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San Diego Convention Center expansion plans unveiled

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No room at the con? Not if these plans for an expansion of the San Diego Convention Center are approved. The plans call for an additional 400,000 sq. ft, with 225,000 of them exhibition space. (The current facility is 814,000 sq. ft.) The expansion would keep SD in the top 13 US convention centers…AND include enough space for Comic-Con! But there would also be pedestrian bridges and a rooftop restaurant, as shown in an artist’s rendering, above.

The new wing would sit in front of the existing building, on the bay side. It would rise 40 feet above the southern wing but stand about as tall as the structure’s signature “sails,” officials said.

The design team discarded another site — across Harbor Drive on parking lots now used by Petco Park, including Tailgate Park — because a previously unknown finger of the Rose Canyon earthquake fault was discovered there.

One eye-catching element of the bayfront design would be a 57-foot-high pedestrian bridge stretching from Fourth Avenue, across the Convention Center, to the water. Currently, walkers must summit a mountain of steps or take a slow-moving elevator to get from the Harbor Drive side to the bay side of the long building.


While we’re alarmed by the idea of a nearby fault line, it seems the new Hilton will populate the once-mysterious waterfront on the southern end of the center, so you might as well go fro broke.

For San Diego Kremlinologists, there’s a site devoted entirely to the expansion task force, with nostalgic photos of SD through the years, and more artist’s renderings, such as this.


As you can see, it is inaccurate because none of the people walking around is dressed like Boba Fett.

BTW, despite the San Diego Comic-Con’s meager contribution to the city till, the San Diego Tribune already has a guide and countdown calendar online for those attending.

  1. out of curiosity, will that foot bridge go over the bloody train tracks?

    i’d be happily willing to forgo the annual exhilaration of watching people cheat death jumping between trains if it does.

  2. As a current San Diegan, I would hesitate to assume this is likely to ever actually happen. With the current California budget meltdown, everybody is obsessed with cutting, not expanding, so this project has a very difficult path ahead of it.

    In addition, a lot of the local coverage of the expansion depicts it as almost entirely about Comic-Con. And as we all know, that may not be a winning argument around here, sadly. It will be very interesting to see how the issue gets covered around the time of the actual Con.

  3. With the addition of the Hilton Bay Harbor, there is now a walking bridge that I saw going from the parking structure that is on the far side of the Convention Center. I didn’t try it out and don’t know if it will be open to the public during SDCC.

    Scoped out the Hilton Bay Harbor… has to be one of the worst laid out hotel I have ever seen. I thought it had a chance to dislodge the Hyatt… but I don’t think so. I could be wrong…

    C.

  4. Looks like the bridge is a long way from being finished…and it’s still a good ways away from the main entrance to the convention center. But better than nothing when one of those mile long trains comes by.

  5. “”As a current San Diegan, I would hesitate to assume this is likely to ever actually happen. With the current California budget meltdown, everybody is obsessed with cutting, not expanding, so this project has a very difficult path ahead of it.””

    Well, yes, but if they can get it planned quickly enough TPTB might find a way to get this going as a Stimulus package event. I’m pretty sure this will happen before the Chargers get (steal) a new stadium.

  6. It’ll happen. I have some journalist buddies that are covering this and everybody knows we need it. It should be great news for all geeks everywhere that the Comic-Con was referenced in many of the SD Mayor’s comments. He’s USING Comic-Con as a fear wedge, “If we don’t expand, we’ll lose may high-profile events such as Comic-Con.”

    He even spoke of it at his State of the Union address.

    I know, so what. It’s just nice to see it being considered “real”. Real business. The restaurants and clubs down here are hatin’ life so I think they are going to be more appreciative too.

  7. The pedestrian bridge proposed in the new expansion is not the same bridge currently under construction. The bridge currently being built from the parking structure at the end of the convention center prettty much heads directly into PetCo Park. The new proposed bridge will head into the Gaslamp District.

    Also, the expansion features a new, additional, hotel behind the center.

  8. “It’ll happen. I have some journalist buddies that are covering this and everybody knows we need it.”

    I sincerely hope that is true. I find it impossible to imagine the Con really moving out of SD.

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