Convention Center Feasibility Study Findings and Formal Recommendations to be Presented for an Event and Hospitality Epicenter in DeKalb County

Dekalb County

Presented by C.H. Johnson Consulting, Inc. at the June 21 Board of Commissioners Committee of the Whole Meeting

In June 2021, DeKalb Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson allocated $100,000 from the District 7 discretionary fund for Discover DeKalb to retain C.H. Johnson Consulting Inc. for the purpose of conducting comprehensive market analysis for the feasibility of a new event and hospitality epicenter in DeKalb County.

C.H. Johnson Consulting was joined by TVS Design, an Atlanta-based architecture and design firm, to assist with the study, which included industry trends, comparable case studies, and competitive and local markets. Subsequent phases of the project included a financial and operating analysis, site analysis, and a final report outlining the consulting team’s findings, conclusions, recommendations and implementation strategy.

On Tuesday, June 21, at 9:00 a.m. formal recommendations from the Convention Center Study will be presented at the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners Committee of Whole meeting and can be viewed by the public at

“It is no longer acceptable to build a convention center,” said Commissioner Cochran-Johnson. “We must create a unique experience that features a state-of-the-art environment, along with local attractions, adequate accommodations and a central location that is highly desirable to tourists.

The Convention Center Feasibility Study was a countywide undertaking, resulting in countless meetings with various stakeholders, including the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, the DeKalb County Board of Education, representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, Decide DeKalb, and Discover DeKalb. In addition, they study resulted in the engagement of over 200 Metro-Atlanta meeting and event planners and destination service providers, as well as several arts and cultural organizations.

“The development of a convention epicenter is long overdue for DeKalb County residents,” said Commissioner Cochran-Johnson. “I am happy to have joined Discover DeKalb in engaging an industry expert in development to help us choose the best possible location, experience and design for the development of a world-class campus.”

“DeKalb County has lost millions in annual revenue due to our lack of a convention center,” said James Tsismanakis, director of Discover DeKalb. “Our development of a convention epicenter will be a game changer for DeKalb in terms of revenue, economic development and the ability to compete with local jurisdictions. Our Convention Center plan will place DeKalb County in a superior position, because no other major U.S. city will have a facility that offers the unique experience we will offer.”

Since its inception in 1996, Johnson Consulting has conducted hundreds of engagements in the U.S., Central and South America, Asia, Africa and Europe. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the company focuses on economic, market, and financial analysis for a variety of land uses, including retail, housing, sports venues, convention/conference centers, hotels, and specialized expansion through pre-development and continued operation.

“Our work and reputation in this space speaks for itself,” said Charles Johnson, CEO of Johnson Consulting. “We are proud to have been a part of some of the most dynamic projects in America and are eager to present our findings and recommendations for DeKalb County.”

For media coverage or to schedule an interview with James Tsismanakis, email Melissa Webb or call 404-237-3761. To schedule an interview with or Commissioner Cochran-Johnson, email Allison M. Slocum at or call 470-889-4213.