Thursday, August 12, 2010

Carr Hospitality Gets Hostel In Southwest

In an unlikely chain of events, Carr Hospitality has outsourced their design process to a futuristic parallel universe where Ridley Scott is devising hotel schematics for architectural firms instead of directing movies. And although sources for these facts remain unconfirmed, the early renderings of a proposed hostel in Southwest DC bare out these claims. Indeed, the half hostel, half hotel "officially" designed by Gordon Godat and his team at Baltimore-based JP2 Architects would be more at home on the set of Blade Runner than in DC's Buzzard Point. The preliminary plans for the Carr-developed 110 room hostel were presented to the Zoning Commission on July 29th under the guise of "Tiber Creek Associates, LLC"; and although a new hearing date was not set down, the Commission agreed to entertain the applicant's proposal as a contested case, as long as several minor conditions are met prior to the next meeting. More detailed plans are likely to be hashed out and presented later this fall.

Located at 129 Q Street SW, the six story, 73,975 s.f. "C Hostel & Hotel," rising sixty plus feet, will house nearly 500 beds for "youth travelers, families, and budget-minded groups." Half the rooms will be outfitted with a single queen or twin beds and blessed with private bathrooms, while the other half will be filled with dormitory-style bunk beds. With families as an exception, floors and communal showers will be segregated by gender. Hotel amenities will include an open air rooftop courtyard; a large communal dining area and complimentary continental breakfast will be provided, but guests will be encouraged to bring and prepare their own food for lunch and dinner using the hotel facilities. The dining area will also host evening social hours for travelers in search of friendly conversation and newly forged companionship. A library, cyber lounge, and game lounge are all also included in the early stages of planning. The building will rest atop a single level of below grade parking, offering twenty-seven spaces for travelers arriving by automobile. Upon completion, developers are ambitiously predicting a LEED Platinum Certification.

The mostly concrete building will take on a c-shape to allow for a central cutout that gives the building a more interesting look, as the change in depth breaks up the typical flat rectangle frontage. The landscaped rooftop courtyard is situated in the setback, amidst
the surrounding hotel walls. A subsection of each half of the building, making up the walls of the courtyard, is layered with "fiber cement panels" that take on a faux-wood grain pattern, contrasting with the largely gray color scheme. Colorful and oddly shaped windows, abstractly strewn across the building, give the building an ultramodern and artsy flavor. The ground floor facade is accentuated by aluminum framed glass store fronts that stretch nearly the entire block. The pattern of the building is asymmetrical, but very geometric and rigid in its strict adherence to the use of rectangles and right angles. Taking the place of a dirty, dilapidated auto shop, this unique design will be a bold addition to this otherwise neglected and under-appreciated part of the city.

Developers have admitted that the estimated $28 million project faces steep challenges before it will break ground, the main problem being the "need to overcome lenders' perceptions of the neighborhood." But the team remains confident that upon secured financing, the building will be delivered within 24 months.

Washington D.C. Real Estate Development News


Anonymous said...

Great idea! Something that the District needs.

Anonymous said...

I see the ads now: "Just steps from the Capitol Dome!" Nevermind what lies between here and there. Cue unsuspecting German tourists - hillarity ensues.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I live in SW but won't wish that location on unsuspecting tourists! Youngsters wanting to stay in a hostel want to be in the thick of the action, and this is far away from it as you can get in DC

SWill on Aug 13, 2010, 4:34:00 PM said...

Land prices are too high to build a new hostel downtown. The developer mentioned at the ANC meeting last month they are planning to have a shuttle service between the hostel and the Metro.

Que on Aug 13, 2010, 7:38:00 PM said...

Is the spacing between the poles coming out of the ground infront of the sidewalk ADA compliant.

Anonymous said...

I'm in support of the project, but those poor tourists are going to have to wander through some rough city housing to get to the monuments. Half St. SW is just flat out scary. Maybe the city plans on selling the property and moving the residents across the Anacostia in the next year or so? That would be a huge blessing both for this project as well as for the safety of the surrounding neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

Q street SW is a singularly unprepossessing stretch of road, but the location makes a good bit of sense. Two blocks from the baseball stadium and the all the things filling into that part of town, as well as the revitalized area around the Waterfront. It's reasonable to expect foot traffic to pick up and gentrification to stretch down Carrolsburg place, First st and so on and if they can afford to run a shuttle 'til then, I expect it'll be a good business decision. And Fort McNair's probably the only neighbor out there that would not be annoyed by having a bazillion bed youth hostel installed across the street.

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