PORTLAND-The 105,000-sf expansion of the Oregon Convention Center will begin in February thanks to voters who last week defeated a statewide ballot measure that threatened the $100 million project’s revenue-bond financing plan. Construction is expected to begin in February and last 25 months.

The project includes adding ballroom and meeting space on an existing surface parking lot, which would be moved underground. Bonds to pay for the project will be repaid with an increase in hotel and car rental taxes. The project is expected to dramatically increase hotel stays, which is good news for area hoteliers who have seen a glut of new hotel space dilute area vacancy rates and cause the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to christen the region “at risk” of overbuilding its hotel rooms.

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