This fall, the Greater Columbus Convention
Center (GCCC) kicked off a $125-million renovation and expansion. Don Brown, executive
director of the Franklin County Convention
Facilities Authority, answers a few questions
about the project:
When meeting planners walk into the
new GCCC in July 2017, what changes
will they notice first?
The makeover of the GCCC will be so extensive that attendees will see it before they
even set foot inside the center. The center’s
curb appeal will be greatly enhanced by new
greenscapes, pocket parks, lighting, and an
800-space, skywalk-connected parking
garage. Once inside, attendees will immediately notice how spacious the center is, at 1. 8
million square feet, with 373,000 square feet
of contiguous exhibit space. The number of
meeting rooms will also grow to 75.
How will the project incorporate the city
A new two-story glass atrium and lobby will
reinforce the GCCC’s connections to the
neighboring Cap on High, the Short North
Arts District, and the Arena District’s dining,
shopping, and entertainment. Centerplate
is incorporating new local food and drink
options, and more than 100 pieces of local
art will showcase Columbus’ culture, style,
How will the project enhance the
The modernization project will create a
convention center that is an extension of
the already vibrant community surrounding its walls, and the upgrades will make
the walkable convention package seamless.
This includes improved food-and-beverage
options, Wi-Fi connectivity and broadband
availability, as well as wayfinding.
How do you think this project will
competitively reposition Columbus
against other cities?
When finished, the GCCC will have the fourth-largest contiguous exhibit space in its competitive set.
How did the GCCC decide what the
project will change and add? Was input
from meeting planners considered
during the process?
As owner/developer of the GCCC, we have
a customer advisory council, so the plans
chosen were based on input from them as
well as some third-party meeting planners.
Also, while we hope attendees take advan-
tage of our walkable convention package, we
know that sometimes time does not allow
that, so we wanted to ensure that they have
an authentic view of Columbus from within
For more information: Experience
Columbus — (614) 222-6151;
A Q&A on the city’s massive convention-center makeover
Total refurbishment A complete overhaul of the GCCC’s
exterior will include the addition
of new wayfinding and drop-off
points, as well as cleaning and
repairing the façade.
Curb appeal A new two-level
atrium entrance at the GCCC’s
north end will bring more natural
light into the building.