The Puerto Rico Convention Center, an "Urban Resort" in San Juan

Puerto Rico’s new convention center, the “Centro de Convenciones de Puerto Rico”, is the Caribbean region’s largest and most technologically advanced center of its type. Costing $188 million and constructed over the better part of the last decade, the Puerto Rico Convention Center (PRCC) is located in San Juan on the site of the former US Navy base in Isla Grande. The PRCC, with its close association to Isla Grande Airport and the Pan American Port Terminal, is ideally situated to handle traffic to and from the center, which can hold upwards of 25,000 people in its over half a million square feet of space.

As magnificent as the PRCC is, it is only one part of what will someday be a mini-city that includes a 500-room luxury hotel, a 96-unit residential building, office towers with 50,000 square feet of commercial space and a huge retail and entertainment complex. The hotel, estimated to cost $209 million and to open for business in the year 2009, will have a rooftop swimming pool that offers exquisite views of San Juan from its landscaped grounds and lush tropical gardens. Dubbed the “Puerto Rico Convention Center District”, the development should occupy a significant portion of the San Juan Peninsula and act as a magnet for employment, tourism and commerce from all over the Caribbean region and beyond!

The Puerto Rico Convention Center displays a startlingly beautiful exterior design dominated by a curved, wave-like roof. Step in the doors, however, and you’ll learn first-hand why the PRCC is considered Latin America’s most technologically advanced meeting place. A self-contained “hot spot”, the center features wireless high speed Internet connectivity and Ethernet connection and capabilities in the meeting rooms.

It is perhaps ironic that San Juan, over 400 years old and a showpiece of Spanish colonial architecture, should be the home of the PRCC and the Puerto Rico Convention Center District. Nonetheless, with the completion of the District in the years ahead, San Juan will once again be a beacon of hope for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean basin!