by Lisa A. Grimaldi | December 02, 2015

Plans are in the works to expand Orlando's Orange County Convention Center by adding nearly two acres of conference rooms, a 1,500-space parking garage, a 130,000-square-foot multipurpose hall with seating for 12,000 and other features to enhance the nation's largest convention facility, according to press reports.

"When we look at what the competition is doing, they are clearly making investments in their venues," said Carla Bell Johnson, manager of strategic planning and development for the OCCC, during a presentation to city commissioners. "We have a need to continue to reinvent ourselves so that we can remain competitive within the market." The expansion would turn an outdoor elevated walkway between the north and south concourses into an air-conditioned connector featuring 80,000 square feet of meeting rooms, including a ballroom for larger gatherings. The center also is considering adding sculptures and other public art to better identify its multiple concourses, along with a covered outdoor plaza and small cafés.