Bond Measure Approved by City-County Council Will Add 143,500 sq.ft. Event Space & Connect to New 800-room Signia by Hilton Convention Headquarter Hotel
The Indianapolis City-County Council voted unanimously, 25-0, on Sept. 14 to approve up to $155 million in bond financing to expand the Indiana Convention Center.
This will be the sixth center expansion since opening in 1972 and will add 143,500 sq.ft. of event and function space, anchored by a 50,000-sq.ft. ballroom, the largest in Indiana. It will connect to a new $300+ million Signia by Hilton hotel on a site known as Pan Am Plaza immediately east of the center in the heart of downtown Indy.
Construction is slated to begin in 2022 on both the center expansion and the Signia by Hilton and will be done by a local developer, Kite Realty Group Trust, which also built the Conrad Indianapolis. The project is anticipated to open in 2025.
Signia by Hilton is a new brand the company describes as “designed by meeting planners for meeting planners” and is currently being developed in three cities—Indy, Orlando and Atlanta. Indy’s Signia will stand 42 stories tall and offer 800 rooms and additional meeting and event space inside the hotel (pictured right).
This expansion will increase the total exhibit hall, ballroom, meeting room and pre-function space at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium complex to more than 1.1 million sq.ft., while boosting the total number of hotel rooms directly connected to the center via climate-controlled skywalks to more than 5,500. The project also includes plans for a second Hilton-branded, 600-room hotel on Pan Am Plaza to be developed in the future.
“Indy has been working diligently on this expansion and headquarter hotel addition for six years with overwhelming, unwavering bi-partisan support throughout the process,” says Leonard Hoops, president & CEO of Visit Indy. “Some may be surprised by the decision to move forward with a project of this magnitude during these times of uncertainty but our city leaders are bullish on the convention and event industry not only recovering but thriving. Frankly it’s a very Indy thing to do. In the 1980s, we built a football stadium without a team and then welcomed the Colts soon after. During the financial crisis of 2008, we began building the JW Marriott and the Indiana Convention Center Phase V expansion, both of which opened in an economic recovery. We didn’t become USA Today’s #1 ranked convention city by accident, and this is yet another case of Indy betting on itself.”
The mission of Visit Indy is to increase Indianapolis economic growth by strategically selling the destination to conventions, meetings, events and leisure travelers. According to Rockport Analytics, 30 million visitors provide $5.6 billion in total economic impact annually and support 82,900 full-time-equivalent jobs in central Indiana. For more info, visit www.VisitIndy.com/indianapolis-planner-new-developments.