Tuesday, July 14, 2009

DC Passes Convention Center Hotel Bill


The District Council today passed legislation that authorizes and helps finance a new convention center hotel. The bill provides for District financing of nearly 40% of the costs of the Marriott Marquis Hotel, which government and civic leaders have sought for years to provide services to support the city's investment in the convention center.

The project has been on-again off-again for several years, with builder Quadrangle Development Corporation reducing the one-time size of the project and negotiating with the District, which by one recent plan would have funded the entire project in order to help kick start the neighborhood and use of adjacent Washington Convention Center.

Council members have been motivated to alleviate the Center's obvious Achille's heal - its dearth of hotels in the immediate vicinity - while distancing themselves from the cost of the project. Councilmember Kwame Brown (at-large) said in a press release that though today's legislation was "not ideal," the overall result was positive. "We went from a 100 percent publicly financed hotel to a deal that requires the developer to fund the majority of the costs." The mayor is expected to sign the legislation, which could get construction going as early as this fall. Development of the four-star hotel is expected to cost more than $500 million.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is good news! Should have been built 5 years ago but still good news!

WLS on Jul 15, 2009, 12:06:00 PM said...

This is a step in the right direction for all New York Avenue Corridor fans. The District, as most know, has very little retail presence. With the current administrations’ ambitions to transform DC from a government city into an International destination, the bureaucratic red tape is unwanted but the money is needed. Albert and Fenty had professed their intent in pushing the old convention center as a retail hub, drawing from visitors at the new convention center. The new convention center has a ton of competition and in dire need of an adequate hotel. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the pieces to come together

monkeyrotica on Jul 15, 2009, 1:09:00 PM said...

What affect will this have on the District's bond rating? Didn't Gandhi warn the Council that this would tip the rating into junk bond status?

Anonymous said...

I don't think the bonds would go to junk status considering they were just AAA. But also, that was when we were going to sell bonds to cover the whole thing b/c the previous financing plans broke down, but I guess some deal was made and the city is financing 40%.

"Councilmember Kwame Brown (at-large) said in a press release that though today's legislation was "not ideal," the overall result was positive. "We went from a 100 percent publicly financed hotel to a deal that requires the developer to fund the majority of the costs."

IMGoph on Jul 17, 2009, 9:35:00 AM said...

no need for an apostrophe in "achilles"

Anonymous said...

The incorporation of the historic building at the corner of Mass and 9th is awkward at best. Couldn't the architect do even a slightly better job letting that building retain some identity within this behemoth structure?

 

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