After four years of construction, the expansion to San Francisco's Moscone Center is open for business.
During a lavish ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning at the center's South building on Howard Street, which included over 1,000 guests, Mayor London Breed and other city officials helped celebrate the completed project.
"This expansion is something that is overdue. It is going to help generate the kind of tourism that San Francisco is so very proud of," Breed said. "This convention center will host and bring visitors from around the world who are going to not only visit here but also work here and as a result will generate millions of dollars in revenue here at this convention center and for our hotels and small businesses in our surrounding communities," she said.
The $551 million project added 157,000 square feet to the center, bringing the total amount of usable space at the center's three buildings, Moscone North, South and West, to 1,139,775 square feet.
Combined, all three buildings now boast a total of 114 flexible meeting rooms, in addition to expansive lobbies and outdoor terraces offering iconic San Francisco views.
The expanded center was designed to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Platinum Status, with innovative features such as its own water treatment system, converting an estimated 15 million gallons of recovered rainwater annually for landscaping and street cleaning.
Additionally, the building features its own solar panel array, the largest in the city and one of the largest publicly-owned solar power systems in the U.S. Solar energy generated from the center's panels will provide the center with about 20 percent of its power.
During Thursday morning's ribbon cutting ceremony, Mayor Breed rededicated the center in honor of its namesake, former San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, who served as Mayor up until his assassination inside City Hall in 1978. Breed described him as being "committed to our core values of inclusion, bringing people together, and pushing forward transformative projects."
Additionally, Breed also announced that the lobby in the center's South building will be named in honor of former Mayor Ed Lee, who passed away unexpectedly in 2017.
"Because of the leadership of our late Mayor Ed Lee, this was possible," Breed said. "As a result of his hard work, here we are, at an incredible facility."
Some of the well-known larger events held at the Moscone Center include Salesforce's annual Dreamforce conference, Oracle's annual Oracle Openworld convention and the Game Developers Conference.