Friday, April 18, 2008

U Street Hotel in the Future?


Trendy and quirky U Street, which has seen a spate of residential development of late, may get a hotel in the not too distant future. The plan, brought before the Cardozo-Shaw Neighborhood Association last week by JBG Companies, proposed developing the strip mall that currently houses the Rite Aid, a nail salon and dollar store, into a 10-story multi-use development.

Though in its very early stages and likely to evolve, the vision is to replace the current strip mall across the street from the Ellington Apartments, replacing it with a single building that would house underground parking, retail on the ground floor, a boutique hotel on floors 3-8, and possibly capped by two floors of residential to max out the density. The existing strip mall takes up most of the block on the south side of the 1300 block of U Street. The area falls within a historic protection zone, but no historic building would be affected.

With neighbors apparently in favor of supplanting the current retail, the largest obstacle, financing notwithstanding, will be to change the underlying zoning, which does not now allow for density sufficient to support this project. Phil Spalding, Commissioner for ANC 1B, says the development has local support, and that there will be "a strong push for retail to animate the street," speculating that some of the current retail could reopen in the new space, though stressing that the plans will likely see "another 9 or 10 redrawings" before construction could begin. Renderings are not yet available, but Spalding describes the current iteration as 'classical.'

15 comments:

Shaw Rez on Apr 18, 2008, 4:12:00 PM said...

I think this could be a great addition to the corridor.

DG-rad on Apr 18, 2008, 5:27:00 PM said...

oo, i like

hiya said...

Wow, this could be really nice.

kk said...

As much as i would like to see something else in the area, there needs to be a store/pharmacy (cvs,riteaid etc.) in that area and the one down the street doesn't count.

and the pizza hut needs to be there too there already aren't that many pizza huts, dominoes, papa johns in dc to begin with.

as long as those two return in quite fine with it.

IMGoph on Apr 19, 2008, 8:59:00 PM said...

hell, if everything that's in there currently for retail and food space stayed and 9 floors were added to the top, that would be fine by me. just add some density. one story buildings across the street from the metro is a freakin' waste.

Lynne on Apr 21, 2008, 5:32:00 PM said...

I don't see this as some drab strip mall. There are tons of great, successful restaurants, bars, stores and businesses in this block, including Twins Jazz, Polly's, Tabaq, Al Crostino, Momo's, the new Dekka Fashion Art and Music, Cafe Nema, Axis Bar & Grill, etc. There are plenty of falling apart, unused buildings within 4 blocks that would not cause the neighborhood to lose so many of its great establishments. I'm sure if this new building went in, it would charge exhorbitant rents, and these current businesses would be kicked out.

IMGoph on Apr 21, 2008, 5:36:00 PM said...

lynne, maybe you're misreading part of what's being said here.

places like twins, axis, cafe nema, polly's, and tabaq are in historic, multi-story buildings.

the only part of the block that is being referred to is the part where bb&t, pizza hut, creme, al crostino, and rite aid are. yeah, if that space is going to be redeveloped, those businesses would have to move (at least temporarily), but no one is proposing demolishing the other structures on the block.

monkeyrotica on Apr 21, 2008, 7:58:00 PM said...

What's funny is that there used to be a HUGE honking hotel just down 13th Street that was ultimately destroyed in the riots. All the bigwigs stayed there, but went to seed in the 1960s. Read about it in Paul Kelsey's excellent book on the history of U Street. Now we got this boutiquey stuff coming down the pike. Well, anything that lays waste to Pollys is okay in my book. Having to pay extra for fries just is not American.

KJ said...

My main concern is that a 10-story building on that corner might obstruct the view of the city from slightly up north on 13th (the hill by Cardozo). That view is brilliant and I'd hate to see it destroyed.

poo poo hates loser transplants said...

no! no hotels on or near u street!

i want my friends and family to stay on capitol hill, or georgetown.

there is no need for a hotel on u street.

i only want convenience and hippy stores in that area.

hotels are bad! go away hotel! go away!

let people experience the other parts of town, and only travel to u street as a distraction!

forget about the fact that 3636 16th street was one of the biggest and best hotels in dc for a long time. that's ancient history.

go away big developers! bring back small time wanna-be's!

a hotel. how ludicrous is that? like anyone wants to stay there anyway.

crazy people. crazy, i tell ya!

put in a used jeans store and an empanada joint, but no hotels!

i love the quirky backwards aspect to the area.

if there were just a bit more crime, i'd really feel like i was a thousand miles from oklahoma, or iowa, or somesuch.

go away and let me re-open my outhouse in the backyard! that would be really fashionable nowadays, huh?

see? i'm the voice of reason!!!

Davester said...

Yeah, I guess the CVS in the Mason building -- less then a 2 minute walk -- does not count. Why is it... that it doesn't count? I actually prefer it over the Rite Aid.

DG-rad on Apr 23, 2008, 3:23:00 PM said...

you don't get enough positive credit, poo poo. that was awesome.

Anonymous said...

Wow, just think what this is going to do to all the fabulous views from The Ellington across the street. Who is going to want to spend 3K a month for 1100 sq ft then? When we first moved to D.C. about 4-years ago Polly's was one of the only options in that areas for a good micro brew. How times have changed and with the extra competition I no longer have to shell out $20 or more for a pitcher - read 4 pints.

Anonymous said...

Wow, just think what this is going to do to all the fabulous views from The Ellington across the street. Who is going to want to spend 3K a month for 1100 sq ft then? When we first moved to D.C. about 4-years ago Polly's was one of the only options in that areas for a good micro brew. How times have changed and with the extra competition I no longer have to shell out $20 or more for a pitcher - read 4 pints.

Anonymous said...

I Love cafe Nema, Thank god its not included

 

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