July 21, 2015
A $1.4 billion convention center expansion plan is in the works for the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle, according to the Seattle Times. Construction could begin in the first half of 2017, with the facility opening in 2020.

The project would more than double the complex's existing function areas, adding about 440,000 square feet of usable space and underground parking for up to 800 vehicles. Last year, the 414,722-square-foot convention center hosted 44 events for out-of-town groups, drawing 126,000 attendees who spent an estimated $309.7 million on the area's hotels, restaurants and other services. Officials believe the project could help attract an additional 20 to 25 more conventions a year that they are unable to book now due to lack of space.

At least 11 hotels with nearly 3,300 rooms are under construction or expect to break ground in the Seattle area soon. The influx of new business could help fill rooms and boost revenues for these new hotel properties.

The public will have a chance to comment on the designs for the proposed expansion this evening.