Florida Omni, convention center expansion top out

Designer and builder Balfour Beatty, developer Matthews Southwest, Broward County (owner of the over $1 billion project), Omni Fort Lauderdale (operator) and local officials are celebrating the topping out milestone—the official placement of the uppermost steel beam—of the 400,000-square-foot east expansion building and the 29-story Omni Fort Lauderdale Hotel on Dec. 13 as part of the multiphase Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center project.

When it opens in fall 2025, the new-build Omni Hotel will have 800 rooms, 73,000 square feet of meeting and ballroom space, multiple restaurant options including a rooftop bar, an 11,000-square-foot spa and fitness center and more than 30,000 square feet of pool decks. The hotel will be prominently positioned along the Intracoastal Waterway with a scenic view of the Atlantic Ocean.

The project adds more than 525,000 square feet of meeting space to the existing Broward County Convention Center, which will now cover 1.2 million square feet, including 350,000 square feet of contiguous exhibition space, a new 65,000-square-foot waterfront ballroom, new dining concepts, enhanced water taxi access and a waterfront plaza with public access. In addition, Balfour Beatty built a new 36,000-square-foot central energy plant to support the expanded center.

The upgraded convention center and hotel are designed to achieve LEED Certified Gold criteria.