JW Marriott to open in 2015

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by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and Photojournalist DENNIS THOMAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on January 27, 2014 at 7:30 PM

AUSTIN -- When the Frost Bank building opened 10 years ago, it was the tallest building in downtown Austin with 33 floors. Now, the Frost Bank is surrounded by buildings, as well as cranes, signifying buildings under construction.

"[Construction is] everywhere. If it’s not one day, it’s the next. A new road. You have to cross the road. [There are] detours," said downtown resident Michael Guerra.

Seven months ago, a lot was excavated that will soon become the Colorado Towers. 

The 29-story office and retail space is set to open in November.

"It’s exciting to me to see the city in change,” said downtown worker Alan Hendrickson.

KVUE got a tour of the new JW Marriott Austin on Monday. It will have 34 floors and is set to open March 1, 2015 and will be the city’s largest hotel. It’s already booked for that month's South by Southwest festival.

Jay Spurr is the director of sales and marketing for the new hotel.

"So basically, the roof of the hotel has been poured now. We‘ve just topped [it] off. It’s a major milestone in the construction," said Spurr.

The pool deck will be on the fifth floor.

The JW Marriott will have 34 floors with 1,021 rooms.

"We are able to attract more and more conventions and groups that have never been able to come to Austin before," said Spurr.

Spurr said they are 20 percent ahead of their projected sales and bookings. It's an example of the need for hotel rooms in the city.

Other construction signifies the demand for office and living space.

"It looks like some more apartments, more condos, so we could have a 24/7 city. That would be great," said former city employee Alice Glasco.

However, even the residents that are excited about the growth wonder what it could mean for the city.

"Are we going to lose our soul? Or are we going to become a big wind tunnel through here?" said Hendrickson.

With the JW Marriott comes new restaurants. One will be northern Italian. Another will feature local Texas food and beverages. There will also be a restaurant similar to a food trailer.

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