Designers will soon be sought for the second of the anchor projects in Christchurch's central-city blueprint.
The new convention centre has been identified by the Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) as a priority project, and director Warwick Isaacs said a request for information would be out in about six weeks.
The three-storey centre spanning Gloucester St will be able to hold three conferences concurrently - one of up to 1000 delegates and two of up to 500 - and a 350-space basement car park will be open to the public when conferences are not on.
Two inter-connected hotels are planned for the site, one on the corner of Colombo and Armagh streets and another at the southern end.
The CCDU last week called for expressions of interest (EOI) for the first anchor project, the Avon River precinct, a series of parks along the central-city banks of the river.
The convention centre is next, to be followed by the metro sports facility near Hagley Park.