Los Angeles Business Journal

Los Angeles Lures Large Convention from San Diego

By Howard Fine Friday, April 4, 2014

Los Angeles has snagged a major environmental convention from San Diego.

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Thursday that the U.S. Green Building Council is moving its 2016 expo to Los Angeles, bringing an estimated 30,000 attendees to the city. The expo had been planned for San Diego. The Green Building Council is best known for the environmental certification ratings it gives to commercial and public buildings.

Garcetti said the conference will bring up to 30,000 visitors to Los Angeles, including architects, engineers, construction industry executives and others associated with the green building movement.

“Our city is leading the way when it comes to making meaningful investments in a sustainable future – including retrofitting more than 140,000 streetlights with more efficient LED bulbs, and the world is taking notice,” Garcetti said.

Los Angeles has lagged other major cities in luring major conventions. Last year, the city placed the Convention Center under private management. The contract was awarded to Anschutz Entertainment Group. One of AEG’s first moves was to hire away San Diego Convention Center General Manager Brad Gessner and put him in charge of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Rick Fedrizzi, chief executive of the Green Building Council, said the organization made the switch to Los Angeles because the city is the largest hub in the nation for buildings with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

“Home to 268 Leed-certified commercial buildings, 1,431 Leed-certified residential units, and more municipal Leed-certified square footage than any other city, Los Angeles is the perfect place to convene the world’s leading green building conference and expo,” Fedrizzi said.

The announcement came during the Clinton Global Initiative Conference held at Los Angeles City Hall on Thursday. Former President Bill Clinton led the conference, which looked at ways to boost alternative energy and “green-friendly” ways to improve local infrastructure.