Housing Complex

Adams Morgan Hotel Zoning Application Drops

As promised, the guys behind the Marriott-managed Adams Morgan Hotel—a.k.a. the Devil's Tower—got their planned unit development application to the Office of Zoning by the end of July. It includes all the specs, including many we've already discussed here, as well as some new renderings of what the thing will look like.

If you're the kind of person who likes to read these things, have at it: Part 1 and Part 2.

If you're the kind of person who cares about obscure zoning issues, let me clear up one thing. In some parts of Adams Morgan, there's a restriction called the Reed-Cooke Overlay, which keeps heights to 40 feet and prohibits uses like bars and cocktail lounges, restaurants and fast food establishments, billiard parlors and pool halls etc. (None of 18th street proper is covered by the overlay). The City Paper building, on which the hotel is to be built, currently does fall under the overlay. The hotel application seeks to get rid of that piece of the overlay and make the whole site C-2-B, which allows medium density commercial development. So some of the debate will center around the question of whether that's appropriate for the neighborhood.

  • linda linne

    the west side of 18th street proper WAS part of the overlay, and the city let it be routinely violated. You can thank CM Graham for killing off permanently. The overlay as originally written covered the entire square which would have included 1 side of 18th, even ABRA (or then known as teh ABC board) noted it some of the applicants before them.

  • Jeff

    We need more density in this city.

  • Ward 1 Voter


  • Juantana

    Can you imagine, only ONE side of 18th with bars? how stupid - glad the overlay doesnt apply there.

  • RT

    The overlay is outdated and arbitrary anyways.

    Let's build this thing. Only we would try to be keeping out a 5 star hotel... stupid is as stupid does

  • 7r3y3r

    Jeff, it's a hotel not a condominium or apartment complex

  • Logan Res

    Geez, most cities would be fighting to have a five-star Ian Shrager hotel come to them. Why on earth would these NIMBYs want to prevent this from coming to Adams Morgan? Are they that ignorant or just mis-informed? This would be a huge loss to DC if we lose this deal/

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/ Mr T in DC

    Oh no - lips quivering - this could turn Adams Morgan into another (gasp) Adams Morgan!!

    Bring it on - we need more density (and yes, hotels count as residential) in this city, and we could use more hotel rooms outside the downtown core.

  • That Guy in DC

    Oh no--Quelle horreur!!!

    Actually "Mr T in DC" has it right! Somebody wants to add a spot-on city development into the...wait for it...city!

    I agree: "Bring it on - we need more density (and yes, hotels count as residential) in this city, and we could use more hotel rooms outside the downtown core."

  • D

    Agree that it's silly to oppose this. Who in their right mind would prefer the church to lie fallow? The quieter majority of neighbors who support this need to be at least as organized as the NIMBYs are in opposing it.

  • 7r3y3r

    Generally, I'm all for adding density based on the idea that more units for rent/sale will lower costs. I just don't see how hotel rooms will have any effect on market price for living quarters.

    Anyway, for what it's worth, I'm not opposed to this project per se. I just don't think they should be able to take a portion of the sidewalk on Champlain Street for their building nor be able to build the hotel so that part of the building hangs over that sidewalk which, according to the plans they've submitted, they intend to do.

  • Adams Morgan Historic Hotel

    The hotel will not take a portion of the Champlain Street sidewalk, nor will be overhang onto Champlain Street. There is no portion of Champlain Street that will be "taken" by the hotel.

    In fact, the developer intends to create an easement so that the alley between Champlain Street and 18th Street can be better utilized by the public. The public will be able to use a portion of land the developer controls so that trash & recycling collection can be more efficient, safe and less noisy.

  • DCrising

    This is a reasonable location for an upscale hotel - or any hotel for that matter. Consider, its adjacent to a commercial district (provides guests a destination for eating and entertainment), and serves a thriving neighborhood (a place for your guests to stay when necessary). It won't dwarf area buildings - there are already multi-story buildings that scale to it. I'm glad to see development in the area keeping Adams Morgan evolving.

  • Um

    Aren't there already over 2000 rooms available across the bridge in Woodley Park??

  • http://www.adamsmorganhistorichotel.com Adams Morgan Historic Hotel

    Please visit http://www.adamsmorganhistorichotel.com for more information about the hotel as well as to learn how to get involved.

    We are pleased to announce and welcome you to the first of several weekly community forums about the Adams Morgan Historic Hotel.

    The first forum will take place this Thursday evening at 7:00PM at the Adams Morgan Youth Leadership Academy, located on the 2nd floor of 1782 Columbia Road, NW.

    The local developer will answer questions about the Hotel and solicit community input on the PUD.

    We look forward to seeing you on Thursday evening.

    Adams Morgan Historic Hotel on behalf of Adams Morgan Church Hotel, LLC

  • 7r3y3r

    @Adams Morgan Historic Hotel -
    I wasn't speaking in legalese when I said "take." The designs you've submitted show that the hotel will place a portion of its supporting columns on the sidewalk facing Champlain Street and not the property itself. See pages 64 and 65 for details (http://www.scribd.com/doc/61563803/Adams-Morgan-Hotel-Plans). Note the large grey column at the northwest corner and the beige fencing to the north of that corner sitting on what is currently part of the sidewalk. Your designs show that the sidewalk will be smaller after the hotel is built than it currently is today.

    Hopefully this can be clarified on Thursday.

  • http://www.adamsmorganhistorichotel.com Adams Morgan Historic Hotel

    @7r3y3r -- The Hotel is entirely within the property line. Sidewalk widths will remain unchanged. The architect confirmed that one reason that it may appear that the sidewalk looks smaller is that there is a tree box designed that is on the Hotel property, rather than on the sidewalk.

  • L7and

    That is one horribly ugly building and it appears the columns come down over the sidewalk and that the building kind of hangs over the sidewalk. Nothing historic about this building.

  • Herr Ali

    Better that it sit empty like half the properties on 18th and Columbia until some more organic holistic Trotskyist hemp merchants that pass the Otten/Eidinger sniff test come knocking.

  • Sid Binks

    I am thrilled that this project is coming to us. Of course it is important to ask questions, clarify intent and even ask for modifications when appropriate; but, for once we might be able to have healthy development in OUR neighborhood rather than continue to have to watch the rest of the city catch up and pass us. I am all for preserving the uniqueness that defines AdMo, but that does not have to mean stagnation.

  • http://www.adamsmorganhistorichotel.com Adams Morgan Historic Hotel

    Sid, Herr Ali & others: thank you for your comments.

    The local developer of the Adams Morgan Historic Hotel is pleased to welcome you to the second of its weekly community forums Thursday evening (tomorrow) at 7:00PM at the Adams Morgan Youth Leadership Academy, located on the 2nd floor of 1782 Columbia Road, NW. The local developer will present an overview of the Hotel and answer questions about the Hotel & the PUD and solicit community input.

    The website (http://www.adamsmorganhistorichotel.com) for the Adams Morgan Historic Hotel is now live. Please visit the site to find a detailed fact sheet, FAQ, the complete Hotel PUD, the project's architectural plans, the PUD executive summary and a form to sign up so you can show your support for the Hotel and get more information.

    We look forward to seeing you Thursday evening.

    The Adams Morgan Historic Hotel on behalf of Adams Morgan Church Hotel, LLC

  • 7r3y3r

    @L7and - in fairness, I believe the developers were told by DC Historic Commission not to blend in the Addition with the church, but to make them distinct. Apparently they wanted the church to stand out. I don't necessarily agree with that line of reasoning, but can't fault the developer for it; that was the Historic Commission's call.

    @Adams Morgan Historic Hotel - I appreciate you engaging with the community about the project and for creating the website. However, there are claims you make on your website and elsewhere that appear disingenuous, at best, which makes me suspect of the project despite the fact that it mostly seems to be a positive for AdMo and DC.

    You claim the building is 92 feet tall with the neighboring building on Champlain being appx. 90 feet, but those numbers are measured differently: the 92 ft is the hotel's height from the front of the building and the neighboring building's is from the rear (taking into account the slope down Champlain). More accurately, the hotel is 92 ft from the front and the neighboring building is 75. From the rear, the hotel is 104 ft and the neighboring building is 90. And that STILL does not take into account the 15.6 ft of the penthouses and rooftop bar (total 107.6 ft from front, 119.6 ft from the rear). I get that you're trying to win approval from the community and want to present the facts best angled for that, but if you truly believe the project is a positive and should be approved, why try to obfuscate the facts?

    See The InTowner (pages 1 & 5) for reporting on the project: http://www.intowner.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/InTowner-aug11web2.pdf