After four years of construction, the 157,000-square-foot addition to San Francisco's Moscone Center plus other refurbishments throughout original portions of the facility are complete. On Thursday, January 3, Mayor London Breed led the ribbon-cutting on the $551 million expansion with more than 1,000 people in attendance for the ceremony and facility tours.
“Our two main goals have been to create contiguous space and flexibility for the Moscone Center," said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of San Francisco Travel, the city's convention and visitors bureau. “Now we have a brand-new center with state-of-the-art everything.”
The construction, which was completed in phases over four years, added 157,000 square feet of usable space to Moscone's North and South buildings, but the benefits go beyond that raw figure. For example, the facility now offers 504,914 square feet of contiguous space versus 260,000 square feet previously, plus a column-free ballroom with 49,776 square feet of space. Other additions include 107,000 square feet of light-filled pre-function lobbies featuring dramatic views of the city and surrounding Yerba Buena Gardens, and 25,000 square feet of secure outdoor terraces with panoramic views.
Moscone's North and South buildings now offer 82 meeting rooms, bringing the total for all three buildings (North, South and West) to 114. The center has a total of 1,139,775 square feet of usable space that includes lobbies, terraces, and exposition and meeting space.
“It is important that San Francisco stay competitive with expanded and upgraded convention facilities, and this project achieves that,” D'Alessandro said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. City Administrator Naomi Kelly added that “When Moscone was built, it was a cutting-edge facility. But over time, it became clear we needed to keep up with our competition. We were at risk of losing many of our big conventions to other cities.”
In recent years, tech firms including Apple, Facebook, and Google have moved events out of Moscone Center to Silicon Valley sites such as San Jose McEnery Convention Center. But “now we’re going to be back in the game to attract some of those large tech companies to come back,” said David Powell, director, international meeting and incentive sales for San Francisco Travel. Other major tech conferences—including Salesforce’s Dreamforce and Oracle Openworld—continued using Moscone Center as it underwent construction, and both events are scheduled there in 2019.
New features at the expanded center include sustainability-focused elements aimed at achieving LEED Platinum status. The result will be the lowest carbon emissions per delegate of any major convention center in North America; the largest solar panel array in San Francisco, which will provide 20 percent of the facility's power; 15 million gallons of water recovered annually for reuse in landscaping and street cleaning; and facility-wide recycling and composting.
The expansion also includes relocation of the San Francisco Visitor Information Center, which is staffed by San Francisco Travel, to the street level of Moscone South. Also, large public art projects on site now include Leo Villareal's light installation “PointCloud;" Sarah Sze’s sculpture “Double Horizon;” Brendan Monroe’s mural “Roll;” and Christine Corday's steel sculpture "Genesis."