Memphis Convention Center hits major milestones in construction

Memphis Convention Center modernization moves forward

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A $200 million project at the Memphis Convention Center is about to reach some major construction milestones. The first events at the renovated center will be early next year. But drivers will see some street closures first.

This week thousands of AutoZone workers came to the Memphis Convention Center for their annual conference. However, some construction workers joined them. While the conference filled the rooms at the Convention Center that have been there for decades, work continued on the new look.

“When this building was built in 1974 it was a concrete box,” Project Manager Alan Barner said. “When you were in here you didn't have a sense or place or natural light.”

When seeing the construction progress inside the Memphis Convention Center you can see natural light is the focus. Glass windows expanded the Center out on to Main Street.

We also saw the grand lobby on level one which holds many of the new meeting rooms that now only need carpet. We also saw some of phase two plans for a large lobby off the P1 parking level and a junior ball room that can easily be converted into smaller meeting rooms.

“It's easy and convenient to get in,” Memphis Convention Center GM Dean Dennis said. “You come right off the parking garage with a beautiful new entrance, and it's a nice size. It's 18,000 square feet.”

Those outside the Convention Center will notice upcoming work on Front Street. The west side of the building will have meeting rooms on both sides of Front Street. So, drivers will have to detour around Front Street between Poplar and Jackson as this work progresses. The section of road is expected to be closed from October until May.

Parts of phase two could be open by late winter. Phase one is expected to be completed much sooner than that, but the first event is scheduled for February 2020.

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