Matthews Southwest Begins Final Phase of $1.3B Convention Center and Hotel Expansion Project in Fort Lauderdale

by John Nelson

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. — Matthews Southwest has begun the final phase of the expansion and redevelopment of the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, which includes the 29-story, 800-room Omni Fort Lauderdale hotel. The total cost of the project is about $1.3 billion and is expected to deliver in late 2025. Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects designed the hotel, Fentress Architects designed the convention center expansion and Balfour Beatty is handling construction. The project is expected to generate 1,000 construction jobs and 1,300 permanent jobs.

Matthews Southwest opened Phase I of the convention center in October 2021. The expansion project will add an additional 600,000 square feet of flexible indoor event and meeting space and an additional 200,000 square feet of outdoor programming space, to create a total of more than 1.4 million square feet of event space that includes 350,000 square feet of contiguous exhibition space. The expanded center will also feature a new 65,000-square-foot waterfront ballroom, 50 meeting rooms, new dining concepts, pre-function space and modern décor and technologies. The new Omni hotel will feature a rooftop bar, grand and junior ballrooms, meeting spaces, yoga deck and a pool deck. The project will also include an onsite water taxi stop and charter boat dock, amphitheater, six-acre waterfront event plaza with public access, waterfront promenade, three additional restaurants and a 24,000-square-foot Convention & Visitors Bureau office building.

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