The creation of a new “signature space” for Cobo Center, in the form of a spacious three-story glass atrium that links the main floor of the venue with a new entrance facing the Detroit River, began in earnest last week when construction cranes began tearing into the concrete and glass between the adjacent arena and current exhibit hall area. When completed, the atrium area will bring the lower-level exhibition space more naturally into the flow of a meeting or convention and link Cobo Center more fully to Detroit’s revitalized riverfront.
The Atrium is expected to be completed by December of this year, and will be used by the North American International Auto Show in January 2013 as part of its exhibit footprint.
Meanwhile, the adjacent Cobo Arena is in the midst of a transformation into what will become a 38,000-square-foot ballroom with a hydraulic lift stage, and meeting and breakout rooms below. The interior is stripped bare and being readied for the installation of the ballroom floor and massive trusses that will support and operate the dividing walls. Completion of this portion is now scheduled for May of 2013.
“During this heavy construction period, our current plan will allow us to operate at near maximum capacity,” explained Cobo General Manager Thom Connors. “Improvements will begin in other areas as new space is completed and brought on line, enabling us to maintain our existing base of annual events while booking new events as well.”