Phoenix Tops Out Convention Center’s North Building

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Phoenix, AZ – A traditional topping-out ceremony was held in Phoenix on Monday to mark the placement of the uppermost steel girder of the new North Building at the Phoenix Convention Center. The expansion will boost exhibit and meeting space to nearly 900,000 square feet, roughly triple the capacity of the current building.

Mayor Phil Gordon presided over the ceremony held on a typical bright day in the Valley of the Sun after which the iron workers, welders and other hardhats got back to business to keep the $600 million expansion on track for completion in December.

“With this building, we will go from being able to host 50% of the nation’s conventions to being able to host 80% of the nation’s conventions,” the mayor enthused. “Instead of bringing in 125,000 delegates a year, we can bring in 325,000 delegates.”

The North Building will bring the Phoenix Convention Center up to nearly 900,000 square feet of exhibit and meeting space. This is roughly triple the capacity of the current building’s  220,000 square feet of exhibit space and  82,000 square feet of meeting space. The expansion will also give show organizers three new ballrooms, an upgraded audio-visual infrastructure, and environmentally-friendly features such as solar panels and a water-harvesting garden.

The center will be accessible by light-rail and served by a new 1,000-room Sheraton hotel.

The first event in the new hall is scheduled for January 2009. The facility is also booked for festivities surrounding the National Basketball Association All-Star Game.

Reach Jay Green, director, at (602) 262-6225 or jay.green@phoenix.gov