Work officially started on downtown Fort Wayne’s newest hotel Thursday.

City leaders gathered at the spot along W. Jefferson Blvd., near Parkview Field. to kick off the work with a groundbreaking ceremony.

 “We want employers to look at downtown Fort Wayne,” Mayor Tom Henry said. “We want hospitality investors to look at downtown Fort Wayne. We want living investors to look at downtown Fort Wayne… all in an effort to attract more and more visitors to our community and employers.” 

The land between Harrison St. and Webster St. was a parking lot, used for customers of businesses in The Harrison building. Now a 6-story, 136-room hotel will rise at that spot. It is expected to open next summer.

“We’ve shown it to two groups recently and each of them are book for three year contracts in Fort Wayne with the expectation of new rooms coming in that are needed to take care of all their delegates,” Visit Fort Wayne President Dan O’Connell explained. “These are conventions in the two to three thousand range, so that’s a wonderful opportunity to continue to grow our convention offerings.”

Announced Thursday, the project will also include a walk-up Burger Bar, inspired by the city’s food truck culture. There will also be a rooftop bar offering views of the ballpark.

So what does this project cost the city? Here is the breakdown in numbers:

  •  Redevelopment Commission: $500,00 in tax increment financing.
  • .Capital Improvement Board: $1.3 million dollars.

Mayor Tom Henry told NewsChannel 15 the city saved from not needing to build a new parking structure for the future hotel. Guests will use the Harrison Square parking garage, shared with the Courtyard and the TinCaps.