Renovation for Miami Beach Convention Center halfway complete

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - The Miami Beach Convention Center’s renovation is about 50 percent complete, according to city and project leaders.

The upcoming new and improved center was described by officials as “on time and on budget,” and is expected to be completed by fall 2018.

“We expect to host the most unbelievable conferences and conventions you can imagine from all over the world,” said City of Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine wearing a hardhat and vest at the center’s construction site.

During a Tuesday morning tour, Levine called the facility a game changer. “There’s nothing like this in South Florida. I think this is something which is so spectacular and so different,” he said.

Though a lot of new construction is taking place, some of the project has also included renovating the existing convention center while still hosting 11 events in 2017. The center is expected to host 18 events in 2018.

“That’s one of the unique parts of this project, the fact that we’re in business while we’re doing construction,” said the city’s Project Director Maria Hernandez.

Hernandez said the $615 million project, funded by county and municipal bonds, sits on a 25 acre site.

When construction is completed, the center will be home to multiple ballrooms, meeting rooms and plenty of green space.

“It’s going to be completely transformational to this neighborhood,” she said.

Hernandez and Levine said the property will drive business to local hotels and restaurants in Miami Beach and will have two storm water pumps on the property that will be working for the surrounding neighborhoods during heavy rain.

It was harsh rain from the week before that caused about $450,000 worth of damage to the building. The mayor said it was not enough to knock them off track.

“That’s nothing. I mean, can you imagine if you’re renovating your house, and all of a sudden a massive storm comes? Chances are you’re going to have a little drywall damage, and things like that, which we did as well,” he said. “This building is state of the art in all areas.”

There are about 700 employees currently on site, but that number is expected to grow as construction moves further along.

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