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Mount Vernon Triangle residents, please welcome the latest planned addition to your crane-dotted neighborhood: a hotel, residences, and, if all goes according to plan, a dog spa.
The office of Mayor Vince Gray announced today that it has selected a proposal from the Peebles Corporation to develop a valuable parcel of city-owned land at the corner of 5th and I streets NW. The Peebles plan calls for a 13-story building with a 198-room hotel operated by Standard International, 59 residences, and a retail space that CEO R. Donahue Peebles said in a public meeting in December would likely include a dog spa. Peebles also proposed 100 units of affordable housing that would be located off-site in Anacostia—-a plan that will maximize the value of the land but won’t do much to reduce the wealth gap between the affluent Northwest quadrant and the poorer neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River.
In a statement explaining its decision, the Gray administration noted that Peebles offered the most money for the land. Peebles also said in the December meeting that the hotel concept would bring the city $8 million in annual tax revenue. That, he said, was a good $6 million more than a non-hotel use would generate. Peebles beat out three other finalists for the site: residential/retail proposals from Akridge and the JBG Companies, and an office building from Trammell Crow and CSG Urban Partners.
As Jonathan O’Connell notes, the city’s decision isn’t going over well with some neighbors. When the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission voted on the proposals, none of them picked the Peebles plan as his or her first choice. The Akridge and CSG proposals were the most popular among the commissioners.
The Peebles Corporation is the largest African-American-owned development company in America. Peebles leads a team for the project that also includes the Bethesda-based Walker Group. Peebles himself has loomed large in D.C. politics, flirting with a mayoral run in 2010. He also owns a very, very large house that, according to city property records, he has still not succeeded in selling.
The Standard International hotel is expected to be a high-end luxury hotel. While not in the heart of downtown or the core hotel areas, it will be within walking distance of the convention center, NoMa, and Chinatown.
Rendering courtesy of the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development