Huge Crane Set Up at the Washington “Hinckley” Hilton over the Weekend – Condos Coming

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All photos by James Calder

Thanks to James Calder for sharing these great photos:

“The Washington Hilton had Florida Avenue blocked off all weekend so that one massive, mobile crane could install another massive, fixed one on the hotel grounds. (Photos taken on the roof deck of my apartment building in the 1800 block of T St NW.)”

Previously the Washington Business Journal has reported that the planned condos from Lowe Enterprises:

“could include between 200 and 230 residential units.”

Updates of the project at 1919 Connecticut Ave, NW as construction progresses.

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19 Comment

  • Emmaleigh504

    I feel like something big happened here… help me out Quotia Zelda.

  • This is such a ridiculous project. I understand it’s the Hilton’s right to capitolize on land they already own in a very popular neighborhood, but I would not want to buy a condo that faced a hotel. And while the units facing downhill will have a great view, the rooms at the Hilton lose their views. Not to mention it will look weird and crowded.

    • +1

      I always thought that this property had the potential for being a truly high end (Waldorf/Four Seasons/Ritz) property if they renovated it some. I had no idea Magic Johnson was part owner and they already were investing over $150MM in renovations. From the outside looks like a sad tribute to 70s brutalism, very ugly and depressing. The condos will at least cover that ugly facade, but yeah, I wouldn’t buy.

    • I’m assuming the condos will have access to all or most of the hotel amenities. I think that’s extremely attractive for certain buyers. I do wonder if they’re expanding their parking garage at all. That’s a lot of units and those are pretty tight blocks for street parking.

    • Would you rather face a brick wall? It is hard to tell from the pictures, but there will probably be plenty of room between the hotel and condos (there is A LOT of land hidden away up there). It may look weird at first, but it will by no means be crowded.

      • +1. Plenty of land here. No different then many DC buildings with courtyards. I doubt these will trade at City Center value, but anything they build here will sell.

  • I believe the condos are going in at a lower level and will be limited in height. Given the hillside and drop from hotel to Florida Ave this shouldn’t impact the views, but rather add foot traffic and remove the disgusting concrete walls that make Florida and T st dead blocks from Connecticut to 19th. Plus a larger tax base means more people to split a special tax jurisdiction to pay for a future Kalorama infill metro stop (joking wishful thinking)

  • I think it’s a great business idea. There are no new condos in the DuPont circle area, and when they’re built, I’m sure they’re going to be amazing. Remember, this is right across the street from the largest concentration of embassies in in the DC, and it’s probably that demographic that they’re targeting. Maybe not attractive to the hipster or the 20 something that just came to town from Ohio, but the embassy brats will gobble them up.

  • Anyone know if the parcel to be developed includes what’s currently the pool? Hard to tell from the photos but it would seem like the building will be essentially on top of the pool (you can see the blue umbrellas).

    My only self-interest is that we live nearby and had always considered joining the pool and been dissuaded by the exorbitant pricing structure (something like $2k for a couple for the year).

  • I think between this and the fact the owners of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel did something similar in the last few years shows that the city no longer has a need for these not quite convention center sized hotels and that the investments made to build the new Convention Center (not new anymore I guess) and the Marquis hotel next to it were the right ones (or wrong ones if you are the owners of the Marriott Wardman Park or Hilton). I imagine these residences will be priced similarly to the ones they build over on M Street near the Ritz-Carlton. I hope they are high end enough that they all come with parking. The surrounding blocks are some of the worst for residents in terms of finding parking.

    I would echo the comment above that it seems a shame an investor didn’t turn the Hilton into a higher end hotel with larger and fewer rooms to compete in the luxury market. The location and the setting seem ideal for that. I’d much rather stay there than where the Ritz-Carlton or Mandarin Oriental are located.

    • I think it’s more indicative of skyrocketing land values in DC, and developers’ and investors’ influence on the market. Both hotels were sitting on large plots of land that were barely used. Investors bought the Hilton and then separated this plot of land from the rest of the hotel in the 00s so that they could build these condos under separate entities.

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