Monday, September 24, 2007
Washington DC Mayor Adrian Fenty announced today that the District has signed an agreement with Marriott International to build a new hotel at 9th and L Streets, on the west side of the new convention center. Marriott had been planning on as many as 1400 units at the site, and has been expected to begin the project since at least early this year, but will now scale the project back a notch, building approximately 1140 rooms and not begin construction for at least a year. The hotel is expected to open in 2011.
The two-acre site, combined from 2 parcels separately operated by the Washington Convention Center Authority (WCCA) and Kingdon Gould III, is currently mostly vacant and is being used as a parking lot. Gould's portion of the site is being traded for a portion of the old Convention Center site that the District now controls. Gould was not part of the agreement today, but has agreed in principal to terms of the transfer. Marriott has agreed to begin the planning process immediately, incorporating the land south of L Street and north of Massachusetts Avenue, along 9th Street. Sean Madigan of DC's Office of Planning says the site plan will no longer include the parcels north of L Street, which Marriott previously acquired in expectation of building into the final designs, but will likely incorporate the historic office building at the southeastern corner of the lot into the hotel. The utility building at the northeastern corner of the block will remain. Madigan said the transaction has been signed and will be executed "shortly", but would not speculate on a timeframe.
The entire transaction is valued at about $540m, of which $134m will be contributed by the DC government through Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in the form of bonds issued by the WCCA and repaid by taxes generated through the hotel. The city will lease the site to Marriott for 99 years, on which Marriott will build and operate the hotel.
Furthering DC's new legislation for the construction of 'green' buildings, Marriott has agreed to meet the District's standards with a building that will be LEED certified, meeting the U.S. Green Building Council's "Silver" standard. The hotel will include 100,000 s.f. of meeting space and at least 400 new parking spaces, but it is unclear if retail will be included in the new design.