Housing Complex

Office of Planning: Adams Morgan Hotel is Too Tall!

Too big!

Another twist in the saga of the Adams Morgan Hotel: The Office of Planning has issued its preliminary opinion on the application that's been submitted to the Zoning Commission, and the developers won't be pleased. The setdown report expresses dissatisfaction with the height of the building, along with 13 other points about the design. The first hearing on the project is on Monday, and considering how adamantly Brian Friedman has insisted the hotel is only viable at the current size, it looks like a long road ahead.

  • rt

    With friends like this city, who needs enemies!!! How much do you wanna bet it's because Tregoning lives in the neighborhood. Everyone is a NIMBY, even the best.

  • http://www.HalliganProjects.com Rob Halligan

    Director Tregoniing lives over near 10th Street.

  • Sarah

    Looks like the developer doesn't know how to make friends, "DC style." Where the right consultants are hired and the love, campaign contributions and other judicious favors are spread around, the Mayor's office instructs OP, DDOT and the Zoning Commission to fall in line and a project sails through like butter.

  • deedle

    I looked at the report, and they seem like reasonable questions. It's an infill site on two residential streets, and the developers are going to have to play nice.

  • Lee

    This is insane. I know that the Reede-Cooke overlay touches the site, that limits height, but there are so many buildings in a couple block radius that are approximately this height. There should be an exemption, especially with the great views it would afford the hotel. Adams Morgan and especially Columbia Road are due for an upgrade. Here is a developer willing to invest in the neighborhood, and even provide community benefits, such as space for a non-profit. He's worked for years with the neighborhood and yet the neighborhood repeatedly tries to stop this project. I've been to community meetings that have lasted for 3 hours, and many of the participants just spew anger instead of common sense.

    Our city desperately needs more tax dollars due to the sheer amount of land owned by government and non-profits throughout the city that don't contribute to the tax base, and we can't tax VA and MD commuters whom have lower income taxes. Please, Adams Morgan, as a fellow resident myself, let's rally behind this project and acknowledge it will help improve neighborhood businesses and inspire more retail diversity. I'm all for community input, but this project's approval process has dragged on for way too long. The District needs more jobs, and this will help our neighborhood immensely.

  • Johnny

    How does anything get built in this town?

  • Stewart

    I think this hotel is a great thing for adams morgan. I can't wait for the hotel to open. This is going to bring hundreds of jobs to adams morgan where jobs are scarce to begin with.

  • Snarky

    Another snarky article by the City Paper! This Hotel is exactly what Adams Morgan needs. The Office of Planning indicated very clearly that it did not object to the Hotel PUD getting set down. That is a clear victory for the developers, especially in an environment like the one they face where oppositionists have been lobbying the Office of Planning on a daily basis.

  • Sarah

    I cant wait for this to open. Our neighborhood has been a great kept secret for too long and we need the rest of the city to take notice. Maybe the city will keep up with the growth and provide some better services and transportation when this is approved.

  • Bill S

    Get the hotel built already! Adams Morgan needs this development! We want the hotel, we want the jobs! Its not to tall!

  • Sarah

    "Our city desperately needs more tax dollars..."

    How about cutting wasteful spending first? Let's start with a law that says no taxpayer funds can be spent for lobbying for any "New Columbia" statehood nonsense and no funds expended for any "shadow" offices. Then let's de-fund the Offices of Latino Affairs, LGBT Affairs, Asian-Pacific Islander Affairs, Little Green Eyed Martian Affairs, etc. These are nothing but feel-good political constituency sops that don't put a single cop on the street, educate a student or pick up trash. And speaking of litter, how about saving some money by putting DC jail prisoners on chain gangs to sweep our streets and sidewalks??

  • Scott

    Sarah, how about you just accept that our city is very diverse and these offices serve a purpose that doesn't affect you. You might do well to sell and head on out to the white suburbs.

  • rip off the rich

    "Our city needs more tax dollars"

    how about a sensible rent control amendment that would help the people that need it but get the damn rich kids going to college out and get the rich people that flee to the nice hotels and apartments and condominiums in anywhere in the country but DC? The way the law remains keeps the tax base low. Look to other cities that have figured out they can still get free votes from the tenants who support rent control but fix the damn law. and back to the hotel - lets all argue some more and not change anything. who needs occupy dc, the people already are doing it here!

  • http://tsarchitect.nsflanagan.net/ цarьchitect

    Yeah, all those rich kids that think that Adams Morgan is convenient for American University classes. Oh yeah, those GU kids who can spend $500,000 on their college condo and outcompete Georgeotown matriarchs. Yes that .01%. Sit down.

  • Sarah

    @ Scott--

    Enough of the ad hominem attacks. Pray tell, what purpose do these offices really serve, except providing patronage jobs for favored constituencies? And if they do serve a real purpose at all, is it at all core to the mission of a city -- even a diverse one?
    When money gets tight, the first response should not always be to raise revenue -- it should be to ask what fat can be cut, what expenditures are not really core. And by core, I mean policing our streets, fighting fires, educating kids, promoting public health, picking up the garbage, providing playgrounds. Grants to street festivals may make constituents feel good, but that's not where public funds should go, particularly in leaner times.

  • rip off the rich

    on this rent control amendment - regardless of your misunderstanding because of my anger at the law - and the fact that the majority of students at the schools you mentioned are not like you but entititled.. the law still needs to be amended to make sure you are not living for $1300 with cockroaches, that you can have a washer and dryer i=on your floor if not your unit, and that the buildings can be upgrade to be efficentn for energy. this law is totally old and archaic and a vote getter . id work with anyone who needs affordable housing for school or work, just dont force it in the law.

  • JayDC

    I think the hotel needs to work with its neighbors, but I also think it would be a nice addition to the neighborhood - especially since it would provide much needed foot traffic in Adams Morgan during the day!

  • http://thegreatermarin.wordpress.com OctaviusIII

    After looking at the comments, it's definitely understandable why they want to limit the height. The proposal wants to build 92' of building in a 40-50' area - about double the current maximum height.

    This is way, way out of scale, especially on the relatively narrow Champlain Street. Although I'd like the proposal built, OP is right to defer to neighborhoods on something so relatively massive.

  • Ben

    Sarah, spend some time educating yourself on what offices like LGBT Affairs do before you slam them. You sound like Rick Perry blathering on about abolishing the Department of Commerce while making it abundantly clear that he has no idea what the Department of Commerce does. It's an "argument" that lacks any credibility.

    It's all well and good to look for places to "trim the fact," as you say, but understand also that this so-called "fat" represents a miniscule portion of the District's budget. And in exchange for little-to-no money going to help fund events that benefit neighborhoods and residents, outreach offices that benefit the city's diverse residency and grants that go to help small business owners, you will still have a situation where the District has a revenue problem and a lack of taxable land, only the city will be even poorer for it.

  • foodim


    The proposed project is IN the Reed Cooke Overlay (not just touching it). The reason why the Reed Cooke Overlay was created was precisely to protect this part of the neighborhood from incomaptible development like hotels. The overlay sepcifically prohibits hotels. And the DC comprehensive plan also stipulates that transient/hotel uses should not be built in Adams Morgan at all.

    The bottom line is that Champlain St is not wide enough to handle the amount of traffic that a transient hotel use will bring. In addition, other infrastrucure including sewer systems, and trash pick up will be heavily taxed with a large hotel on a very narrow street and alley, that are already over capacity without the hotel. Throw in 3 more condo buildings that will be going up on the same block and you will be likely to see gunfights over parking spaces happening on Friday and Saturday night.

    There are a number of hotels, b&bs and inns, from very large to very small all within easy walking distance of 18th and Columbia, so I really don't understand why we need a hotel. This is going to be a luxury hotel, were talking $250-$300 a night, so I know my family wont be staying there, because they can't afford to.

    And for all the talk of jobs, the jobs report put out by the developer is a joke. over 20% of the jobs (100+) are going to be personal trainers. Yeah right. There is a lot of bs that's been coming from the developers and if you refuse to see it, then I hope they build the hotel in your backyard. Maybe then somebody can call you a NIMBY and you will have more sympathy for what those of us go through just to get reasonable development in the neighborhood. No one is anti-development. The community supported the developer's original plans for a condo building. Condos= more residents= more patrons for all the establishments on 18th and Columbia Rd. hotel = tourist that go to sites in other parts of the city during the day, and don't care about local businesses.

  • Pete

    I agree with foodim. Anyone who lives or regularly drives on Champlain Street knows that the street is too narrow to handle its current traffic volume let alone the cars/cabs, buses and trucks that will come with a 227 room hotel. Two full size cars driving in opposing directions have to come to a crawl just to get by each other. Ontario Road and Kalorama Street have the same problem. Regardless of what the developers say, my bet is that Champlain and may be some of the others will lose parking on one side within a year or so after this hotel is built to end 24/7 traffic jams on such narrow streets. Living there, I can't see how this will play out in any other way. AND WHY DID THE DEVELOPERS PORTRAY CHAMPLAIN STREET AS A WIDE BOULEVARD RATHER THAN DEPICTING IT TO SCALE? (Go take a look at the sketches). WHY DID THE DEVELOPERS' TRAFFIC STUDIES ONLY LOOK AT INTERSECTIONS ON OR ADJACENT TO COLUMBIA ROAD? Why not Champlain at Kalorama? Why not Kalorama at 18th?

    I'm all for progress. I'd be for a smaller hotel. But this project is just too big for the neighborhood that it will impact (the 3-4 blocks south and east of the project). It's simply not a good fit.

    As to those of you who throw the term NIMBY around: NIMBY is merely term used by a project proponent to completely dismiss offhand anyone who raises negative implications of the project. It's the equivalent of saying "shut up and too bad, because I like it and it won't negatively impact me". If the city were to put a sewage treatment plant next to a house you purchased (and changed the zoning laws to do so), you'd certainly object, even if the city desperately needed it. That'd make you a NIMBY too. Yes, this is an extreme example, but it illustrates the complete divisive nature of this term. Those that oppose the hotel have legitimate, substantive concerns that should be aired, discussed and considered.

  • http://www.tinyurl.com/hotel-feedback Eric G.

    Send you comments about the hotel to City Leadership using this easy online tool >>

    If you don't lend your voice of concern now, the hotel will be built as is due to the Pay to Play politics of Ward One and DC as a whole.