Thursday, November 17, 2016
$34M OC Convention Center Expansion Approved By Council; More Exhibit Space Planned For Facility
OCEAN CITY — Citing a need to gain a competitive edge over similar facilities in the region and increase the economic impact, Ocean City officials this week agreed to move forward with the next major expansion of the Roland E. Powell Convention Center with an estimated price tag of around $34 million.
The Mayor and Council on Tuesday approved the next step in the convention center expansion process when they voted unanimously to request state funding for the matching share of the project through the Maryland Stadium Authority, which partners with Ocean City on the ever-expanding facility. The proposed expansion would add 30,000 square feet of exhibit space on the north side of the facility that would tie into the existing Exhibit Halls A and B, bringing total square footage to 80,000 square feet.
The expanded space could be used alone for a single event, or opened up with the other adjacent exhibit halls to create a larger space. Also included in the proposed expansion are new restrooms on the west side of the existing convention center along with expanded meeting rooms and a business center.
The total cost of the project is $34 million, of which the state is requested to fund 60 percent, or $20.4 million. The town’s share would be 40 percent, or roughly $13.6 million, which would be funded by the one cent added to the food tax in Ocean City. Several years ago, state lawmakers allowed one cent to be added to the food tax in Ocean City with the revenue earmarked for convention center expansions.
at 11/17/2016 08:30:00 PM