The shell is still without exterior walls, but the Dallas Business Journal offers a tantalizing peek inside the convention center hotel in a story that talks about common areas, artwork and room design. (The URL link doesn’t require a sign-in, from what I can tell.) Among the hotel highlights:

• Map-like patterns of Dallas’ road network are being woven into rugs

• The hotel’s main restaurant is “inspired” by the Dallas Farmers Market and includes reclaimed wood floors, communal tables and brick-interior walls

• Dallas’ skyline will be etched in a large mirror in a common area, allowing visitors to “see themselves” in the city

• And quoting directly from the DBJ story: Omni (the hotel operator) “wants folks to know the larger-than-life people who built the city. So they’re hanging supersized portraits of industry titans and city pioneers in common areas.” The only individual cited was Mike Martinez, founder of the El Fenix restaurant chain; I wonder how political that process will become now that current and future politicos know that’s the plan?

The story also says that “each of the hotel’s 1,001 guest rooms will have its own art collection of up to seven pieces, created by local artists and offered for sale.” Honestly that sounds like a great idea, but is sure seems like an administrative headache for a hotel operator to manage what essentially will be 1,001 miniature art collections.

Construction is expected to be completed by February 2012.

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