Plans Unveiled for Fort Lauderdale's Convention Center Expansion

The Broward County Convention Center will surpass the 1 million square foot mark by 2021

Plans were unveiled this week for the forthcoming expansion of Fort Lauderdale's Broward County Convention Center.

Scheduled to begin next year and open in 2021, the plan adds more than 400,000 square feet of space to the currently 600,000-square-foot facility, as well as an 800-room, four-diamond headquarters hotel. Both the new meeting and exhibition space and the hotel will be environmentally friendly, with LEED Gold certification planned.

The new facilities and hotel are part of a larger, $700 million renewal of the convention center district, which also includes the creation of a new transit hub and visitors' center. There is also a multibillion-dollar expansion of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport underway, and another of the Port Everglades cruise terminal in the approval stage.  

"This is significant news for the future growth of the destination," said Stacy Ritter, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, in a statement. "The new facilities, especially an on-site hotel, puts us in a lead position with the meetings industry. Our success in hosting many events and conventions annually will be amplified with new infrastructure and resources that meet the needs of the meeting, event, and association planner and attendee of the future."  

The Convention Center work will add 68,000 square feet of ground-floor exhibition space and 65,000 square feet of ballroom space, including a new, 14,000-square-foot ballroom and 20 more breakout spaces. The new, 22-story headquarters hotel will have another 83,000 square feet of meeting space, attached to the Convention Center north building. It will be located on the Intracoastal waterway and offer sweeping ocean views.