Balfour Beatty Substantially Completes the West Expansion of the Multi-Phased Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center Project

by Balfour Beatty

October 20, 2021

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - Balfour Beatty achieves a major milestone on the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center project by substantially completing the building’s West Expansion in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The milestone signifies the successful turnover of the first major phase of construction that will significantly increase Broward County’s meetings, conventions, and exhibition capacity.

The West Expansion of the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center is a part of a multi-phased design-build contract between Balfour Beatty and Matthews Southwest that creates 350,000 square feet of exhibition space contiguous with the existing convention center. To successfully reach this milestone, Balfour Beatty team members delivered major site work and utility relocations, completed demolition activities, and built a new Central Energy Plant to service the County’s convention center.

“The timing of the West Expansion completion of the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center is critical to our recovery and continued growth,” said Stacy Ritter, President & CEO of Visit Lauderdale. “Group and meetings professionals are eager to book events in Greater Fort Lauderdale, and now we’re giving them 350,000 reasons to do so.”

The substantial completion of the West Expansion phase arrives in time for the Convention Center to reopen its doors for Fort Lauderdale’s 62nd International Boat Show, the world’s largest boat show that brings tens of thousands of attendees annually. Balfour Beatty built the original convention center for the 1991 event and 30 years later the company is delivering the convention center’s new addition for the world-famous boat show for a second time.

“Achieving this major completion milestone on the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention project is a true testament to teamwork and collaboration by our multiple stakeholders, and the tremendous dedication by our trade partners and workforce who ultimately brought this project to life,” said John Harris, Balfour Beatty senior vice president and Florida business unit leader. “I commend our project team for their resilience throughout the delivery of this very critical component towards the success of the overall project.”

During the first phase of construction, extensive site work prompted the design-build team to provide a timely solution that supported the County’s schedule for the overall project. By advancing the design for the utilities and foundation, project team members were able to start work earlier than expected so the County could capitalize on additional time prior to the closing of the existing convention center to prepare for vertical construction activities.

The next phases of work include the delivery of the 400,000-square-foot East Expansion building and the 29-story Omni Hotel. The East Expansion will be a stand-alone building with ballrooms, exhibit space and a kitchen that will service the entire 1.5 million-square-foot convention center once complete. The 800-room Omni Hotel will include additional meeting and ballroom space, multiple restaurant options, amenity deck, roof top bar, and an array of luxury amenities.

Construction for the East Expansion and Omni Hotel is scheduled to start in late 2021.