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Completion of San Francisco’s Moscone Center Expansion Gives Plenty to Celebrate

01/03/19
$551 million expansion provides increased capacity and public amenities, will help San Francisco’s tourism and hospitality industries meet growing demand

San Francisco, CA— Mayor London N. Breed today joined elected officials, City departments, tourism and hospitality industry leaders, and community representatives to celebrate the completion of the $551 million Moscone Expansion Project. More than 1,000 people attended the opening and toured the expanded North & South buildings.

“The new Moscone Center is a world-class facility for a world-class city,” said Mayor London Breed. “With the completion of this expansion, San Francisco is taking a major step to support and expand our tourism industry, while also serving residents in the surrounding area. This stateof-the-art facility exemplifies our commitment to sustainability, creates new flexible-use convention and tourism spaces, and supports the neighborhood with a host of new design and open-space improvements.”

Mayor Breed announced the rededication of the Moscone Center campus in honor of Mayor George Moscone, and the dedication of the South Lobby in honor of the late Mayor Edwin M. Lee, which includes a plaque recognizing the Mayor Edwin M. Lee South Lobby.

The Moscone Center has hosted some of the most important conventions and product announcements in recent memory, providing the space and amenities for businesses and organizations from the United States and beyond to celebrate their achievements and anticipate the future. Some of these include Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce conference, Oracle’s annual Oracle OpenWorld convention, the Game Developers Conference, and groundbreaking medical conferences.

“It is important that San Francisco stay competitive with expanded and upgraded convention facilities. This project has achieved that,” said Joe D’Alessandro, President and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association. “Our two main goals have been to create contiguous space and flexibility for the Moscone Center. Now we have a brand-new center with state-of-the-art everything.”

EXHIBIT SPACE: The construction, which was completed in phases over four years, added 157,000 sq. ft. of usable space but the benefits are much greater than that figure. The Moscone Center now offers 504,914 sq. ft. of contiguous space (before expansion, the largest contiguous space was 260,000 sq. ft.) and has a new 49,776 sq. ft. column-free ballroom.

MEETING SPACE: Moscone North and South now offer 82 meeting rooms, bringing the total for all three Moscone Center buildings (North, South and West) to, 114 flexible meeting rooms. Other additions include 107,000 sq. ft. of light-filled pre-function lobbies with dramatic views of the city and surrounding Yerba Buena Gardens and 25,000 sq. ft. of secure outdoor terraces with spectacular views; ideal for receptions. The Moscone Center now has a total of 1,139,775 sq. ft. of usable space in Moscone South, North and West combined, including lobbies, terraces, exposition and meeting space.

SUSTAINABILITY: The new Moscone Center North & South complex is designed to meet LEED Platinum certification, and has the lowest carbon footprint per delegate of any major convention center in North America. It also has the largest rooftop solar panel array in San Francisco, which will provide the center with approximately 20 percent of its power. In addition, 15 million gallons of water will be recovered annually for reuse in landscaping, street cleaning and toilet flushing, and recycling and composting take place facility-wide at “zero waste stations”located in all public spaces.

ECONOMIC IMPACT: Convention activities help drive general hotel tax revenues for the City, which were anticipated to provide approximately $375 million of General Fund revenues in Fiscal Year 2018-19 budget. The expansion is also anticipated to create nearly 1,000 permanent jobs in San Francisco.

“The expansion of Moscone Center will have a lasting and positive impact on San Francisco’s economy,” said City Administrator Naomi Kelly. “In addition to the tax revenue and permanent jobs created, the expansion will provide new public spaces and pedestrian enhancements, weaving the Moscone Center into the surrounding neighborhood.”

COMMUNITY AMENITIES: The project implemented a number of urban design, streetscape and pedestrian safety changes that were designed to improve Moscone Center’s connection to the surrounding Yerba Buena neighborhood. The changes include wider sidewalks, open-air plazas, four additional public art installations, and enhanced landscaping and family-friendly play spaces to create a safer and more inviting neighborhood for residents and visitors.

“San Francisco understands that we must be responsible and forward-thinking when it comes to water use,” said San Francisco Public Utilities Commission General Manager Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. “The expanded Moscone Center, which will save as much as 15 million gallons of water a year through its new water reuse system, is a perfect example of that innovative spirit.”

PUBLIC ART: San Francisco requires that budgets for new public buildings and civic improvements set aside two percent of gross construction costs for the procurement and installation of public art in their spaces. The San Francisco Arts Commission commissioned light artist Leo Villareal’s “Point Cloud” for the enclosed pedestrian bridge across Howard Street; Sarah Sze’s series of sculptures “Double Horizon” for the Park Bridge, spanning Howard Street; Christine Corday for “Genesis,”a large outdoor sculpture on the north side of Howard Street; and Brendan Monroe for a large-scale mural, “Roll,” on the Paseo Gallery wall. All artists were selected through a competitive public process and approved by the San Francisco Arts Commission. The Arts Commission also reinstalled works already in the Moscone collection, including the beloved sculpture, “Three Dancing Figures” by Keith Haring, reinstalled on the south side of Howard Street.

Tourism is San Francisco’s largest industry. San Francisco Travel is forecasting record levels of visitor volume and spending for 2018. This is the ninth year in a row that the destination has surpassed the previous year’s totals.

The destination marketing organization is projecting a total of 26.1 million visitors to the city for 2018, up 2.4 percent over 25.5 million in 2017. Total spending by visitors is projected to reach $9.4 billion. This is up 3.6 percent over $9.1 billion in 2017.

The Moscone Center expansion is a partnership between the City and County of San Francisco and the San Francisco Tourism Improvement District Management Corporation.

The architects are Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) in association with Mark Cavagnero Associates.

The construction contractor is Webcor Builders.

Project management and construction management are by San Francisco Public Works and the San Francisco Tourism Improvement District Management Corporation (SFTIDMC).

The Moscone Expansion project follows a number of smaller renovations to the facility. In 2008, the City entered into a public-private partnership agreement with San Francisco Travel and the newly established San Francisco Tourism Improvement District (TID) to undertake a $56 million facelift of the existing Moscone interiors, including improving bathrooms, wayfinding, carpeting, movable walls, digital displays and other interior aesthetics. Following the completion of the initial renovations, the City explored future uses of the space. As a result, in 2012 and 2013, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development led negotiations to establish the public-private
Moscone Expansion District (MED) partnership to fund the new $551 million renovation and expansion. The expansion project was funded through a combination of MED hotel revenue assessment and the City’s General Fund.

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