This Just In

San Francisco Approves Hotel District to Fund Moscone Center Expansion

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR

San Francisco, CA – Plans to expand Moscone Center took a major step forward when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved the establishment of special assessment district that will provide the lion’s share of funding for the $500 million project.

The Moscone Expansion District (MED), which was approved unanimously February 5, will begin charging hotel assessments in July and get the ball rolling on construction that is scheduled to begin in November 2014. The expansion is estimated to be completed in 2018.

The MED will provide approximately two-thirds of the expansion budget. The city’s general fund will pony up the rest, which tourism leaders said was a good investment that would generate jobs and revenue.

“San Francisco has already lost meetings representing $2 billion in direct spending as a result of space limitations for meetings with dates between 2010 and 2019,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association. “The existing three-building configuration of Moscone Center is effectively filled to capacity, so it is impossible to significantly grow the San Francisco convention market without providing additional meeting and exhibit space.”

The annual assessments for the hotels within in the MED will range from 0.31% to 0.50% of gross room revenues and will be collected for 32 years. The revenues will be used to finance bonds for the expansion.

The expansion will add approximately 350,000 to 400,000 square feet to the Moscone complex, including around 80,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space.

Moscone Center, ranked No. 31 on the Trade Show Executive World’s Top Convention Centers roster, currently provides 442,000 square feet of prime exhibit space and 160,000 square feet of meeting rooms in the North and South buildings.  Moscone West, which is kitty-corner from the other two buildings, offers 296,092 square feet of exhibit space and 199,432 square feet of meeting space.

Reach Joe D’Alessandro at (415) 974-6900 or jdalessandro@sfcvb.com