DETROIT -

The renovation of Cobo Center in downtown Detroit took a major step forward Thursday as equipment began taking down the wall that connected the old Cobo Arena from the convention center.

The inside space that had been the arena has already been cleared out to make way for a new ballroom and other spaces.

The old connecting wall will make way for a new riverfront entrance to Cobo.

Cobo renovations 2

It’s all part of a $300 million project for a 25,000-square-foot expansion to the front and back of the building and extensive remodeling.

Upgrades include the plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems and revamping food options.

Everything is expected to be done by 2014.