Wednesday, June 03, 2009

NoMa Celebrates First Hotel


Not so long ago, there wasn't much reason to go to NoMa, and no place to stay if you did. Now, at least the latter problem has been solved. Representatives of Marriott International, the Finvarb Companies and the DC government came together today to cut the ribbon on the NoMa district's first hotel - an 8-story, 218-room Courtyard by Marriott with 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail and a direct connection to the Gallaudet University Metro. Elizabeth Price, President of the NoMa BID, told DCmud why the new development is an important stepping stone into the continued redevelopment of Northeast neighborhood.

"This...will really start to change us from an office dominated neighborhood to more mixed-use. It's a place that will attract visitors and tourists, but also support the office space." said Price. "It’s very attractive [to them] because it’s affordably priced, it’s one stop from Union Station and it’s close to the Metro. It has a lot of appeal for many different types of users.”

In addition, in-house amenities like a swank bistro, business center and swimming pool, guests at the $53 million first hotel will also have the privilege of flaunting their eco-awareness from atop the Courtyard’s green roof that will consist of “100 percent grass when fully grown” and offer a world-class view of the Capitol (or the sexy Florida Avenue/New York Avenue interchange, depending on one's orientation). But green initiatives aside, all the parties involved were prideful of another first that the hotel represents, as the District’s first Hispanic-owned Marriott.

Ray Bennett, Senior Vice President of Lodging and Development for Marriott International, touted the project as the latest fruit of his company’s “Diversity Ownership Initiative,” which has more than 300 new, minority-owned locations in the pipeline. Included in that figure are another five locations that the hotelier is pursuing with Bobby Finvarb and his development partners on the NoMA project: Harmon, Wilmot, Brown and Bagwell, LLP and Welburn Development, both of which are local, African-American owned businesses.

According to the NoMa BID, the new hotel, at 1325 2nd Street, NE, will also soon be getting a new neighbor, as work labors along right next door on developer StonebridgeCarraslarge-scale Constitution Square project.

“[That project] continues to grow and that’s where we’ll have our first Harris Teeter, along with residential, hotel and office space,” said Price. She also provided a status update on Akridge’s Burham Place development behind Union Station, saying that the project and is still “several years away” and that the stimulus-funded restoration of the DC landmark it shares space with would likely have to conclude before work could begin.

In the meantime, for those keeping tabs on development in the area, that’s one down and many more to go. But, for a more up close and personal look, check out NoMA for yourself when the BID’s Summer Screen Festival starts up on June 10th.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

OK, seriously, what's this: "Gallaudet University Metro." I live nearby and there isn't a person in the neighborhood that calls it that.

Interesting that the Harris Teeter is a done deal. That raises the question of what, if anything, is going in at 3rd and H. I understood that project to be delayed until they got a large retail tenant, preferably a supermarket. With the new Safeway at 5th and K and the coming Teeter, the area seems pretty saturated. So what's the scoop?

Anonymous said...

Actually, it's the "New York Avenue–Florida Avenue–Gallaudet University Metro." Say that three times fast.

Seriously though, why isn't the BID lobbying to have it re-named as the NoMa Metro?

Anonymous said...

NoMa supporters would love to change the name of the Metro station - or at least add "NoMa" to all its other names - but WMATA charges well into the six figures to make the change! Right now no one's writing a check for that amount.

Que said...

Why not just call the station 2nd Street or M street since its neither on Florida or New york avenues and no university should ever be added to a station name unless the university is right beside it like UDC or GW.

I would have liked Patterson street and 2nd streets to go further than a block but oh well.

There is no reason why the station should be called NOMA the station was there before had they chipped in on the building it would have been fine I'd rather call it XM station before NOMA since they were there before the station

Que said...

Speaking of NOMA who the hell came up with the stupid ass name.

They couldn't think of anything better than North of Mass Ave; that describes half the damn city. You dont see a West of North Capitol, East of Wisconsin Ave thats directions to somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the landowners who named this area NoMA *did* contribute about a third of the cost of the $100 million to build the station.

I live 100 feet from the official borders of NoMA, and I agree it's not the best name possible. But I don't see anything wrong with the developers coming up a name. That's the way many neighborhoods are named for hundred of years: by whichever developers took it from an empty field to a bunch of new buildings, which is the case here.

 

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