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481-Unit Buzzard Point Redevelopment May Enlist WhyHotel

by Nena Perry-Brown

Rendering of RiverPoint. Click to enlarge.

A lot of progress has been made on the conversion of the Buzzard Point Coast Guard headquarters into a mixed-use residential project, with 130 units delivering by next April. In the meantime, the development team is hoping to get a head start on leasing up. 

Last week, the team redeveloping 2100 2nd Street SW (map) filed for a modification to the planned unit development (PUD) in order to use WhyHotel to occupy some of the first delivered units. Approval would also necessitate a use variance to permit lodging within the 100-year floodplain.

Short term lodging company WhyHotel typically leases a block of residential units upon delivery and gradually phases out as the apartments are rented. In this case, the pop-up hotel provider would operate on the fourth and fifth floors of the development, filling up to 150 units for a maximum of two years.

"As the Applicant is finishing the Project, the lack of an established community in the vicinity of the Property raises concerns about the Project's initial operations, especially the survivability of retail," the application explains. "Buzzard Point is a rapidly changing area with numerous new projects pending; however, it is currently in a state of transition and it does not have the foot traffic that retailers or other prospective street fronting tenants, as well as prospective residential tenants want to see before committing to that location."

Interestingly, three of the units on the 4th and 5th floors are designated for inclusionary zoning, and the application states that those will remain dedicated for households earning up to 50 percent of area median income rather than becoming WhyHotel units.

The remaining 350 apartments are expected to deliver by the end of 2020. The PUD will also deliver 71,120 square feet of commercial space overlooking the Anacostia River, including a 12,000 square-foot restaurant from the owners of Tony and Joe's and a vegan restaurant and food hall by Spike Gjerde. Each restaurant will also have outdoor seating.

Akridge, Western Development and Orr Partners are the developers; Antunovich Associates and BCT Architects split design duties. 

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/converted-coast-guard-headquarters-may-enlist-whyhotel/15994

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