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Since 1971, 501 New York Avenue NE has been occupied by a dumpy, 78-room Quality Inn. It fit the side-of-the-highway surroundings, and was also pretty much the only thing allowed by the zoning, which provides for low-density commercial and industrial uses.

Now, a new developer wants to make better use of the spot: Greenbelt-based Baywood Hotels is proposing an eight-story, 216-room Homewood Suites, which would have both conventional rooms by the night as well as extended-stay options. The proposal, which would require an upzoning, takes advantage of development in the works for nearby Union Market, and springboards off the success of other new-ish hotels further east on New York Avenue.

And Baywood is looking for more. Fueled by tremendous optimism in the D.C. hotel market, the application says the company is “aggressively pursuing” three other hotel locations in other parts of the city.

The Zoning Commission wasn’t terribly impressed by the quality of the architecture when they set the project down for a public hearing last night—-Commissioner Konrad Schlater called the siding materials “not the nicest”—-but it’s certainly an improvement over what’s there.