Luxury Hotel to Rise on Convention Center Site

Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty has unveiled plans for a new luxury hotel at the site of the old city convention center.At a press conference this morning, Mayor Fenty announced that the city has reached an agreement to build a 400 room luxury hotel at the site. A joint venture between Hines and Archstone-Smith will develop the project. The partnership is already developing an $850 million mixed-use project on an adjacent site. That deal, announced in December, will serve as Washington’s Downtown retail anchor, located on a 10 acre parcel between New York Ave., H St., and 9th and 11th St in the city’s northwest quadrant.According to a report in the Washington Post by David Nakamura and Debbi Wilgoren, today’s announcement is the culmination of the process of deciding upon the best use for the site of the old convention center. Some advocated developing a library on the site, but the city ultimately chose the hotel project, which will include up to 100,000 square feet of ground floor retail space.The adjacent mixed-use development will house 465,000 square feet retail, residential and office units. The project will be bid out and permitted by November 2008, with groundbreaking expected to take place in January 2009. A 35 month construction process is anticipated, with the first buildings due to open in the summer of 2011.The mixed-use development is estimated to earn a total of $32 million annually in direct tax revenues from the approximately 350,000 square feet of retail space and 670 apartments and condominiums. The city will build two roads through the site and will designate an acre and a half as public open space.