Plans are in the works for a new building to house San Francisco's Mexican Museum, a project with a price tag of more than $13 million.

Some 50,000 people visit the museum each year at its current location at the Fort Mason Center, which covers 10,500 sq. feet (232 sq. meters). Although that site represents a significant upgrade over its original two-room location on Folsom St., it is no longer adequate for the museum's expanded collection.

"Our institution has more than 14,000 works of art in its collection. We need a bigger site to display more of the works and better serve the community and our audiences through educational, cultural and public programs," Jonathan Yorba, CEO of the Mexican Museum, told Efe.

The museum recently received an $800,000 planning grant from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment, or CCHE, to design and develop the new location, a 40,000-sq.-foot (3,720-sq.-meter) building that will be located in San Francisco's Yerba Buena cultural district on the corner of 3rd St. and Mission St.

The Millennium Partners also will fund a $5 million endowment to help support operations at the new facility, which will continue to fulfill the museum's goals of exhibiting the aesthetic expression of the Mexican and Mexican-American people.

"The museum hopes to begin construction of the new location in 2013 and have access to the new facility in 2014 to begin setting up the galleries, classrooms, administrative offices, special events halls and the collections warehouse and management office," Yorba said, adding that the new building should open its doors to the public in 2016.

The museum houses works by Bay Area artists as well as of regional, national and international artists representing the rich artistic and cultural contributions of Mexicans, Mexican-Americans and Hispanics.

In addition to visual art exhibitions and educational programs, the Mexican Museum's new home will offer culinary art programs that mesh artistic and cultural expression.

"We'll also have a terrace with sculptures and we'll be able to host outdoor events, both independently and in partnership with other art and cultural organizations in the Yerba Buena Cultural Arts District," Yorba said.

"We hope to create meaningful alliances and work in conjunction with other institutions, always for the benefit of the community."