Marriott ands it various development partners held a parking lot party this morning to announce to the world that it's ready to break ground on its 23 story joint Courtyard by Marriott and Marriott Residence Inn in South Park (just across Olympic from its JW Marriott/Ritz-Carlton tower). Prep work is expected to start in April, with construction beginning sometime in the spring. The new building will bring 174 Courtyard rooms ("a no-frills-style Marriott," according to the LA Times) and 218 Residence Inn rooms ("intended for extended stays, [it] has larger units and kitchens").
This morning, City Councilmember Jan Perry and LA Live developer AEG's president Tim Leiweke both spoke about Downtown's dearth of hotel rooms and their desire to make LA a top destination for conventions (AEG is developing the Downtown NFL stadium project nearby, which includes a new convention center hall). Marriott Chairman Bill Marriott said that a group of Marriott employees are in town for a meeting right now, but some had to stay with competitors because there aren't enough Marriott rooms in the area.
The $172 million Marriott project will also include 11,754 square feet of meeting space, 5,100 square feet of restaurant space, and a 3,000 square foot digital sign, in case South Park wasn't bright enough for ya. The building was designed by GBD Architects of Portland and will have interior design by Seattle's Degen & Degen. A grand opening is expected for summer 2014.