SAN FRANCISCO-Convention facility, Moscone Center, will beginthe first phase of the two-year $55-million renovation project nextmonth. Construction and cosmetic improvement work will betimetabled to avoid any disruption to the facility, according toJones Lang LaSalle, which was recently awarded project managementresponsibilities for the renovation.

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Built in 1981 and expanded in 1991 and again in 2003, the20-acre Moscone Center convention complex consists of three mainbuildings—Moscone North, South and West—totaling more than twomillion square feet and offering 740,000 square feet of meeting andexhibition space.
The renovation is being funded through a unique public-privatepartnership between the City of San Francisco and the San FranciscoTourism Improvement District Management Corp., a privately-fundedgroup formed by local hotels specifically to make improvements tothe Moscone Center and to promote tourism in SanFrancisco. The city is providing $35 million toward the totalcost of renovations with the SFTID generating an additional $20million through a self-assessment of San Francisco hotels.

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The initial renovation work being supervised by JLL andbeginning in August includes cosmetic improvements to the mainexhibit halls—A, B and C—and minor HVAC work in the North meetingrooms. A second phase of work is slated to begin in December withcosmetic upgrades to selected restrooms to bring them intocompliance with the American Disabilities Act. The second phasewill also include renovation of meeting rooms in Moscone North. JLLtells GlobeSt.com that the renovation is planned to be completed inOctober 2012.

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Data cited by the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureausuggest that more than a third of visitors attend a convention ormeeting in the city and Moscone Center is by far the biggest venuefor such meetings. MosconeCenter has hosted major national meetings such asMacWorld, OpenWorld and Oracle’s national convention as well asmajor West Coast events such as the Pacific Coast BuildersConference.

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“In 2009, San Francisco welcomed 15.4 million visitors, whichrepresents a 5.8% decrease from 2008. Visitor spending was $7.8billion, a decrease of 7.8% from the previous year,” says DanKelleher, chair of the San Francisco Tourism Improvement District,in a prepared statement. “The renovation of Moscone Center will bea critical component to attracting new and repeat conventionbusiness to San Francisco by providing an enhanced delegateexperience.”
According to Steven Kahn, senior vice president and regionaloperations manager with JLL’s project and development servicesgroup in Northern California, “Moscone Center is an integral partof San Francisco’s biggest economic driver—tourism—and thisforward-thinking program promoted by the City and SFTID is criticalfor maintaining the facility’s competitiveness in the comingyears.” Kahn adds that in addition to the phased renovation of thefacility, JLL would also be looking at ways to “improve theconvention center’s energy efficiency making Moscone moresustainable and paving the way for LEED certification during futurephases of improvement to the facility.”

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of GlobeSt.com and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses GlobeSt.com, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for GlobeSt.com. Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, FashionLedge.com, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including MSNBC.com and Museums New York magazine.