"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 StonebridgeCarras’ large-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.