“Construction fencing has been erected around the Marriott Development project at 9th and L St, NW” Check Out the Renderings

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9th and L St, NW

A reader reports on one of the last blighted corners near the Convention Center:

“Construction fencing has been erected around the Marriott Development project at 9th & L Sts NW. A surveyor team was on site too. Can’t wait to see this site developed.”

Capstone Development previously posted:

“Capstone, along with its partner Quadrangle Development, is currently developing a mixed use project on a site located at 9th Street NW and L Street NW. The $230 million project includes a 310-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel, a 190-room Residence Inn by Marriott hotel, and 230 residential units. The project is located in the Shaw Historic district and includes the redevelopment of a number of historic buildings located along 9th Street NW. Capstone recently completed the PUD process and is currently overseeing the design and financing of the project, which is projected to break ground in 2015.”

Cooper Carry adds:

“In addition, the Lurgen, an historic apartment building on L Street will be completed renovated and repositioned and finally, a civil war era home will be relocated along L Street approximately 30 feet in order to maximize its potential within the design. The project will be supported with two levels of underground parking. Approximately 3,000 GSF of ground floor retail will be placed in three of the townhomes.”

The projected breaking ground was a bit off but check out the renderings:

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27 Comment

  • Ashy Oldlady

    The architecture is excruciatingly Washingtonian in appearance, which is to say it’s boring, homogenous and will quickly look dated.

    • Dated would imply there was some style or trend to the design. This is about as exciting as beige paint. Utterly forgettable.

    • Has anyone in the history of this blog ever thought a new design for a building in DC was anything other than boring. When you can only build 13-14 floors, that’s what happens. Big boxes of either glass, brick or both.

      • It’s entirely possible to build something interesting within the building envelope of DC.

        • Interesting, possibly. Something like the Archstone in NoMa is the extent. Why? Because the building will all be boxy. Most FAR limits mean to max out zoning envelope means you going to get get a box (see the C-4 130 foot height limit with 10.0 FAR).

        • Do you like the Marriott across the street? DC’s rules almost requires a box – the more creative you go, the less space you get out of it and DC real estate prices are already super pricey (especially considering the hotel is losing valuable space with the various row houses). The only blocks that really get anything creative/interesting are the ones that are along angled streets (i.e. at 7th and Mass/NY).

        • Sure, with unlimited money anything is possible. But that isn’t exactly the model of most developers, so it shouldn’t really be surprising. My point was more that no one ever seems satisfied with any design of any new building anymore. This is a completely benign design for a select service hotel. I doubt the developers were trying to win any architecture awards for their Courtyard hotel.

      • Ashy Oldlady

        There are definitely interesting new buildings in DC. A couple of the new public libraries come to mind, and there’s a handful of interesting buildings in the downtown area. But most of them are boring and disposable.

        • The thing is – the public library isn’t worried about revenue/cost. You can make a fun building if you don’t have to worry about breaking even and making money off the leasing.
          .
          Yes, there are certainly some more interesting buildings – but as you mention, few and far between. However, if you walk the streets of midtown Manhattan – there’s a reason the same buildings are still the iconic buildings. There’s a lot of very boring stuff there and they can build as tall as they want. So I wouldn’t really call it a DC thing…

          • What I will give DC though is the desire to preserve the rowhomes/stores that are there and incorporate them. That makes it a little harder to be out of the box with the rest of the structure, but that’s okay by me. I love seeing big boxes and then realizing they are incorporating on the street level the original facades of so many buildings. When walking on the street, it makes a huge difference than looking at a drawing from helicopter level heights.

      • I think it’s lazy of developers to blame the height limit. Look at the Atlantic Plumbing building around 9:30 Club as an example of a dynamic design that adds character to the neighborhood.

        The problem is developers use ugly yellow brick all the time. They use this building design (let’s call it Clarendon style) all the time. They’re cutting costs and corners, and using what gets through review most easily. They could do better

        • Of course, when you do build an Atlantic Plumbing, people bitch about how much the condos cost. People want cutting edge design at no cost, and it just doesn’t work that way.

          • They build yellow brick building after yellow brick building, add a few perks, and call it luxury to charge Atlantic Plumbing prices.

            I don’t buy your argument.

            Anyway, this is a hotel specifically for a major, global corporation. They could do better. Obviously not every building can be the Marriott Marquis around the corner, but some effort would be appreciated.

          • It isn’t built for a major global corporation. Marriott doesn’t own the building.

  • I’m going to disagree with the others. I think this looks decent and like how they kept the row houses on 9th. It’s not cutting edge, but it’s not ugly either. Totally fine.

    • Agree… it’s going to look fine and the preservation of the facades on 9th street will make this more walkable and more integrated into the city than honestly like 99.9% of hotels in the US. I wouldn’t give it the Pritzker Prize but this looks like a great development.

  • While it’s not some amazing futuristic look, I don’t think I’d say this will look “dated” – it’s fairly classic in look, certainly not exciting – but as other pointed out, when faced with heigh limitations, in order to max out on what you’re spending, it basically has to be a box. It also blends in well with the existing Marriott and their incorporation of the older buildings/rowhouses is a nice look (and that’s what you’ll notice when you walk by)
    .
    And considering how dilapidated this block has looked for years, this is going to look 100x better. I’m glad they will have non-hotel retail, although wish it was more, particularly along 9th.

  • I wish these new buildings would forgo that yellow/beige brick. It just looks so bad, in my opinion. I realize red brick may cost more, but it looks so much better. Case in point: 14th and W: The Kapnos building and the new one across the street. Both could look so much better. I do wish this city’s developers would look outside the box a little bit, but then again, with limited space, high costs, and demand for use, why bother? These new hotels will be filled regardless of how they look.

    • That is a fair point – a modest rethink of the materials / colors would actually do quite a bit to improve the design.

    • The funny part is that back when the current yellow brick trend began it WAS different than what was being used normally. A callback to the historic use of yellow/beige brick in the city (see the various Wardman and Wardman-style row homes that use this brick). That color brick was produced locally, there is a history with the factories that produced them that I’m too lazy to look up. The domed structures at the Arboretum along NY Ave are old brick kilns.

  • This looks perfectly acceptable for a cheap hotel downtown. Folks lamenting the relatively boring design don’t seem to have a strong grasp of the economics involved.

    • +1. Either no understanding of the economics or just professional blog cranks.

    • Ashy Oldlady

      Oh, I think most of us are well aware that developers care only about maximizing profits and don’t give a shit about aesthetics.

  • So does Marriott own this entire part of town?

    • This land was part of the original land swap. Marriott won the bid for the hotels here when it won the one for the Marquis. Marriott doesn’t actually own any of it. It’s hired to manage the hotels.

  • I love how the renderings only include a handful of cars. Nothing at all compared to the bumper-to-bumper traffic on all the surrounding streets already! As some who lives very near this, the increased traffic that will result from just the 500 hotel rooms will be a lot for this already congested area.

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