by Lisa A. Grimaldi | October 01, 2016
Local Update

 The Georgia World Congress Center Authority has launched a strategic plan, "2020 Vision," that includes the opening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a state-of-the-art, retractable-roof sports arena that will double as an event venue, to be completed in 2017. The plan also calls for an 800- to 1,100-room high-end convention center hotel to open adjacent to the Congress Center's building C and the addition of 1 million square feet of exhibit space between buildings B and C, a significant boost to the 1.4 million square feet currently available.

 The SLS Atlanta Hotel & Residences, a mixed-use development, is slated to debut in 2019. The property, which will have 214 guest rooms and 66 condos, will be two blocks from Atlanta's Piedmont Park in mid-town. Details about meeting space have not yet been announced.

 The 260-room Omni Atlanta Hotel at SunTrust Park will be the flagship hotel of SunTrust Park, the Atlanta Braves' new ballpark and mixed-use project. The $452 million complex, including the hotel, is scheduled to open in 2017. The Omni is slated to have 12,500 square feet of meeting space, an elevated pool deck and bar overlooking the plaza and ballpark, and a signature restaurant.

 Also coming online in 2017 is the 260-room AC Hotel by Marriott Downtown. The former Holiday Inn Atlanta Downtown Centennial Park will undergo a $20 million renovation before it is reflagged. The property has one meeting room.

 The 1,663-room Atlanta Marriott Marquis has completed a $78 million refurbishment. Guest rooms now offer multipurpose work surfaces, smart TVs and upgraded bathrooms, and the property's 160,000 square feet of meeting space has been outfitted with increased bandwidth. Other enhancements include tech upgrades to the concierge lounge.

 The 204-room Renaissance Atlanta Airport Gateway Hotel is slated to open in early 2017 with 6,500 square feet of meeting space in addition to a 3,220-square-foot ballroom. The hotel will be connected to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport via SkyTrain.

 Ponce City Market, an urban food hall and retail area housed in the former Sears, Roebuck & Co. building, debuted last year. The market's newest feature is Skyline Park, a rooftop vintage theme park with classic arcade games, mini-golf and a three-story slide.