Monday, March 02, 2009

JBG to Build 4-Star Hotel on U Street


With their new plans for a residential project on 14th Street locked, the JBG Companies are moving ahead with their proposed "Destination Hotel" at 13th and U Streets, NW - currently the site of a Rite Aid outlet and, promisingly enough, directly across from the first shot fired in the war of U Street redevelopment, the Ellington.

Currently under design by David M. Schwarz Architects, the JBG-developed hotel looks to revitalize the Rite Aid site with a four-star, "boutique and independently managed" hotel that could include as many as 250 guestrooms, 4,500 square feet of conference space and a robust 23,000 square feet of retail. Though still in the planning stages, JBG has presented the Cardozo-Shaw Neighborhood Association (CSNA) with a tentative outline of their plans for the development, which include “a signature restaurant,” rooftop bar, swimming pool, full-service neighborhood gym, a publicly accessible arts component and requisite LEED Silver certification. Fancy accoutrements aside, JBG isn’t entirely forsaking the parcel’s past; the local Rite Aid will remain, albeit in an updated and reconfigured space. Gone, however, are tentative plans to add condos to the top floors.

JBG has yet to formally partner with a hotelier for the project – though the smart money’s on Marriott International, with whom they’ve partnered for a host of metro area co-developments. According to a statement from the CSNA, in the coming weeks JBG will “continue to participate and host community meetings with project neighbors, CSNA, ANC 1B, and other government officials, boards, and agencies, including the DC Historic Preservation Review Board and the DC Zoning Commission.” JBG will make good on that pledge, in conjunction with the CSNA, when they make the first public presentation regarding the hotel at 1835 14th Street, NW on Thursday, March 12 at 7 PM. Despite slowing their residential developmnet profile, JBG also just received HPRB approval just 3 blocks away at 1800 14th St., for a large residential building.

16 comments:

Evan on Mar 2, 2009, 6:38:00 PM said...

Boring, dated, ugly design, but whatever, at least something will be going up. While practically every city in the nation is going for more modern, interesting designs, D.C. continues to lag behind in the pomo 1990's.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't look very post modern to me. It's a boring design but it's still pretty classy. Something funkier and edgier could go up in this part of town, but this is still pretty decent IMO. It's not the boring bluish glass stuff we see everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Looks beautiful. Glad to see another developer not getting suckered by the "cool" modernist schtick that seems to be so conventional at this point.

Anonymous said...

I agree. This is classic.

Chris L on Mar 3, 2009, 10:40:00 AM said...

The design is really not all that bad, IMHO. They can't all be modern designs, Evan. Drive around the U Street corridor though and you'll see tons of modern stuff- especially near 10th and 11th.

Anonymous said...

I think this design is not fitting for this neighborhood at all. This would be a beautiful Georgetown design. But it does not look thought out as a U Street building. Who is the design board that approves this monstrosity.

Anonymous said...

Well.. there goes all of my beautiful views from my Ellington apartment.

Anonymous said...

Ledroit Park neighbor wonders ......the existing Rite-Aid is boring. I'm curious if anyone has a memory as to how it got there ... .and who were the original developers? Can we assume that it was a another great publicly-funded deal ..... for the benefit and enrichment of whom??

That property is such a lackluster dog....and really not very old. Might be an interesting case study? What do we learn from these cozy metaphors?

JBG's a great firm with long-term vision and highly qualified. Just wondering what got in the way of a sterling development on such a well travelled stretch of U Street in the first place??

Do other inquiring minds......care to wonder??

Anonymous said...

BORRRIINNNGGG!!!! No identifiable architecture/color.

Another opportunity to do something different lost. Every building in DC will look like every building in Rosslyn, which looks like every building in Bethesda, which looks like every...

Anonymous said...

Ummm, it's black and white? How would it have an "identifiable color"? LOL Talk about a stupid criticism.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if a residential component of 30-40 units comprised part of this project. A 250-room hotel is a major hospitality facility, not exactly "boutique" as JBG describes. Perhaps they could knock down the number of hotel rooms to 160 or 180, which would then allow for a separate-entrance residential section.

At any rate, as it now stands, the project still will be a big plus to the U Street community. The rendering as shown is a tasteful design, neither too flashy with a lot of glass nor particularly dull in any respect, and it nicely complements the Ellington across the street. This project is a win-win-win for U Street and DC: additional retail and service amenities for nearby residents; more people out and about on the streets; and more tax revenue for the District.

Anonymous said...

The Rite Aid parcel was developed by Marvin Jawer's Jenco Group shortly after Metro opened its U Street station. The entire lot, where Jenco's retail development now stands, was nothing but dirt and weeds.

Before Metro's arrival and the resulting development, U Street was a desolate, frightening area. Even west of 15th, it was shaky. This was, mind you, the late 1980s and early 1990s. During the construction of Metro's U Street station, several blocks of U Street itself were covered with thick, railroad tie-like boards. And the boards remained for years, as tunnel construction seemed never ending. There was little, if any active retail, aside from Ben's Chili Bowl and a few other shops. The Lincoln Theater was boarded up and crumbling.

Property was dirt cheap, but few investors were willing to gamble that U Street would blossom again. But back in the late 1980s, it was difficult, if nigh impossible, to visualize U Street being the street it is today.

Anonymous said...

Love the classic design. Will stand the test of time against the modernist crud that has popped up along 14th Street.

Anonymous said...

Yep, design reminds me of starched shirts/pressed blue jeans. And how will it look, if it gets built, in 10-20-30 years?

Eli Wallach said...

I'm just so-so with the 13 & U design. An architect who knows of Shwartz's told me a couple weeks
back that, "...he had scale issues..." That's become more apparent with each version of the design we see. 110 feet is ludicrious for that site.

John said...

the height of this building is all wrong. too high. taller than the ellington, taller than the reeves center. wrong, wrong, wrong.

Zoning allows for about 70 feet. If David Schwartz is such a celebrated starchitect, let's see what he offers for a building that high. He can save this design for K Street.

 

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