A vital next step in the evolution of the country’s finest convention center is the Georgia World Congress Center’s plan to create one million square feet of contiguous exhibition space – improving the facility’s connectivity while bolstering Atlanta’s status as a top convention destination.
Currently, the GWCC’s largest single exhibit space is 600,000 square feet – which limits the center’s ability to accommodate some of the industry’s largest events that instead opt for more
spacious facilities in competing markets. Developing a new fixed gateway between Buildings B and C exhibit halls creates a compelling connection that helps Atlanta’s booming tourism business compete for the most in-demand trade shows, conventions and expos. It will also allow the GWCC’s largest annual events to expand as their business grows.
This addition will include a new 100,000-square-foot exhibit hall, 48,000 square feet of new meeting space, and a 20,000-square-foot lobby. The design will incorporate clerestories – high sections of windows above eye level – on all sides providing abundant natural light. Another exciting feature of the facility is a 30,000-square-foot rooftop terrace including event, exhibit and reception space, offering 360-degree views of Atlanta’s skyline and state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Along with Mercedes-Benz Stadium, future development of the west side of GWCCA’s campus includes a high-rise luxury hotel, envisioned as an economic catalyst for the area attracting commercial and residential growth and creating job opportunities. The proposal calls for an 800-to 1,000-room four-star hotel on Northside Drive on the former site of the Georgia Dome, adjacent to the GWCC’s Building C.
The hotel would help Atlanta capture new convention and entertainment business, according to a demand analysis study by PKF Hospitality Research LLC. The study says construction of an 800-room hotel would induce an additional 116,000 trade show and convention attendees in a typical year. It would also increase GWCC revenues by $2.974 million annually. Also, the project represents an additional 2,781 jobs during the construction phase, and 1,676 additional jobs once the hotel becomes operational.
The vision that the Georgia World Congress Center Authority has for its campus connects the historic importance of Centennial Olympic Park with a future of community growth and vitality. Twenty years ago, Centennial Olympic Park welcomed the global community that converged on Atlanta to celebrate the Summer Olympics. Today, this unique 21-acre park performs a dual mission: it serves as Georgia’s lasting legacy of the Centennial Olympic Games and it anchors efforts to revitalize residential and commercial development in the heart of Georgia’s capital city.
Centennial Olympic Park became a reality through the generosity of the community’s philanthropic spirit and two decades later, a similar groundswell of public and private sector support is funding significant improvements to the park. These improvement projects are designed to increase community access, expand programming opportunities, strengthen the park’s Olympic heritage and enhance the visitor experience.
Centennial Olympic Park has become the center of a dynamic downtown entertainment district, a place where residents and visitors create lifelong memories. New museums and attractions, as well as significant commercial and residential development, have contributed to an urban renaissance around the park -boosting the economy with more than $2.3 billion in new investments to date since 1996 with another $725 million either under construction or in the pipeline.
Consisting of the Georgia World Congress Center, Centennial Olympic Park and the state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority’s downtown Atlanta campus is the No. 1 convention, sports and entertainment destination in the world.
Ensuring that these facilities – which exist for the primary purpose of generating economic benefits for the state of Georgia and enhancing the quality of life for every Georgian – are positioned for the future, the GWCCA developed a bold long-range strategic plan known as 2020 Vision. This dynamic evolution of the GWCCA campus is detailed in this user-friendly pamphlet.
In Fiscal Year 2016, the GWCCA hosted 523 events and welcomed more than 2.7 million visitors who generated $1.51 billion in economic impact and sustained 15,764 jobs in Georgia.
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FORMER SITE OF THE METRO ATLANTA CHAMBER OF COMMERCECentennial Olympic Park - Across From College Football Hall Of Fame
In January of 2016, the GWCCA purchased the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce building. Plans have been finalized to decommission the structure in 2017, returning the three acres of land back into greenspace. This will open up vistas into the Park, allow for greater park capacity, expand opportunities for events and festivals, and improve pedestrian circulation to the Georgia World Congress Center and surrounding community.
SOUTHERN COMPANY AMPHITHEATERSouth End Of Park - Across From CNN Center
The Southern Company Amphitheater will receive an upgrade that includes a larger stage and bandshell, as well as expanded seating and a new sound system. This update will support existing events that occur in the space now and provide the opportunity for other musical events to be hosted on the campus. The upgraded amphitheater will feature “plug-n-play” stage systems, modern light and sound systems, and enhanced guest amenities.
CENTENNIAL PLAZAFormer Andrew Young Boulevard Through Centennial Olympic Park
In 2015, the GWCCA took the necessary steps with the City of Atlanta to permanently close Andrew Young International Boulevard through Centennial Olympic Park. In Spring 2017, the Park re-launched its wildly popular Adopt-A-Brick campaign to support the Park for future generations.
The bricks purchased through the campaign will line the former road and bring it to plaza level--creating a pedestrian plaza for people to gather in the Park. The plaza will also feature new iconic artwork and educational features that honor the legacy of the Centennial Olympic Games and will function as a new gateway into both sides of the Park’s greenspace.
BAKER STREET CORNERNorth End Of Park - Across From World Of Coca-Cola
Establishing new gateways into the Park aim to increase visibility and make the space feel more inviting to the public. The Baker Street and Centennial Olympic Park Drive corner will open as a major entry point into the Park, with a new water feature, sculpture and landscaping.
CENTENNIAL OLYMPIC PARK EVENT FACILITYNorth End Of Park - Across From Georgia Aquarium
A multi-level indoor/outdoor facility oriented towards Park vistas provides another flexible event space at the GWCCA. The building will feature more than 8,600 square feet of programmable space - 6,000 square feet indoors, and 2,600 square feet of outdoor terraced seating. It will also include much-needed restroom facilities for Park patrons.
PATH FOUNDATION UPDATES
At Centennial Olympic Park, a proposed bike depot will allow Downtown visitors to rent a bike and travel through the city and around the Atlanta BeltLine. It would also be a place where riders can bike in from surrounding neighborhoods, park their bikes, and visit the incredible attractions around the Park.
Working with the PATH Foundation as it expands bike lanes throughout Downtown Atlanta, the Authority will play host to two central connections. PATH Westside will be constructed along Ivan Allen Jr., Boulevard within the city right-of-way between Luckie Street and the entrance drive to the Georgia World Congress Center, and will turn southbound in front of Building C to continue to Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the proposed pedestrian bridge over Northside Drive.
SOCIAL TABLEBuilding B - GWCC
A $3 million renovation transformed Terraces Restaurant into Social Table, a new flexible eatery that opened February 2017 in Building B. Social Table features a full beverage bar, a build-your-own salad bar, a grab-and-go station, and a versatile menu that includes Southern barbecue, fresh hamburgers and authentic flatbreads. These three variable concepts have been created to be flexible and to adjust to the unique needs of each individual convention or show. Wi-Fi is complimentary in this amazing public space allowing attendees to stay connected while on the go.
CONTIGUOUS EXHIBITION FACILITYBetween Building B and Building C - GWCC
With the growth in the convention market, large, citywide shows are demanding more contiguous space to offer to their exhibitors. Connecting Building B and Building C exhibit halls, the expansion space would provide more than 1 million square feet of contiguous exhibit space, and 48,000 square feet of new meeting space.
FLOORING UPDATESBuilding B and C - GWCC
Starting in the lobby of Building C and covering approximately 81,000 square feet, the Georgia World Congress Center is replacing high foot-traffic area carpeting with a more durable hard surface known as terrazzo. This flooring project, expected to be complete by June 2017, will be done in phases to accommodate event activity in the convention center and surrounding Georgia World Congress Center Authority campus. Complementing the terrazzo, new Georgia-made broadloom carpeting will also be installed.
HOTELFormer Site Of The Georgia Dome, on GWCC side
Combining feedback from campus partners, meeting planners, conventioneers and hotel consultants, the GWCCA is moving forward with plans to build a new headquarter hotel on the northwest corner of the campus. The hotel will be developed in a joint public/private venture and will be located where the Georgia Dome currently sits, adjacent to Building C of the Georgia World Congress Center. Drew Company, a firm based in Boston, is the property’s selected developer.
WESTSIDE GREENSPACEFormer Site Of The Georgia Dome
A proposed redevelopment of the Georgia Dome site, this greenspace will function as a fan experience zone and a parking lot during events at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the GWCC. When not being utilized for parking or an event, this site is to function as greenspace and will be open for public use.
MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUMFar West Of GWCCA Campus
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the new home of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United F.C. set to open in July of 2017, will be an iconic landmark for the City of Atlanta and State of Georgia. It will provide fans with an unparalleled experience, while contributing to the economic growth and success of the city and state. With the addition of the new stadium, the GWCCA campus, will host three of the world’s largest events: the 2018 College Football National Championship, the 2019 Super Bowl, and the 2020 NCAA Final Four in successive years.