By Steve Lackmeyer
The first glimpse of site planning for a new convention center suggests a “front door” along Robinson Avenue and an elevated ballroom that will provide visitors with a view of the downtown skyline and a new park being built across the street.
The plans unveiled Tuesday by consultants at Populous show how the convention center and a proposed hotel might be constructed on the property along with parking, but do not reflect actual architectural designs.
Planning for the $287 million convention center, approved by voters in 2009 as part of MAPS 3, was restarted when the city council scrapped a previously selected location south of the Myriad Gardens. A majority of the parcels have been acquired or are under contract for the new site selected last summer along Robinson Avenue between SW 4 and SW 7.
Construction is expected to start in 2018 with an opening in 2020 coinciding with completion of the north half, a new, 70-acre park and a streetcar system that will connect the park and convention center with Bricktown, Midtown, Automobile Alley and the Central Business District.