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Cushman Says Time is Right For Convention Center Expansion

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Above: KPBS reporter Katie Orr talks to San Diego Week host Joanne Faryon about a plan to expand the San Diego Convention Center, followed by responses from local editors.

— The proposed expansion of San Diego’s convention center could cost around one billion dollars. But despite the high price tag and the down economy, the co-chair of the task force studying the project says he still thinks it should move forward.

The task force was confronted with some big numbers when it looked into what an expansion might cost and how the city might pay for it. A consulting firm estimates the project could cost more than $820 million. Adding a hotel to the project would tack on another $200 million. But Task Force Co-Chair Stephan Cushman says this is the right time to move forward.

“You look at thinks when you’re in difficult times. That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen tomorrow. You have to understand, a project like this will take 5 to 8 years to see maturity,” he says.

Cushman says there would be a tremendous long term economic benefit to the region if the expansion goes forward. The task force will hear more about the project’s finances at its next meeting. Cushman says he hope to have a recommendation for the Mayor in August.

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