March 24, 2004

Last Thursday, the city council of Kansas City, Mo., unanimously voted to issue $18 million in bonds for renovating and expanding the Bartle Hall convention center. The bonds will be the first issued in a series to help finance the $197.6 million plan. "The Bartle project is one element in a variety of projects that will put Kansas City back on the convention map," said a spokesperson for the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Kansas City. For instance, a new, 40,000-square-foot ballroom will be constructed, and plans call for new meeting facilities, kitchens and carpets; upgraded technology; and the refurbishment of Bartle Hall's exterior.

In Philadelphia, Mayor John F. Street's five-year plan for the city, announced March 18, outlines a $500 million economic development fund to help improve waterfront areas along the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers. By May, a developer will be chosen for Penn's Landing, the waterfront area on the east side of Center City. The mayor also voiced his support of a plan to expand the Pennsylvania Convention Center, but added he expects the state - not the city - to pay for it.