‘Exciting things happening downtown:’ City of Waco continues developing downtown with new hotel project

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 7:43 AM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The City of Waco announced one of the many up-and-coming projects downtown; the AC Marriott will be joining the handful of hotels downtown, benefitting both visitors and locals.

“Things are happening here, a lot of great things,” City of Waco Director of Economic Development, Kent George, said. “The future is very exciting for downtown Waco.”

Construction crews are working on one of those developments downtown, the AC Marriott. It sits right across the street from the Silos at Magnolia, encompassing the block between Mary Ave. and Jackson Ave. along S Sixth St.

With more than 1 million tourists visiting the Silos at Magnolia, right across the street, he hotel will have 180 rooms for guests and 330 parking spots. In addition to serving visitors, the hotel will also have a convention center, full-service restaurant, rooftop bar and shopping open to the public.

“We get to add a quality hotel,” George said. “We get to add for people who have family coming into town or friends. We’ve got some really big sports in town, so people can come and stay, they can visit around the corner at Magnolia.”

George said the hotel should also benefit Waco long-term.

“This development generates increased property tax on the investment they’ve made on the land,” he said. “Also, sales tax is generated.”

Waco will be the sixth city in Texas to open an AC Marriott, following Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Fort Worth. The hotel is described as sophisticated and sleek with refined foods and drinks, based on the hotel website. It is under the “select” rankings of hotels.

“This is definitely a more refined product than your average Marriott,” George said. “Of course, they have some very notable neighbors around the corner, so a lot of people are here to enjoy that, enjoy downtown, to eat, to shop, and really just come to expect a lot of welcome from the community here in Waco and just a vibrant, growing downtown.”

George said the hotel is one of many projects coming to the downtown area.

“We are super focused on not only development of this area around Magnolia, but how we connect that development to the river,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of exciting things happening downtown, and, then, we’re starting to plan with the input of our community, what can take place in downtown, especially in the areas around city hall.”

While the construction will continue blocking off a lane on S Sixth St. and closing half of Mary Ave., George said they expect the hotel to be open by the end of 2023.

“We’re super excited to cut the ribbon on this thing and just start to enjoy it in our downtown,” George said.