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Race is On to Finish Convention Center Expansion Before 2028 Olympics

Wikimedia Commons/Américo Toledano

Los Angeles city officials have released a report recommending the city council complete the expansion of the convention center before the 2028 Summer Olympics. The city is collaborating with AEG and Plenary Group to renovate and expand the Los Angeles Convention Center. However, the project faced reconsideration due to budget cuts in late 2023.

Urbanize LA reports that moving forward with the project poses challenges, including a completion date before the 2028 Olympics and an anticipated cost of $1.4 billion.The chief legislative analyst and city administrative officer advise using a design-build process with city financing, departing from the previous public-private partnership plan, which all involved parties had agreed upon. "A [design-build] delivery model is a simplified agreement relative to a P3, and negotiations are expected to take less time," the report stated.

A crucial step in the process is assessing the feasibility of the expansion given the changes and requirements, including having the convention center ready and construction-free for the Olympic and Paralympic Games by March 2028. The convention center is planned to be a venue for the Games, contingent on the expansion being completed by mid-2027 or deferred until after August 2028, as noted in a December 2023 city report.

"It still must be confirmed that an Expansion Project would be deliverable in time for the 2028 Games, at a cost feasible for City interests," the authors of the June 14 report wrote.

The plan involves AEG, Plenary, and the city entering an early works agreement to conduct pre-development activities from July of this year until mid-February 2025, aiming to determine if the expansion can be completed within the specified parameters.

"At any time, if the City were to determine at its sole discretion that the Expansion Project is not feasible due to cost, schedule, or any other considerations, the Term Sheet and, subsequently, the [early works agreement] could be terminated with all pre-development work and expenditures immediately halted," the June 14 report states.

The full costs to the city remain unknown, depending on the debt amount and issuance timing. These details will be "fully evaluated and reported to Council and the Mayor at a later date," along with final recommendations for the project agreement, according to the June report.

AEG's hotel expansion, which included a 37-story hotel tower, is no longer part of the project and will proceed when market conditions improve, according to Urbanize.

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