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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

From the WCSA: Ground Broken on Convention Center Hotel

Local leaders officially broke ground today on the new convention center hotel at Ninth and Massachussetts. Preliminary work began on this catalytic project a few weeks ago.

From the Washington Convention and Sports Authority ("WCSA"):

1,175-room Hotel Expected to Stimulate Jobs, Economic Development and

Revitalization in the Shaw Neighborhood.

(Washington, DC) �'' Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and the Washington Convention and Sports Authority (WCSA) today broke ground on the much-anticipated Washington Marriott Marquis. Joining them for this momentous occasion were Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), city officials, representatives from WCSA’s Board of Directors, Quadrangle Development, Capstone Development, Marriott International, Inc. and Destination DC. The ceremony took place on the construction site at Ninth Street and Massachusetts Avenue, directly adjacent to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The hotel is scheduled to open in spring 2014.

“This is a monumental day for the District,” said Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. “For some time, we have worked diligently to bring a world-class hotel to the Convention Center, and that will spur development and offer new jobs for District residents. Today’s groundbreaking for the new state-of-the-art Marriott Marquis brings approximately 1,600 construction jobs, and when the hotel opens, offers more than 1,000 jobs for District residents in the hospitality industry.”

The $520 million, four-star hotel, will be one of only four Marriott Marquis properties in the country. Plans for the hotel include incorporating the historic Samuel Gompers AFL-CIO headquarters, known as the "Plumbers Building," into the property with its own boutique feel.

“This groundbreaking is a huge step for this landmark project and we look forward to working with city officials, our development partners and Marriott International, Inc. to make this hotel a reality,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and CEO of the Washington Convention and Sports Authority. “The new hotel will serve as the centerpiece of continued economic revitalization of the historic Shaw neighborhood. It will also allow us to maximize the economic impact of the Convention Center and stimulate job growth by creating hundreds of construction and new hospitality jobs.”

The 1,175-room, 46-suite Washington Marriott Marquis is designed to reflect its surroundings and compliment the Convention Center. With more than 100,000 square feet of meeting and assembly space, a grand lobby and five separate retail and restaurant outlets on the ground floor, the hotel is also set to be the next great social hub in the city.

Meeting space will include a 30,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom, two 10,800-square-foot junior ballrooms, more than 53,000 square feet of Meeting Rooms, an 18,800-square-foot indoor Event Terrace and a 5,200-square-foot Rooftop Terrace.

"Our company began here in Washington, DC more than 80 years ago with a restaurant that my parents opened just up the street from the site of the new Washington Marriott Marquis," said J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott International, Inc. "I am so proud to have a Washington Marriott Marquis hotel join the network of great Marriott convention hotels around the world, including three other Marriott Marquis properties in New York, Atlanta and San Francisco."

“The groundbreaking of the Washington Marriott Marquis is a big win for DC’s meetings and tourism industry. With a major new hotel attached to the convention center, meeting and event planners will find it easier to build large blocks of hotel rooms. The hotel also brings a significant amount of new meeting space, which we can marry with the space at the convention center to maximize its use. Because the hotel will be located in the heart of downtown DC, near shops, restaurants and museums, it will also be a powerful new asset for visitors to our city to enjoy,” said Elliott Ferguson, president and CEO, Destination DC.

The Washington Marriott Marquis was designed to earn LEED ® Silver (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, registered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The hotel will be one of the largest hotels in the country to earn Silver certification, verifying that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

The hotel will be developed by Quadrangle Development Corporation and Capstone Development and will be operated by Marriott International. Of the $520 development cost, the District and the Authority are contributing $206 million. The Authority and the District will be paid for the use of their land through a 99-year ground lease.

Designed by Cooper Carry Architects, Atlanta, and TVS Architects, Atlanta, in a joint-venture collaboration, the building features an innovative top-down construction method, with 14 stories above ground and 94 feet below - nearly as deep as the hotel will be tall - with most meeting space below grade. To minimize traffic, bus arrival and taxi queuing is planned for the L Street entrance. The loading dock and the truck service are located below grade and off the street.

About the Washington Convention and Sports Authority (WCSA)

The Washington Convention and Sports Authority creates economic and community benefits for the District through the attraction and promotion of hospitality, athletic, entertainment and cultural events. The Authority owns and manages the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an anchor of the District’s hospitality and tourism economy that generates over $400 million annually in total economic impact for the city. The Authority also owns and manages the Stadium-Armory campus, which includes Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, the DC Armory and the surrounding Festival Grounds, and serves as the owner and landlord for Nationals Park. For more information, please visit


Justin said...

Now all we need is for those buildings on L street to be fixed up. Because THAT is what will make our community more vibrant, not a mega-hotel. Who owns those? What will they become?

Shaw Rez said...

I totally agree, Justin. Those boarded up buildings are the blight to which many point when discussing the convention center neighborhood.

According to Rob Goodspeed's research from 2007, the properties you reference appear to be owned by a Marriott entity (see report here:

I've heard that they will be developed into a Courtyard by Marriott and a Residence Inn, and that both should be open by/around the time that the mega hotel opens. I've looked and e-mailed folks over the years and haven't found out any reliable and concrete plans or time frames.

Justin said...

Here's something:

I just wish there was a push from the community to encourage these projects to include something that the neighborhood could use/support. Even something like a tavern would be good. No doubt there will be more generic coffee. My dream is an epicerie like a Cowgirl Creamery.

si said...

Last I heard they were to be developed into 2 smaller Marriotts but the timeframe was indefinite. Things seem to be loosening up with the Mega Marriott finally breaking ground and the Steuarts actually building on the 400 block of NY! I will keep my fingers crossed...when Marriott does come back with plans for that north side of L (aka the current poo factory) it would be great to advocate for some retail suitable for both guests and the community.

ML said...

I can't believe there won't be a scramble to get the smaller hotels moving and develop more amenities on lower ninth and L as construction gets closer to finishing. After all, how could Marriott open a 4-star flagship hotel next to boarded up buildings? I just don't see that happening. And the potential revenue from all those guests should really prompt other development next door pretty quickly. Though that's probably exactly what everyone said as the Convention Center got underway...

Regardless, my current fear is greedy landlords/developers holding out for rents that price out interesting small businesses and leave us with more chains.

Would be nice for Jackie E. to step up at some point and help with incentives for small, interesting local businesses like he did on 14th st.

Mr. Q said...

Slightly off topic...I'm very happy the hotel actually is breaking ground at the same time they have a groundbreaking ceremony...but why are the other groundbreakings in Shaw only ceremonial in nature...last I checked (yesterday while walking the dog) not a stone has been turned at CityMarket at O or the Mandalay restaurant...other than Clark Construction putting up some signs, there's been nothing...I've heard Giant's closing has been pushed to Spring 2011, but I thought they needed to do some underpinning work or something like that on the old market...anyone know what's going on w/ either project?