Housing Complex

Developer Seeks to Block Convention Center Hotel Deal

conventioncenter2

Just when you thought 'Well it looks like we're over the final hurdle!" it appears the D.C. Convention Center hotel may be facing more delays.

This summer, the D.C. Council zoomed forward on a financing deal to jump-start a long awaited 1,167-room Marriott Marquis hotel, which is supposed to stimulate the city's convention business, and minimize the "Mickey Mouse effect." Once the members passed the proposal, construction was on track to begin this fall. But earlier this month, developer the JBG Companies threw a wrench in matters by suing the city over "the contracting process, which it calls an 'invalid sole source procurement,'” according to the Washington Business Journal.

Here's more from the Business Journal:

When D.C. first solicited bids, through the finance office and the deputy mayor’s office for economic development, the city said the winning bidder would have to build on private land and should be able to finance the project with private money.

That requirement significantly narrowed the pool of companies able to bid on the project, JBG charges...

Since that time, the city negotiated a land swap with Marriott, rather than forcing the developer to buy a completely different parcel. And of course, it has provided loads of public financing.   JBG Companies=Not thrilled. It argues that the city "had an obligation under D.C. procurement law to put the new offer out for rebidding," according to the WBJ story.

If the company's name sounds familiar, it's because they're already building hotel—possibly in your backyard! JBG has plans to open a super swanky "four-star operation with a spa, fitness center and upscale restaurant" at 13th and U Streets NW. It also acquired the nearby Whitman-Walker clinic, located on 14th Street, which it is transforming into housing and retail, according to DCmud.

Image by Kjarrett, Flickr Creative Commons

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