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Fort Worth.

NEW HEADQUARTERS HOTEL ON THE HORIZON

Fort Worth officials have agreed to build a long-awaited convention center headquarters hotel. Plans are to build a 500- to 600-room, upscale hotel with about 50,000 square feet of meeting space and to begin construction this year.

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The headquarters hotel has been a top priority for Fort Worth, now that its convention center expansion is complete. Last spring, phase two of the $75 million expansion of the Fort Worth Convention Center was completed only one year after the project's phase one completion, which added 56,000 square feet of exhibit space, 12,500 square feet of meeting rooms, and a 30,000-square-foot ballroom.

Phase two added 25,000 square feet of exhibit space, 22,800 square feet of meeting rooms, and upgraded 100,000 square feet of existing exhibit space. The phase two project also extended the center west to Houston Street and expanded the center's 13,500-seat arena.

Now that the expansion is complete, the Fort Worth Convention Center offers 252,000 square feet of exhibit space, a new ballroom, and 41 breakout rooms encompassing 60,050 square feet. New prefunction, storage, and registration area space also was added in both phases of the expansion.

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The new headquarters hotel will join a cluster of large, meetings-oriented hotels near the convention center, which include the 516-room Radisson, 504-room Renaissance Worthington, and 430-room Ramada Plaza, which is undertaking a $34.5 million upgrade. More hotels are in the works, too, with a $7.1 million AmeriSuites scheduled to open in early 2005 in the heart of the Stockyards National Historic District. The five-story, 102-room property will be constructed in a Western architectural style. Additionally, the 145-room SpringHill Suites University Centre Hotel is set to open this month near downtown Forth Worth and the Texas Christian University.

A new attraction will open this fall between downtown and the Stockyards. The Fort Worth Mercado will be a 58,000-square-foot, Mexican-themed market that will include shops, restaurants, a banquet hall, office space, and a "paseo" area for cultural arts.

Opening early next year will be more shops and restaurants on the first five floors of a 37-story tower in downtown that was damaged by a tornado in 2000. Formerly known as the Bank One Tower, the landmark building is being transformed into luxury residential units through a $65 million project.

A unique attraction opened last month at the Department of the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing facility. A new visitors center and public tour is now in place at the currency production facility in Fort Worth, the only city outside Washington, D.C., to produce U.S. currency and banknotes.

Last fall, a $3.2 million renovation transformed the historic Casa Manana Theater into a 21st century performance facility. The project created a new, 11,400-square-foot, steel-and-glass lobby and upgraded stage configuration. The theater seats 1,100 people.
COPYRIGHT 2004 American Society of Association Executives
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Title Annotation:Texas; Convention center to be built
Publication:Association Management
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:May 1, 2004
Words:488
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