Expansion of Vancouver Convention Center studied

As the future development of the Waterfront Gateway is under consideration, Vancouver city staff are entertaining the expansion of the Vancouver Convention Center to synergize with the master plan.

The city-owned property surrounding the building has been viewed as a primary connector between downtown and the nearby Waterfront Vancouver and Terminal 1 developments. John Collum, Vancouver’s economic development principal planner, said the city hired consultants to determine what land should be reserved for the convention center’s plausible expansion.

It’s a necessary step in adding cohesion to the Waterfront Gateway master plan.

“We’re only taking it one step at a time,” he said. “It will require more discussion down the road.”

The center, which is integrated into and managed by the Hilton Vancouver Washington, may expand its 30,300 square feet of meeting and event spaces up to either 64,800 or 81,800 square feet — depending on the city’s favored scenario.

A preliminary feasibility study from consultant company Conventions, Sports and Leisure International provided two development ideas that would add to the southern end of the building and extend to Phil Arnold Way. Both require a considerable amount of land — specifically, 1.5 acres of the overall 6.4-acre Waterfront Gateway site.