A Look Inside the Greater Columbus Convention Center Expansion

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Greater-Columbus-Convention-Center-photo-credit-Franklin-County-Convention-Facilities-AuthorityThe $125 million renovation and expansion of the Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) is soon to round completion, lifting its available meeting space to around 2 million sf.

But more than extra space, the Greater Columbus Convention Center will better reflect its position within the spirited Arena District and Short North Arts District.

“Groups may only have time to see the city during the ride from the airport to their hotel and the walk from the hotel to our facility,” says Jennifer Davis, senior marketing and communications manager for the GCCC. Either way, they will arrive to a new 100,000-sf streetscape of trees, ornamental grasses and colorful groundcover that meanders toward seating groves. A new two-story glass atrium lobby and entrance leads to an abundance of homegrown artwork, which Davis says, is the “largest collection of local contemporary art in Franklin County.” The works of local artists dot 150 locations throughout the center.

Attendees arriving by car can park in the new 800-car Goodale Street Parking Garage and walk comfortably across the fully air-conditioned glass skybridge.

All in all, the GCCC is gaining 800,000 sf of renovated space and 100,000 sf of new convention space. More social gathering places throughout the main concourse hallmark the renovation, while second-level show offices are set to dazzle VIPs, with views overlooking exhibit halls and the trade show floor. The new Discovery Cafe was designed to be a culinary destination within the center, featuring local cuisine, while the renovated South Cafe & Marketplace will offer quick-service dining. Between the artwork and the locally-inspired food and beverage, the center is set to give attendees an authentic experience of the city without them ever having to leave. “It’s important that the GCCC be a vibrant and elegant reflection of Columbus and all the city has to offer,” Davis adds.

The GCCC hosts around 350 events every year and all have seen the expansion and renovation in progress, due to the project being accomplished in 20 phases. The American Society for Engineering Education and AmericanHort’s Cultivate will be the first major groups to be in the fully completed convention center later this year.

For Cincinnati news, check out “Cincinnati’s Downtown Core Gets a Makeover.”

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