It may be up to three years before Starwood Capital Group moves forward on with a hotel at 22nd and M in the District's West End. The project that was to have been developed by Perseus Realty has been on hold for several years, having been slated for the city's first eco-luxury, LEED-certified 1 Hotel, a brand that would have offered 150 rooms, 23 suites, an organic day spa, fitness center and restaurants.
"My sense is they are waiting for the financial markets to thaw out a little more," said ANC2A Commissioner Rebecca Coder. "From the neighborhood perspective...there would be a preference for multi-family housing, but we're open to the hotel that's approved as well." Coder said she knew of other developers having approached Starwood about purchasing the land to develop as part of Eastbanc's redevelopment of the post office, library fire station, but the offer was declined.
In phone calls yesterday, both Starwood Capital and Perseus would not comment on the development. But sources say the hotelier has been talking with other operators about possibilities for the site. When asked, Perseus said the company is still the developer for the project.
The two formed an agreement in 2007 to build the hotel. The site was the former location of the Nigerian Embassy and Asia Nora, both demolished in 2008 - no architectural loss - to make way for 1. The project never got off the ground. Last year, Starwood abandoned the 1 Hotel concept, and has since considered other brands. Starwood and Perseus had hoped to decide upon a direction by the end of 2010.
But locals are unhappy that the choice site has become a weed garden. "We are talking to people to decide what to do with the land in the interim, something that may generate money," said Coder. She mentioned the possibility of parking, but the PUD may prevent the developer from such a plan for temporary use. "It's really long time for the neighborhood to put up with an empty lot."
Washington, D.C. real estate development news