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City Chamber Announces Convention Center Plans

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City officials are hoping a new convention center can attract more business to Gainesville.

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The city’s chamber of commerce announced plans for a 52,000 square foot, $26 million building at its annual meeting Thursday night.

After nearly 20 years of proposals and ideas, now the city is figuring out financing for the center, Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce President Tim Giuliani said in an interview.

“There’s ideas here, there’s inventions here, there’s new companies here,” he said. “We need to be able to showcase that to the world.”

The effect of a convention center means more people using the city’s hotels, restaurants and transportation services when they come for conventions and conferences, chamber Regional Initiatives Vice President Adrian Taylor said.

“The economic uplift from a larger meeting space would just multiply,” he said.

The project should finish in 2016.

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