Though early plans, enthusiasm and controversy took off like a shot for 1310 U Street, plans for JBG Companies' Four-Star, U Street Hotel project fizzled with the economic downturn. Despite radio silence since 2009, the project is seeing early signs of resuscitation in the form of renewed design activity.
But surely a Goliath like JBG has access to the funding it needs, right? "JBG, like anyone else, had been affected by the downturn," said Matt Blocher, Senior Vice President of Marketing for JBG. Blocher did not confirm whether the project is now adequately capitalized, but that it's seeing signs of life is prima facie evidence that funding has arrived, and behind it, development.
Plans for the hotel are "actively in the design phase," said Blocher. Under the original plan, the hotel at the site of the Rite Aid on 13th at U Street was proposed as a ten-story LEED-Silver certified luxury hotel with 250 rooms, 23,000 s.f. of retail, and 4500 s.f. of conference space with an art gallery, spa and fitness center, restaurant and stacked parking. To appease community concerns, the planners trimmed it to nine stories when the building was called "a collossus" at an ANC meeting to suss out the plans. The Rite Aid that currently occupies the corner would be moved to the hotel's retail space. David M. Schwarz Architects was selected for the original design.
It will take awhile before the party starts: groundbreaking likely won't occur until the end of 2012. The scope of the project is what will account for the slow roll out, and the site will need to be rezoned, says Blocher.
JBG is also investing just a stone's throw from the proposed hotel, with the 125-unit 14th Street District Condo project for which initial demolition commenced this past January.
Washington, D.C. real estate development news