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Swedish construction firm leading $38M convention center project

Skanska's renovation and expansion of the Tampa Convention Center bringing updates and adding 18,000 square feet of meeting space

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 10:49 a.m. October 28, 2021
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
COURTESY: $38 million renovation and expansion of the Tampa Convention Center is scheduled to finish in July of 2023
COURTESY: $38 million renovation and expansion of the Tampa Convention Center is scheduled to finish in July of 2023
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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TAMPA — Skanska, a construction and development company with projects around the globe, is heading up a $38 million renovation and expansion of the Tampa Convention Center.

The firm will lead the two-phased project that includes updates to infrastructure components, installation of updated technology and the implementation of several sustainability initiatives. Among the key objectives of the project is to add 18 new meeting rooms with waterfront views adding 18,000 square feet to the convention center and an extensive update to the HVAC system.

The project is expected to be finished by July 2023.

According to a release from Skanska, phase one of the project, which is ongoing, will consist of renovating meeting rooms and upgrading elevators. And phase two, which just kicked off, will include the demolition of the existing structure at the Riverwalk facade as well as the addition and HVAC work.

Michael Brown, executive vice president and general manager of Skanska’s Florida building operations, says in the statement that “as Tampa continues to rise as a global city, this latest investment will bring long-term economic value to the community and further solidify downtown Tampa’s standing as a premier destination for meetings, conferences and exhibition events.”

The Tampa Convention Center, which sits on the Hillsborough River downtown, was built in 1990. It currently has 200,000 square feet of exhibition space and a 36,000-square-foot ballroom.

To make way for the construction, the city announced in late October that 400 feet of the Riverwalk directly behind the convention center is closed through November 2022. The Sail Bar and Big Ray’s Fish Camp on the Riverwalk remain open. 

According to the city, sound barriers will be put up to minimize noise, demolition work is planned for non-event hours and the schedule has been adjusted to accommodate Gasparilla in January.

Skanska is Swedish-based company with 29 offices in the U.S., including Skanska USA’s headquarters in New York. Among its projects in the area are the University of South Florida Health’s Morsani College of Medicine & Heart Institute at Water Street, Julian B. Lane Park, both in Tampa, and the St. Pete Pier in St. Petersburg.

 The company’s global revenue for 2020 was $17.2 billion.


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