Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Wharf's "Resort In the City" Anchor Hotel Appeases Critics, Inches Forward


The four-star Intercontinental luxury hotel in the Wharf - the Southwest waterfront megadevelopment - is inching towards reality, though not without some changes along the way.

"Right now we're in the process of gathering equity," says Austin Flajser, President of Carr Hospitality.  "We anticipate construction starting in the third quarter of 2014, with delivery in the first quarter of 2016."


The 245,000 s.f., 278-room hotel from developer Carr Hospitality and designed by BBG-BBGM, will overlook the Washington Channel, now being developed by the Hoffman-Madison team, and feature a lavish 5,000 s.f. rooftoop lounge.  Plans also call for not one but two restaurants, two large water-facing ballrooms, and up to 7,000 s.f. of ground floor retail space.  The design calls for a red and gray brick facade, intermingled with terracotta, granite, and tinted glass.

Developers were forced to alter their plans, though, after ANC 6D passed a resolution recently in opposition to many of the specifics in the Phase 2 Planned Unit Development (PUD).

"We took down the clock tower, which was really just an architectural embellishment," says Flajser.  "We also altered the corners of the building a little bit, and there's no longer any sign."  (The above rendering depicts the original design; the rendering below depicts the revised design.)

In addition to those changes, the height of the structure - a planned 12-stories/130 feet - was also lowered.  After these changes were announced at a special meeting late last month, the ANC voted 4-3 to reinstate their support.  Carr also has a boutique luxury hotel in the works for Alexandria's contentious waterfront plan and has received objections from neighbors there as well.

Parcel 3b, where the hotel will be built, is near 9th and Water Streets (see map, above), and also abuts one of the development's planned piers; if Carr is able to purchase boat slips from the development group, guests could potentially arrive at the hotel by boat. Rates for the rooms will reportedly be between $300 and $400 per night.


Carr Hospitality notably restored the Willard hotel, a project widely lauded for its successful execution.  The Wharf Intercontinental will be its second hotel in the District.  Monty Hoffman of PN Hoffman has been quoted as saying the hotel will be an "anchor" of the megadevelopment.  The first construction at the Wharf should be begin early next year.

Washington D.C. real estate development news

13 comments:

SWag on Aug 15, 2012, 9:28:00 AM said...

Super pumped for the development but the first rendering with the restaurant with outdoor seating up against the water, and the whole design really - looked cooler. DC is so boring but w/e. Bring it!

Critically Urban on Aug 15, 2012, 9:28:00 AM said...

Wait...who was really opposed to a clock tower and industrial-type sign? These are exactly the types of embellishments that made this development unique within the District and the area. It's disappointing to see two of the most iconic elements of this *one* building stripped. And it does not bode well for the other details of this project.

Committee of 100 said...

The Committee of 100 opposes everything iconic and industrial - such buildings have no business in DC. We want to keep DC just the way it is.

Anonymous said...

The second rendering is actually better. I'm shocked to say that. I think this is a case of the blind squirrel tripping over the acorn.

Eric K said...

I wish I could say I'm surprised a design review produces a more boring building, but it happens every time. I agree with Critically Urban, this does not bode well for the rest of the development.

Anonymous said...

i agree with Critically Urban too. What the heck is the problem with a clock tower and a sign? Fearful that it may actually evoke some charm into an otherwise standard issue office building?

Anonymous said...

So the hotel is now 9 stories rather than 12?

OH THANK GOD THOSE ADDITIONAL THREE STORIES WON'T DISTURB THE VISTAS!

Anonymous said...

Point of clarification, the ANC 6D opposed neither the clock tower nor the Intercontinental sign. The ANC, in fact, had asked that the tower have clock mechanisms added to two more sides so the residential community also enjoyed it's timekeeping and place-making benefits. The ANC only requested the sign not be electrically lit, in order to not detract from the nightime views of the US Capitol and the monuments.

The dumbing-down of this project to K Street standards is solely at the feet of the US Commission of Fine Arts, whose wishes completely overrode nearly two years of Southwest community input. The seven member CFA is composed of members from NYC, Miami, North Carolina, and even *1* from Washington, D.C. Just another federal trampling of what should be DC residential rights.

Anonymous said...

The ANC can blame other organizations now that it has been dumbed down, but they meddled with all elements of design until it was just easier to produce a box. They should have left it alone. Typical ANC kind of work - waste everyone's time while taking no responsibility for themselves. I'd like to live in a world without ANCs.

Anonymous said...

"We took down the clock tower, which was really just an architectural embellishment,"

Oh heavens no we wouldn't want any archtectural embellishment now would we?

Anonymous said...

Architectural embellishments are only for pre-1940s classical- and Victorian-styled buildings. Anything built after that must CONFORM.

Anonymous said...

Jesus, even when they do another modernist box, they have to strip it of any character. The original design way better exactly becasue of the "embelleshment". What is it with modernists can't even stand their own decoration. It's ok to wanna be loved!

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous said...
The ANC can blame other organizations." Not true. This ANC has been very troublesome but didn't touch design. If anything the developers, DC econ devt, and the ANC were in lock-step. However do agree that ANC's are a screw up and the District needs a better form of something resembling municipal government. Too important to leave to volunteers and an apathetic, largely illiterate. electorate.

 

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