In 2015, the Board of County Commissioners approved moving forward with expanding the size of the Broward County Convention Center and adding a new headquarters hotel. After an extensive procurement process, Matthews Southwest Inc., (MSW) a nationally renowned and highly accomplished developer, was ranked as the #1 development firm by the Board.
MSW submitted a conceptual design as part of its proposal and is now working collaboratively with the County and the City of Fort Lauderdale on a final conceptual design package that meets the needs of the County and addresses the priorities of the City (serving as the lead regulatory agency on the project).
The Convention Center expansion project will add an additional 525,000+ square feet of meeting space and an upscale 800-room headquarters hotel. It takes full advantage of the amenities of this beautifully scenic location on the Intracoastal Waterway, focused on a mix of activities associated with the Intracoastal and nearby Port Everglades, consistently ranked as one of the three busiest cruise ports in the world. The total cost of the project is estimated to be in the neighborhood of $900 million.
Once the County approves the conceptual site design, MSW will develop a site plan package, which is expected to take approximately eight months to develop. That site plan must then be submitted to the City of Fort Lauderdale for approval. After site plan approval, MSW will then develop construction drawings to secure building permits.
The Convention Center is South Florida’s premiere waterfront conference center – a stunning 600,000 square foot LEED EB Gold Certified facility, just a five-minute drive from Broward County's Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and less than one mile from Broward County’s famed Blue Wave Beaches.
The combined effect of the expansion and new hotel with public spaces and waterfront amenities is expected to bolster the local economy by more than $100 million a year, by attracting more convention center and trade show business, increasing tourism and creating jobs in Broward County.