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Ceremonial Dirt at CityCenter

Ceremonial Dirt at CityCenter
Photo by Sylvia Brown, used with Permission

There’s nothing I miss about the old convention center.  It made Moscone Center’s North and South halls feel airy and light, and the exterior was deeply ugly and unfriendly.  I cheered loudly when they imploded it back in 2005.  The site has been a parking lot, a bus station and a tennis court since then, but today the formal construction process for a new multiblock development on H Street between 9th and 11th got underway today with a ceremony at the site.

Of course, since the whole surface is asphalt, and while construction has actually started, they had to truck in the dirt so that they council could demonstrate their digging skills. I’m not sure why this still has to happen, other than the ridiculous photo op, but here we are.

The development is fairly substantial, covering 10 acres on the eastern end of the downtown, with a $700M financing package courtesy of the Qatari Diar Investment Fund, a part of the Qatari sovereign wealth fund. The move is the first for the QDIF in the US, which also has a stake in the new Shard building in London.