A great, real-life addition to any downtown area is a convention center. There are currently many impressive ones, such as in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York, to name a few. But SimCity doesn't include a convention center in its building collection, nor does it offer one as a reward. I'll show how you can build one very easily. (Note: Building this will not help your land value or anything like that. This is purely for aesthetic purposes of adding a realistic-looking component to your downtown area.)
First, make sure you have the "plop" cheat activated (see article Access all buildings cheat, #0094).
Set aside a 9x6 area in your city grid. Don't be afraid to close a few roads up in the process, as it is used in many real cities.
With the building list, choose "airport terminal." It may not sound like it'll work, but if you make sure the terminal building can be built with it's canopy in a straight line, parallel to one of your streets, it creates a realistic-looking facade for your convention center.
Next, choose the "airport terminal connector" building and place it in every other square of your 9x6 grid. While the terminal building works as your facade, these buildings work as the guts of your convention center.
You're not done yet, though. Bulldoze a 3x3 area of what you just put in and add a "hotel" to your complex. Some good options for creating a realistic-looking hotel include Villars Apartments, Comfort Towers, or go big with the 4x4 Brick Arms Apartments.
Next, add a lot of parking structures to the area around the center, as a normal convention center will need them. These can be surface lots or "parking garages", either will work.
Finally, to top the effect, add high-density commercial buldings, such as Kate Foundation, to the area surrounding your convention center. Sit back and admire the realistic-looking commerce center you've just created.
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