The first of two hotels in downtown's Constellation project, a SpringHill Suites by Marriott, will break ground on Wednesday, according to developer Scott McLain. The 130-room, 6-story hotel is the first element of a much-anticipated mixed-use development, which will include another, almost-identical hotel (a Courtyard by Marriott), a 160-unit condo/apartment high-rise (at one time ~15 floors, but probably toned down because of the city's reluctance to change the height limit restrictions; the election could change this), retail and restaurants, and office space. McLain said that the Courtyard and condos will be next to begin construction, and additional retail/restaurant tenants will be announced soon as well; he said that he hopes to recruit a "green grocer," meaning a Whole Foods-or-similar-type store. The estimated completion of the project is now at least three years out.
In May, the Times also reported that the Courtyard had changed brands to Residence Inn, and that the condo building would be apartments. But in Saturday's Times article linked above, McLain said that he was on the "29th plan" for the project, meaning that he's changed it 28 times. Confused yet? Check out some of the older renderings for the project I found over a year ago: