Construction Begins on Phoenix Convention Hotel

Phoenix -- Construction is underway on a 1,000-room, publicly financed hotel, located one block from the convention center downtown.

The hotel is scheduled to open in fall of 2008 as the city's largest lodging property. Starwood Hotels will manage the property under its Sheraton brand.

Although two other convention hotels are located downtown, city officials consider the $350-million project critical to the success of the convention center expansion. Scheduled for a 2009 completion, the $600-million expansion will triple the center's function space to about 900,000 square feet.

"This is not just about one hotel," Brian Kearney, chief executive of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, which is leading the city's redevelopment, said last week during ground-breaking ceremonies. "The investment in this Sheraton will allow all downtown hotels and businesses to benefit by providing an enhanced convention package."

The new Sheraton will feature more than 80,000 square feet of meeting space including a 28,665-square-foot ballroom, a 15,000-square-foot junior ballroom, 6 meeting rooms, two boardrooms, and a terrace for outdoor events, according to Starwood.

All of the meeting facilities will be equipped with high-speed Internet connectivity and videoconferencing capability.