Mar 11, 2024 - News

Planned location of new Dallas convention center to move

A convention center with big glass windows

The exterior of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, which will change a lot soon. Photo: Juan Figueroa-Pool/Getty Images

The planned location of the new $3 billion Dallas convention center will be moved slightly to accommodate widening Interstate 30 and updates to railway lines.

Why it matters: Downtown Dallas will look vastly different by the 2030s — with the new convention center, updated highways and possible construction on high-speed rail.

The latest: The new configuration of the convention center would put it closer to the former Dallas Morning News building in the southwest corner of downtown, per a Dallas City Council briefing.

  • Shifting the building deeper into downtown won't affect the planned square footage or orientation of the center, which will have entrances facing north and south.

Catch up fast: In November 2022, voters approved adding 2% to the city's hotel occupancy tax to pay for bonds to build an updated Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

  • A project management firm was hired in September to oversee the development.
  • The convention center development is expected to be integrated with a plan to build a deck park over I-30.
  • City officials plan to hire a firm in June to begin the 18-month design process for the convention center project.

Between the lines: Rejoining downtown to southern Dallas is a key goal of the new convention center design, railway expansion and I-30 updates.

By the numbers: The convention business rebounded faster than expected post-pandemic, per city staff.

  • The city collected $67 million in hotel occupancy taxes in 2022, and $88 million last year.
  • The new convention center already has 41 events booked beginning in 2029. City officials say they have an additional 92 prospective bookings.

What's next: City council members said they want to ensure historic monuments and markers are integrated into the convention center design, including the Pioneer Plaza and the cemetery.

  • Construction is expected to finish in late 2028.

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