The Indianapolis skyline will change dramatically in a few years with the addition of an expansive, futuristic hotel complex.Ground was broken Thursday on the 34-story JW Marriott Tower on seven acres near West and Washington streets.The $425 million hotel was one of the elements that helped Indianapolis secure the 2012 Super Bowl.Mayor Greg Ballard, along with other state and city officials, were on hand for the groundbreaking.The facility will be Indianapolis' largest full-service convention hotel complex, boasting four hotels with more than 1,600 rooms. The tower will be the largest of those, with about 1,000 rooms."Our hotels, our restaurants, our theaters and the like will continue to flourish with the addition of this hotel," Ballard said.A little less than 300 rooms will be in a new Courtyard by Marriott hotel, with 168 rooms slated for a Fairfield Inn and Suites. Springhill Suites is set to have 156 rooms.
"The exciting part of the JW complex, in combination with some of the other downtown improvements, ... really changes the type of conventions and visitors that we can attract," said Cory Chambers, of White Properties. "We're excited to ... change how the city looks and feels."The 375-foot tower, featuring a crescent moon shape, blue glass curtain wall and stainless steel accent panels, will be the city's seventh-largest building."It will increase demand for the expanded convention center. It's the critical piece of the puzzle to ensure the success of the expanded convention center," said Bob Bedell, president of the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association.The entire complex is set to be completed by March 2011.The three smaller hotels are set to open by March 2010.