Another downtown city block is under massive construction and will remain so for the next two years. This time, it's the 200 block between Congress and Brazos, which will be the home of the new 1 million square foot JW Marriott Austin, set to open in early 2015.
Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell joined the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau and executives of White Lodging and JW Marriott on Tuesday for the official groundbreaking ceremony held at the nearby 111 Congress Avenue office tower.
The JW Marriott Austin will stand at an impressive 34 stories with 1,012 rooms, 35 meeting rooms and an additional 110,000 square feet of meeting, banquet and exhibition space.
A scale model was on hand to display the impressive dimensions of the hotel, which is already being affectionately called the "Monster Marriott." Attendees were provided with full details of the new luxury accommodations of what will be JW Marriott's largest hotel in the U.S., and Austin's largest hotel period.
The JW Marriott Austin will stand at an impressive 34 stories with 1,012 rooms, 35 meeting rooms and an additional 110,000 square feet of meeting, banquet and exhibition space. There will also be food and drink spots located at ground level, a 3,500 square foot fitness center and enough underground parking to accommodate the full hotel.
"The addition of a 1,000 room hotel to the downtown area will have a major impact on the City of Austin," says Bob Lander, the president and CEO of the Austin Convention &Visitors Bureau. "Having this number of hotel rooms under one roof will allow the city to land large national conventions and meetings."
In fact, the hotel has booked more than 71,000 rooms for upcoming conventions set for 2015.
In fact, the hotel has booked more than 71,000 rooms for upcoming conventions set for 2015. "The large number of rooms booked already shows the level of excitement about plans for this beautiful new hotel," adds Lander.
Austin could absolutely use some additional lodging for all of the activity that happens downtown. Mere blocks from the Austin Convention Center, the Monster Marriott will be an amazing new option for visitors and panelists during festival season, especially during SXSW.
In case you haven't noticed, there's a lot of construction already going on in our rapidly-changing downtown, and this is the second major hotel being built in the southeast corner of downtown.
The construction will provide some tension on the area for the next couple of years, but for now we're trusting the City of Austin that the overall benefits will be worth it in the long run.