The Holiday Inn Hotel Group has announced plans to build a 456-room hotel at the southwest corner of 12th and H streets NW in the old downtown area of Washington.

The hotel will be a Crowne Plaza, more luxurious than the traditional Holiday Inns and targeted at the business traveler. It will be developed by the Oliver T. Carr Co. as part of the Metro Center Development project.

The Crowne Plaza is the second phase of Metro Center's renovation, which includes the new Hecht's department store on G Street NW between 12th and 13th streets, scheduled to open this fall. Metro Center, which will include 450,000 square feet of retail space and 800,000 square feet of office space, is being developed by the Carr Co. and Hagans Development Co., both D.C. firms.

"It's a top-of-the-line Holiday Inn," said Cris Stewart, supervisor of media relations for the Holiday Inn Hotel Group in Memphis. "We feel that this is a very good location for this kind of hotel. Most of them are in places with a great deal of business travel." There are currently 12 Holiday Inn Crowne Plazas across the country, including the original built two years ago in Rockville.

In addition to the Crowne Plaza, which is scheduled for completion in December 1987, the Carr Co. is renovating the old Willard Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue into a hotel, office and retail complex. The Willard Intercontinental Hotel is expected to open next spring, according to a Carr spokesman.

The new Crowne Plaza will have meeting rooms, a ballroom, two restaurants and retail shops as well as a "concierge floor" featuring a special lounge and limited secretarial services for guests. According to Stewart, rates for the Crowne Plaza in Rockville range from $115 to $135 per night single occupancy for a standard room, and the rates for the new hotel will be similar.

There are three large hotels now under construction in the District: the 910-room Grand Hyatt at 10th and H streets NW; the 416-room Westin Hotel at 24th and M streets NW, and the Park Hyatt across the street on M Street NW, with 233 rooms. The 272-room Sheraton Grand opened in December on New Jersey Avenue near Capitol Hill, and the J. W. Marriott opened 16 months ago at 1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

Madeline Petty, director of the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development, called the Crowne Plaza project "indicative of continuing efforts to revitalize the retail core of the downtown area. The benefits that will accrue to the district in terms of more jobs and increased revenue wil be significant."

A 900-room Ramada Renaissance hotel, a luxury version of a Ramada Inn, has been proposed for 9th and I streets NW.