By Edward Cardenas

DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – The nearly five-year renovation and expansion of Cobo Center is nearly complete, and with today’s opening of the North American International Auto Show, the public will be able to see the improvements in-person.

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The $279 million project is a complete overhaul of the facility, which first opened in 1960.

From the moment visitors approach the building, the changes will be noticeable. Two video walls have been added to the redeveloped north entrance, and the entire front entrance has been remodeled.

Inside, there is new carpeting and the addition of retail locations along the main concourse including a Shinola shop with watches, leather goods and bicycles; Detroit made, and branded, items at The Detroit Shoppe and a coffee shop.

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There are also new food options including a Go Natural food kiosk featuring a variety of fresh foods and grab-and-go items.

In the area that used to join Cobo Hall and Arena, the 30,000-square-foot Atrium with sweeping views of the Detroit window is complete. Cobo Arena has also been redeveloped into a ballroom and Detroit Made Kitchen which features locally-sourced food and inspired dishes including Detroit-style pizza, Polish dishes and items selected from nearby Eastern Market.

Cobo Center Chef Robin Wilson said 85 percent of the products at the Detroit Made Kitchen are Detroit-based, and Michigan-based, food companies and businesses.

“We are really big about trying to be sustainable and support the local purveyors,” said Wilson.

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Additionally, there is free Wi-Fi throughout the center to allow auto show attendees to share photos and memories on social media channels.