center in Boston in order to fund the expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, according to the Boston Herald. The plan was proposed by Gov. Charlie Baker earlier this week and is now awaiting legislative approval. 

The Hynes, which is located in Boston's Back Bay, would need $200 million in maintenance over the next 10 years. Rather than invest in its upkeep, the MCCA plans to sell the facility to the city of Boston for redevelopment and use the proceeds to fund an expansion of the BCEC. A 12-acre parcel of land behind the exhibition center that is not needed for the expansion would also be sold to Boston. 

The move aims to transform the BCEC, which is in the city's Seaport district, into Boston's central hub of convention business. The expansion would add 200,000 square feet to the venue, including a 100,000-square-foot exhibition hall, a 60,500-square-foot ballroom and 44,000 square feet of meeting space.

"As Boston continues to serve as a regional hub for economic activity and growth, the state's proposal presents a new opportunity to expand the convention center and bring a significant piece of land back to Boston, benefiting the South Boston Waterfront and city overall," said Boston Mayor Martin Walsh.

The plan is expected to cost $700 million less than a larger expansion plan for BCEC that had been approved by the legislature in 2014, but was later suspended by Baker over financing concerns. The previous plan did not include selling the Hynes.