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Local 10 News tours Miami Beach Convention Center renovation project

$615 million project provides 'more than a face lift' to antiquated building

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Local 10 News received a tour Tuesday of the $615 million Miami Beach Convention Center renovation project.

Project leaders took Local 10 on an exclusive tour inside the 25-acre property being rehabbed, gutted and brought back to life after more than 30 years without a major upgrade.

"It certainly needed more than a face lift," Scott Lawson, project executive at Clark Construction, told Local 10.

Hundreds of workers from South Florida have been employed to help create a brand new convention center experience.

Among the added items are two massive ballrooms, an indoor loading dock and much-needed parking.

"In order to attract the events that the city eventually wants, there were certain things that we had to do," city project manager Maria Hernandez said.

The project is intended to be green-building certified, meaning what's torn down will not go to waste.

This is a rendering of what the Miami Beach Convention Center will look like after a $615 million renovation project is completed.
This is a rendering of what the Miami Beach Convention Center will look like after a $615 million renovation project is completed.

"To date, we have sent about 38,000 tons of material off of this job site, and of that, about 96 percent of it was diverted from landfills," Lawson said.

The project is more than a year away from completion, but it's an investment in the city's future.

"It's a tough thing to live next to, and the saying I like to say is, 'Short-term pain, long-term gain,' and it's going to be a huge long-term gain for the residents," Lawson said.

The project is expected to be completed in August 2018.