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Parcel 42 Could Become a Hotel, Local Grocer, Affordable Housing

"Hotel"

A hotel is proposed for Parcel 42 at 7th and Rhode Island NW. (Courtesy of Dantes Partners)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

Last Wednesday night, ANC 2C voted 2-1 in favor of the proposed plan to turn Parcel 42 (a city-owned lot at the intersection of 7th Street NW and Rhode Island Avenue NW) into a 102-suite hotel with a rooftop pool and a local grocery store on the ground-floor.

Additionally, the proposed building will create 65 to 75 long-term jobs, more than 300 construction jobs and 22 housing units for families that meet income qualifications. To get some more details on the proposed plans, we talked with the developers of the plan, Dantes Partners, to hear all about what could be coming to Shaw.

Borderstan: Why did your group choose to pitch a hotel for the space? How do you think a hotel will benefit the neighborhood?

Dantes Partners: A hotel has numerous benefits, one of the most significant benefits is allowing our group to provide Shaw residents more of what they want (according to an ANC letter) and still remain a profitable and sustainable project. Twenty-four-seven foot traffic has potential to make the area safer. Hotel residents are more likely to utilize nearby retail establishments than apartment residents.

Hotel development spurs new support centers, especially restaurants, which would improve the local corridor and increase more traffic to the neighborhood from other DC residents. Additionally, the project would create 60 to 75 living wage jobs and over $18 million in tax revenue to the District – way more than any other proposal can achieve.

Borderstan: How many rooms is the hotel expected to have? Will the hotel include any interesting features?

Dantes Partners: The hotel will have 102 suites, currently. That number could increase down the road once detailed plans are drafted. The exterior of the hotel has some unique features to create an iconic, high quality building. Currently, we’re planning a rooftop pool with green space, LED lighting on the exterior of the building with the possibility to change colors. There is also a balcony for the hotel guests (as shown in the picture). Specifically, there will likely be two balcony/patio type spaces. One for hotel tenants and the other for the residential tenants. The hotel will also offer valet parking for hotel guests with dedicated parking for residential tenants.

Borderstan: Can you estimate how many jobs a hotel will employ?

Dantes Partners: The project over all will provide for some 65 to 75 long term jobs, of which 45 to 55 will be provided through the hotel. These jobs are not to be confused with construction jobs. We’re focused on long term, career focused job growth. That said, the project will create nearly 300 construction jobs as well.

Borderstan: We read that the proposal would have Milk and Honey as the ground-floor retail. What is Milk and Honey and why were they chosen?

 Dantes Partners: Milk and Honey is a unique grocer/market that works with local farmers. The owner of the Baltimore store is a very good friend of mine and is also very interested in opening a store in DC. With the hotel serving as an anchor, we have a place where our guest could eat a sandwich and work remotely in the sit down area of the restaurant.

Borderstan: We read that there will be some housing on the space for those who meet income qualifications. Will the housing be a separate building? Or will it be inside the hotel? How much space is designated for the housing?

Dantes Partners: Another very unique feature of proposal — the housing space (22 units) will be located on floors two and three and will have its own unique entrance, lobby and public space apart from the hotel. The residential build out will represent 24 percent of FAR, or 22,378 SF. The units will be available for working professionals making no more than $50,000.

The housing will be available for those who are income eligible and it is our hope that our employees of the hotel will also take advantage of this offer. Now that the ANC has voted for the proposal, Urban Turf reports ANC 2C will be writing a letter of support to the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, who will make the final decision.

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Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania; email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

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