- Associated Press - Saturday, September 19, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indianapolis is moving ahead with plans for a $125 million expansion of the downtown convention center, even as business has plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic.

The City-County Council endorsed plans for the project, which includes a 300,000-square-foot addition on the site of Pan Am Plaza. A covered walkway would connect it with the convention center on the other side of Capitol Avenue.

City leaders say the expansion is needed to remain competitive with other convention cities.

Construction is expected to begin during 2022, with completion planned in 2024.

Developer Kite Realty Group owns the Pan Am Plaza area and plans to build two hotels with 1,400 rooms on the site in the future. Some hotel owners have questioned adding more rooms with so much economic uncertainty due to the ongoing pandemic.

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