Convention Center Construction in Broward Stalls During COVID Pandemic

While one portion of the redesigned convention center is set to finish in 2021, the rest of the project has no end date

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If you drive in Fort Lauderdale often or even once in a while, you’ll notice the Broward County Convention Center doesn’t quite look the same.

It turns out it will look incomplete for a while longer.

“The pandemic basically shook the confidence of the funding market," said Alan Cohen, the assistant Broward County administrator.

The convention center’s $900 million renovation is on hold. The project was set to be complete in 2023.

“The east expansion, hotel, the plaza and new CVD building, even the convention visitors bureau are all put on hold,” said Cohen. “Our intent all along was to issue bonds for the project. Because of the unknown long-term impacts on tourism and hospitality, it was not looking kindly upon tourism related projects."

Although the project is indefinitely stalled due to the pandemic, the western expansion of the convention center has already started and is planned to continue and finish in October.

“Now that the industry has rebounded, it’s clear that the general public wants to travel, is starting to attend meetings and confidence has risen significantly in those funding markets,” said Cohen.

Developers broke ground in May of 2019. The redevelopment project includes construction of 350,000 square feet of exhibition space, nearly 132,000 square feet of ball room space and a massive 800 room hotel.

Cohen said he can’t say when construction will begin again. However, you can bet the timeline of the project will definitely shift.

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