The Hamilton County Commissioners gave final approval Thursday night to a $17 million expansion of the Sharonville Convention Center.
It was also announced the exhibition hall at the center will be named after retiring Commissioner Todd Portune. He's been involved in previous expansions and the current renovation.
The plan calls for doubling exhibition space from 20,000 square feet to 40,000 square feet.
Officials say Sharonville will be able to attract conventions and events that are too small for the Duke Energy Convention Center in Downtown Cincinnati, but too large for the Sharonville facility's current exhibition space.
The plan also includes a ticket office, additional restrooms and more storage space.
The city of Sharonville and the county will split the expansion cost. The county's part will come from the transient occupancy tax, or the hotel tax.
"Todd has been behind this project from day one, seeing early on the benefits of creating a Northern Lights District so that we could bring convention business to other parts of the county outside of downtown," said Sharonville Mayor Kevin Hardman in a press release. "It's a fitting tribute to rename our exhibition hall after Todd. He has been an unwavering champion of economic development projects like this throughout the county and we appreciate his commitment and dedication to our community."
Portune was present at the county commission meeting in Woodlawn to vote on the Sharonville expansion. He's missed several recent meetings as he undergoes treatments for cancer.
"I am delighted to have supported this project every step of the way," Portune said in the press release. "It's so timely with my retirement just around the corner, and I'm glad to be a part of making this project a reality for the city of Sharonville and Hamilton County."
The project still needs approval from the Convention Facilities Authority, which is expected on Dec. 6. Sharonville Council also must approve and that should happen in mid-December.
Construction in the latest expansion project is expected to begin next year, and the project should be completed in 2021.