Miami Beach

Still behind schedule, Miami Beach Convention Center renovation speeding up in 2017

The southwest corner of the soon-to-be-renovated Miami Beach Convention Center is shown in this artist’s rendering of what the new facade will look like.
The southwest corner of the soon-to-be-renovated Miami Beach Convention Center is shown in this artist’s rendering of what the new facade will look like. FENTRESS ARCHITECTS/ ARQUITECTONICA/ WEST 8

The entire west side of the Miami Beach Convention Center is getting replaced as the renovation and expansion of the facility speed up heading into the first quarter of 2017. No events will be held at the center until late May, and work will continue for months after it partially reopens.

The $600 million redo remains behind schedule after planning, permitting and design changes slowed work earlier this year. The contractor, Clark Construction, is expected to submit a plan to recover lost time in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, construction work has intensified in the weeks after Art Basel. The plan has always been to completely close the whole convention center after the 2016 edition of the international art fair and keep it closed for some particularly heavy work until April 30.

But with the unexpected loss of some business, the city gained some time to catch up. After French design fair Maison & Objet canceled its 2017 show, which was slated for May, the city picked up an extra three weeks to continue work before the halls are needed for booked events. No events will be held at the convention center until May 22.

“Those three weeks will help us significantly,” said city spokeswoman Marcia Monserrat.

Renovation of the Miami Beach Convention Center continues on Friday, Feb. 25, 2016. Renovations include a future northern expansion area which will contain an enclosed loading dock a 60,000 square foot ballroom on the second level, overlooking a r

Convention Center Drive between 18th Street and Dade Boulevard is closed as the west facade comes down. Half of 19th Street west of Convention Center Drive is also blocked off.

The long-discussed renovation, which includes a new public park to replace the parking lot to the west of the building, is part of the city’s bid to attract bigger bookings for the convention center. The facility’s renovation has pressed forward apart from plans to build a hotel attached to it — plans that stalled after a failed referendum last year amid public opposition.

Officials aim to substantially complete the expansion before Art Basel in December 2017.

Joey Flechas: 305-376-3602, @joeflech

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