By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Nov 16, 2016 at 2:36 PM

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There's doesn't to seem to be any lack of exciting new buildings and hotels popping up around Milwaukee – and The Westin Milwaukee hotel, moving in right behind the U.S. Bank Center, is one of them.

Progress is moving fast on the new hotel – which will hold 220 rooms, including seven suites, and an Italian steakhouse-inspired restaurant when it opens in June 2017 – and as evidence, this morning, The Westin hosted a special ceremony and celebration inside the neighboring U.S. Bank Center for the beginning of the final concrete pour on the structure. Investors, visitors and media members looked up through the Galleria level's skylight to watch as a crane carried a beam – decorated with an American flag on one end and a Christmas tree on the other – and the final concrete pour over to the hotel. 

"The Westin won't just be a destination for leisure or business travelers; it also will serve as a hub for everybody who lives in our city and works and plays within Milwaukee at any time," said The Westin's general manager Jeff Hess. "Milwaukee will continue to evolve, and we're happen to be a part of that evolution."

"This is unprecedented in the history of the city of Milwaukee; there has never been a real estate boom like we're seeing right now – and it's not building for the sake of building," said Rocky Marcoux, commissioner for the Department of City Development, adding later, "If there are investors that are willing to put their money into these hotels, keep 'em coming, because this is a great sign of growth for us and it's a great sign of growth for Milwaukee as a fantastic business destination."

But the most exciting part of Wednesday's event was a media tour afterward of the in-progress Westin Milwaukee, which took reporters through the concrete and steel framework to see some of the potential sixth floor views from the hotel and a few exciting spots to stay tuned for. Here are a few shots from the first look:

1. The Westin Milwaukee, from the outside 

2. It's coming together

3. Jeff Hess lays out the vision for the hotel's restaurant

4. The future home of an Italian steakhouse-inspired restaurant

5. Many of the rooms will look over the lakefront

6. A view of the city from The Westin Milwaukee

7. Looking out from the sixth floor

8. A rendering of the final product

Stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for more details about The Westin Milwaukee as they become available. 

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.