Detroit -

The Detroit Auto Show isn’t just showing off the latest and greatest in cars. It’s also unveiling the newly revamped Cobo Center to the world.

A $279 million renovation transformed the run-down building into a modern facility with a stunning glass atrium overlooking the Detroit river, new banquet halls, meeting rooms and a Detroit-themed food court.

Members of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority says the makeover was critical to keeping the auto show downtown, as well as attracting other conventions to the city.

“Retaining and expanding the auto show was on of the main inspirations for doing this,” says Juliette Okotie-Eboh. “We didn’t want to lose it as a city. We wanted this convention center o be competitive with others in the U.S."

Ford’s corporate presence is dominating the new Riverview Ballroom at the 2014 North American Auto Show. The room features two parallel platforms that rise from below the floor and form an instant stage.

“It’s 40,000 square feet of specialized space,” says Waymon Guillebeaux, a member of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority. “The hydraulic stage allows for striking reveals. We had the auto show in mind when we developed that. It’s fantastic. This helps show off the city as the automotive capital of the world."