Ground Breaks on $520M Washington Marriott Marquis

Quadrangle Development Corporation and Capstone Development have just kicked off construction of the Washington Marriott Marquis, a 1,175-room property that will serve as the convention center hotel for Washington, D.C.'s 2.3 million square-foot Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

November 10, 2010
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Quadrangle Development Corporation and Capstone Development have just kicked off construction of the Washington Marriott Marquis, a 1,175-room property that will serve as the convention center hotel for Washington, D.C.’s 2.3 million square-foot Walter E. Washington Convention Center. In addition to accommodating meeting attendees, the property will serve as a key component of the ongoing revival the Shaw neighborhood, an historic district in the northwest section of the city.

The Marriott Marquis will occupy a site at the intersection of 9th Street and Massachusetts Avenue under a 99-year ground lease with the city and The Washington Convention and Sports Authority. Cooper Carry Architects and TVS Architects joined forces to handle the design, which calls for the adaptive reuse of the Samuel Gompers AFL-CIO headquarters–also known as the Plumbers Building–by incorporating the historic structure into the project. Ultimately, the LEED Silver-certified hotel will feature 14 stories above ground, and nearly as many floors below ground. In addition to guestrooms, the offerings will include 100,000 square feet of meeting space and five retail shops and restaurants. The development will create approximately 1,600 construction jobs.

Much of the hefty price tag attached to the Marriott Marquis is being taken care of by the District of Columbia and WCSA; the two entities are ponying up an aggregate $206 million for the project. Additional funding was culled through the sale of approximately $250 million in dedicated tax revenue bonds. About $2 million of the proceeds from the bonds sale will be utilized to finance a training program for hotel employees; the property’s debut will yield 1,000 new jobs.

Marriott International Inc. will operate the behemoth lodging facility upon its anticipated opening in spring 2014. The property will be only the fourth Marriott Marquis-branded hotel in the country.

Washington, D.C., is just one of many cities building new guestrooms to help lure big meetings. Activities in October alone included the topping out of the $500 million, 1,001-room Omni Dallas Hotel and in Nashville, Omni Hotels & Resorts entered into a definitive agreement to develop an 800-room hotel that will sit adjacent to the 1.2 million square-foot Music City Center.