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LA Looking at Ballroom and Other Convention Center Updates

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Now that the Downtown NFL stadium/LA Convention Center update planned by LA Live developer AEG is looking pretty dead, the city's looking at ways to update the aging Convention Center on its own. Yesterday, the City Council's Ad Hoc Committee on Downtown Stadium and Convention Center Renovation heard a presentation from experts at the Urban Land Institute on potential ideas for a new space--they found (pdf) that "The LACC has a comparably low amount of meeting room space ... Gathering spaces, both inside and outside, are increasingly important, with many centers improving outdoor plazas and providing amenities such as wifi service to enhance informal interactions among conference attendees, and ... The LACC does not currently have a large ballroom to provide specialized food and beverage and meeting services that have become increasingly important."

They think the Convention Center should be given more contiguous event space, "service-enhanced informal gathering spaces," a ballroom (AEG's plan included a huge one), and more/larger meeting rooms. They also suggested "that Figueroa Street be enhanced with hotel, restaurant and retail uses to improve the walkability of the district." (The MyFigueroa streetscape update, which makes the street itself more pedestrian- and bike-friendly, is already in the works.) While AEG has until October 2014 to get to work, Councilmember Jan Perry (who's about to lose her seat), "wants to compare those findings with the city's agreement with AEG to determine which projects can start right away," according to KPCC. She's also still hoping AEG gets it together and actually builds its original plan.
· City Hall looks at Convention Center improvements regardless of stadium deal [SCPR]
· LA Starts Talking Convention Center Update With No Stadium [Curbed LA]