A new upscale downtown hotel will soon grace the Edmonton skyline.

Mayor Stephen Mandel joined developer Prem Singhmar to celebrate the groundbreaking for the 12-storey hotel in The Quarters Downtown.

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Dignitaries break ground for new hotel. (CBC)

The 220-suite hotel, at 96 Street and Jasper Avenue, will overlook the river valley and house boutiques, restaurants on the main floor and corporate offices on the top floor.

The hotel, designed by Gene Dub, will feature a distinctive entranceway with a jewel-like glass canopy.

Singhmar is still negotiating with various hotel chains to finalize the franchise and assume the operations of the hotel.

The hotel should be completed in spring 2014. this unique development is part of a series of new projects slated for construction this year. 

"The City of Edmonton is proud to help launch construction on what will be a major catalyst project for The Quarters Downtown," said Mayor Stephen Mandel.

"Having Mr. Singhmar on board is a coup for our city. His expertise will create an elegant landmark that will attract visitors and be a source of pride for the neighbourhood and for the capital region."

Mandel credited the Quarters Downtown Community Revitalization Levy — which uses increased tax revenues to pay off money borrowed to finance the Quarters Downtown project — for laying the groundwork for the hotel.

The city borrowed $56 million to pay for infrastructure improvements and other expenses to attract private sector investment in the area.

"The City of Edmonton has been an excellent partner in this venture," said Singhmar. "They encouraged interesting design concepts and helped coordinate the transfer and remediation of land and upgrading drainage and utility systems to handle the demands of new development in the area."