Major makeover begins for Detroit's Cobo Center

Walls removed at Cobo Center as renovations begin at Detroit convention center

DETROIT - Cobo Center in downtown Detroit is undergoing a dramatic makeover.

The Regional Authority that operates the center is in its third phase of construction. The project includes removing the panels from the circular structure, which makes it possible to stand on Jefferson Avenue in downtown Detroit, look through the building, and see across the Detroit River to Canada.

"I feel a great deal of pride and happiness and joy that the City is taking another big step forward," said Bob Shuman, co-chairman of the 2014 North American International Auto Show.

Read more: Cobo renovations and Monica who?

The authority plans to spend a quarter of a billion dollars to make Cobo into a new show place along the riverfront.

The authority released a computer-generated flyover video of what Cobo is expected to look like once the work is complete, including a large glass exterior and increased convention floor space with a hydraulic rising stage.

Shuman said the upgrades are needed to keep the auto show a world class event.

"We have to do more than just stay up with these shows. We have to stay ahead of them and we have to have a world class facility or our show will fail," said Shuman. "It'll go back to being a smaller show and we don't want that, it's not good for the city, it's not good for the region."

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