exciting change is coming to our convention center


Project At A Glance

The Miami Beach Convention Center will be undergoing a $620 million renovation and expansion, which will set a high standard of excellence and redefine meeting and entertainment solutions when hosting large-scale business, trade, civic and cultural events. Miami Beach’s professional design team consisting of nationally recognized Fentress Architects, the local design firm of Arquitectonica, and international landscape architects West 8, have designed a project that will position itself among the top globally significant convention centers in the world. Built in 1957, the center has expanded throughout the years from its original 108,000 square feet to its current size of 1.2 million square feet.

The new 1.4 million square foot, LEED certified facility will include a state-of-the-art, 60,000 square foot grand ballroom, additional meeting rooms with flexible arrangements, a 20,000 square foot glass rooftop junior ballroom, advanced technology, and new versatile indoor/outdoor public spaces.

For added convenience, 800 parking spaces located across the street from the center will be relocated within the footprint of the building thus allowing the 5.8 acre parking lot to be converted into a public park surrounded by canopy trees, a flexible lawn area and a public plaza to honor the city’s veterans. The park will become the new civic “heart” of Miami Beach as well as a shady destination long awaited by the residents of adjoining neighborhoods.

In addition, a new pedestrian friendly and ecologically sensitive green space incorporating butterfly gardens and mangrove enhancements will span along the Collins Canal incorporating a native plant palette and providing pedestrian connectivity for residents and visitors.

The historic Carl Fisher Clubhouse, the oldest public structure in Miami Beach, will be restored to its original glory and transformed into a venue for the public to enjoy. Finally, a $7 million art budget will enable several selected and world renowned artists to incorporate public art into the project under Miami Beach’s Art in Public Places ordinance.

A Vision

For the Future

Incorporated 100 years ago and built upon the dreams and vision of pioneers like John Collins, Thomas Pancoast, Carl Fisher, and the Lummus brothers, the City of Miami Beach has evolved over time into what it is today: an international, first-class destination attracting visitors and residents.

Since the mid-1950s, the convention center, originally known as the Miami Beach Exhibition Hall, was the commercial center of the city. Over time as the center grew, the surrounding area developed to include City Hall, a botanical garden, the Holocaust Memorial, Lincoln Road, and the New World Symphony building designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry.

Today, the center hosts internationally acclaimed trade shows such Art Basel Miami Beach and eMerge Americas. Through a combination of municipal and county bonds, the center is being redesigned as a state-of-the-art facility that will continue as a “Gateway to the Americas.” It will accommodate and attract new international and national events and conventions assuring its significance as one of the largest visitor draws for the South Florida region.

The future of the convention center is now being re-defined. Once renovations are completed in 2018, the improved LEED-certified facility will become what, has often been described as a “Center for Creative Collaboration.” This transformation will enable the center to keep up with the demands of the competitive national and international convention community, while new outdoor public spaces will create improved walkability; connecting the center and the city’s adjacent historic cultural district and resorts.

Project Timeline

  • October 2015 Public Unveiling
  • December 2015 Phase 1 Commencement
  • December 2016 Phase 2 Commencement
  • December 2017 Phase 3 Commencement
  • September 2018 Building Completion
  • June 2019 Park Completion

Quality Of Life

No other issue is more important to the administration and the elected officials of Miami Beach than the enhancement to the quality of life of the city’s residents. Every effort has been made to assure that the facility be thoughtfully designed in order to assure the delivery of a project its residents can embrace and be proud of. Key quality of life elements of the plan include:

  • Less Traffic - The planned improvements to the center will enable the city to transition from local/regional events that create traffic problems to high impact conventions where people fly into the airport, take a taxi to their hotel, and walk or ride an event bus to and from the convention center.
  • Public Parks – The 5.8-acre convention center asphalt parking lot will be transformed into a public park with open lawn spaces, shaded areas, a veteran’s plaza and a flexible, programmable space with restroom facilities. Additional park areas will be added along the Collins Canal near the corner of Dade Boulevard and Washington Avenue.
  • Protecting Neighborhoods - The convention center will be reoriented with all major event traffic on Convention Center Drive. Vehicle drop off areas will be removed where currently located on Washington Avenue, leaving only pedestrian entrances into the center. The Washington Avenue sidewalk along the center will be reinvented with shade trees. Moreover, the north loading dock will be enclosed within the building, reducing noise. Finally, event trucks will be marshaled off site and called in as dock space becomes available.
  • Parking – The center will include 800 covered rooftop public parking spaces accessible to the general public and residents.

Sustainability Initiatives

Miami Beach’s building code requires a Silver LEED certification for all new public projects. The convention center, will achieve this standard. Elements of the design include rain harvesting for storing and utilizing for cooling towers, installation of reduced flow water fixtures, sun shading the exterior perimeter of the building, daylighting the public spaces, using high efficiency LED lighting, using occupancy light sensors throughout the building, saving 200 existing trees and planting new canopy trees, and reducing energy consumption by 20%. In addition, city officials are addressing sea-level rise in several ways:

  • Collins Canal – The city is making improvements to the existing canal edge to account for flood projection requirements based upon new sea level rise projections. Mangrove habitats and native vegetation will be restored along the canal.
  • Storm Events – The project is being designed to a 25-year, 3-day storm event as the maximum stage for site drainage retention. The design also increases the overall pervious area of the campus by 245% thereby reducing heat island effect by replacing 6.2 acres of asphalt with landscaping.
  • Critical Building Systems – All critical building systems such as emergency generators, communication systems, electrical switchgear, electrical panels and emergency responder radio enforcement systems are being raised above the proposed new flood level requirements. In addition, the first floor level of the building is being raised by four inches to meet the current requirements of City, State and Federal building codes.

Art in Public Places

In December 2014, the City of Miami Beach Art in Public Places, in collaboration with Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places, embarked on its most ambitious project to date with an international Call to Artists announcing public art opportunities for the new City of Miami Beach Convention Center. The Call to Artists received over 520 applications from globally recognized artists.

  • Artists presented their proposals to the CIty of Miami Beach Art in Public Places Committee in September 2015.
  • The Art in Public Places Committee is composed of seven members appointed by the full City Commission who serve in an advisory capacity to the Mayor and City Commission.
  • Art in Public Places is a program of the City of Miami Beach Tourism, Culture and Economic Development Office for the purpose of commissioning or acquiring public artwork. The program is funded by the alloacation of 1.5% of construction costs of City projects.
  • In November, 2015, the AiPP Committee recommended six artists to be awarded commissions.
  • After a competitive and rigorous selection process, the Miami Beach AiPP Advisory Committee recommended the following renowned artists to create site specific integrated works for public art for the Miami Beach Convention Center Project: Franz Ackermann (Berlin), Elmgreen & Dragset (Berlin), Ellen Harvey (Brooklyn), Joseph Kosuth (London, New York), Sarah Morris (New York) and Joep Van Lieshout (Ravenstein, Netherlands)


Take a Closer Look

Download Our Floorplans

Mayor & City Commissioners

Micky Steinberg

Miami Beach, Commissioner

Mark Samuelian

Miami Beach, Commissioner

Michael Góngora

Miami Beach, Commissioner

Kristen Rosen Gonzalez

Miami Beach, Commissioner

Ricky Arriola

Miami Beach, Commissioner

John Elizabeth Aleman

Miami Beach, Commissioner

Our Team

Jimmy Morales

City Manager

Maria Hernandez

Project Director
Convention Center District

Thais Vieira

Sr. Project Manager
Convention Center

Fentress Architects



Associate Architect
Facade Designer

West 8

Landscape Architect

Jones Lang LaSalle


Hill International

Owner's Representative

Clark Construction Group


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    The project is being funded by a combination of Miami-Dade County general obligation bonds, resort tax bonds, redevelopment authority bonds and parking bonds.


    The convention center in its current condition has struggled to attract national and international events that are enjoyed in other cities. As a result, the center has become home to many local and regional trade and consumer shows that not only have limited economic impact, but also attract a high number of cars that create traffic congestion.The planned improvements to the center will enable the city to transition from the low impact, traffic creating events, to high impact conventions where people fly into the airport, are taxied to their hotel, and either walk or ride an event bus to and from the convention center. With these improvements, the community will be able to enjoy greater economic impact while reducing traffic. These economic impacts will generate new tax dollars to the city to be reinvested in our community.


    At least two out of the four exhibit halls will remain operational throughout most of the renovation process and the Art Basel events of 2016 and 2017 will have the use of all four exhibit halls.There will be periods where the entire building must remain closed due to heavy construction and demolition, but the overall amount of time required for this will be kept to a minimum and planned far in advance.


    The number of parking spaces in the area will remain the same. The spaces lost in surface lots are being incorporated into the roof of the convention center.


    No. A traffic study, completed in December 2014 by the engineering firm Corradino Group, indicates that traffic conditions will not be negatively impacted as a result of the convention center expansion. On the contrary, since the planned improvements will enable the city to transition from a consumer event model to industry trade and business conventions, it is likely that traffic conditions will be improved. Consumer shows, which are typically regional events, attract a high number of cars. Conversely, industry trade and business conventions are inherently low traffic generators as the majority of the attendees fly in from other cities or countries, are taxied to their hotel, and will either walk or ride an event bus to and from the convention center.


    The project commenced construction in December, 2015. The building, along with the outdoor public spaces, will be completed by August 2018. The six acre park will be completed by summer 2019.