SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Governor Brian Kemp and local leaders officially broke ground on the Savannah Convention Center Expansion Project Wednesday. It’s a project that’s been years in the making.
The doors at the convention center have been closed to conventions for the last year because of the ongoing pandemic. Governor Kemp said this is a big win that will help pump millions of dollars back into Savannah’s local economy.
Since the Savannah Convention Center opened in 2000 the demand for a larger space has grown.
“As Savannah continues to grow into one of the most popular visitor designated destinations in this country, the expanded convention center will give us the opportunity to host even larger events,” Savannah Mayor Van Johnson said. “All of this is happening during a pandemic. That means that we are absolutely Savannah strong.”
The project dates back to 2017 when the Georgia General Assembly allocated the initial funding for the planning and design of the convention center expansion.
“I would be interested to know how many states or communties around the country are expanding convention centers right now, but I bet it’s not many. It shows our resilency, it shows our optimism, it shows we are the number one state in the country for business,” Kemp said.
The $271 million dollar expansion project will double the current exhibit hall space to 200,000
square feet, add a 58-foot-wide glass hangar door, construct a 40,000 square foot ballroom,
add 15 additional meeting rooms and a 900-space on-site parking garage. These additions will
make the Savannah Convention Center capable of accommodating larger, more complex events
Once the project is complete, the Savannah Convention Center will be in the top 100 largest convention centers in the country.
“There’s so much hope with this expansion on this facility, so much hope in this city and this area of our state that I’ve been so proud to work with people down here on the ground,” Kemp said.
The city has already heard from several CEOs that say they plan to bring large conventions back to the Hostess City.
Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2023.