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Cleveland's new convention center opening early

Cleveland's new convention center opening early, structure expected to be complete June 1

CLEVELAND — Officials say Cleveland's new $465 million convention center complex is going to open early.

The Plain Dealer newspaper reports that the downtown convention center is now scheduled to be completed June 1 and will open soon afterward. It was initially scheduled to open July 19.

Planners say the project will come in under budget, too.

The county and a Chicago developer are working on the 1 million-square-foot medical mart and convention complex. Taxpayers are financing the project with a quarter-cent sales tax imposed in 2007, plus a 1 percent tax on hotel rooms tacked on in 2010.

The convention center and related development, along with a new casino and aquarium, contributed to Forbes magazine this week recognizing Cleveland as having one of the nation's emerging downtowns.

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