Perseus Realty, LLC received a unanimous vote of approval from the Zoning Commission on Monday for their PUD of "1" Hotel, DC's first LEED certified hotel. They last met with the ZC at the end of February to hammer out more details on their project to be located at the corner of 22nd and M Streets in the West End neighborhood, across from the Ritz Carlton.
The 125,000 s.f. luxury hotel, pledged to be LEED Silver certified, will have between 148 and 170 rooms, depending on how many suites developers decide to create, on ten guest room levels. Perseus, along with Starwood Capital Group, purchased the land back in November 2006. The Nigerian Embassy and Asia Nora (see photo below) are currently on the site but will be demolished in order for construction to begin.
Starwood hopes to turn the "1" Hotel concept into the first global, luxury, green hotel brand. According to a source at Perseus, who asked not to be named until approval was completed, "In addition to the architecture, which is great, what makes this project special is more the concepts behind it and what it is trying to get accomplished. This is all new to DC. It is the first LEED certified hotel. It is definitely a work in progress, but we are all still really excited about it. This is a way for guests to act in an environmentally conscious way but still have everything they want and need."
The building will have an exterior layer of energy efficient glass to let in daylight during cold months and shield the rooms from heat during warmer weather. The guest rooms will have individual energy controls that will activate when a key card is put in place by the guest, in order to save on light and temperature control costs. The hotel will most likely use a greywater system, recycling "slightly dirty" water to use for heating.
Back in February, the ZC asked the developers for clarification on the "green walls" that are to run from floor to ceiling and divide the L-shaped building into three sections, as well as border the outside tea garden. The walls are made of a mix of plants that grow in both shade and light to give guests an outdoor-while-indoor experience. The walls also have a functional job, as they help to purify the air and get rid of pollutants. Perseus assured the commission the walls could be replaced in one-ft. squares, so that it will not eventually turn into a "brown wall."
Other issues resolved were clarification for an unnamed party in opposition about an abutting wall from the roof penthouse structure that came close to a property line, and the location of a garage entrance. Perseus is still going through the PUD process; their plans now go to the National Capital Planning Commission. NCPC will have 30 days to give their verdict. Developers have not yet released a construction time line.