Big Changes are On the Horizon for DC’s Latham Hotel Site
When New York-based developer Thor Equities purchased the Latham Hotel for a cool $53.5M in 2016, they had plans to build an 82-room hotel with three levels of retail space spanning 27,000 square feet. However, that’s all about to change. According to The Washington Business Journal, where the story first broke, Thor Equities has submitted new plans to change the hotel’s layout to a 256-room hotel with only the bottom floor dedicated to retail.
Whether or not the plans will be approved is up to the Georgetown Advisory Neighborhood Commission and The Old Georgetown Board, and there’s no word on when construction on the now-stripped hotel will continue, though the proposal estimates a start date of summer 2022.
In the meantime, other developers are setting their sights on surrounding properties, positioning the area for quite the facelift.
"Georgetown is a great stretch, but there aren't many large spaces available. This happens to have 62 feet of frontage and we thought it's a great opportunity. We're confident Thor will do a great project next door at the Latham," said Norman Jemal of Douglas Development, who purchased adjacent retail property.
Additionally, sources say that the developer secured a $25 million loan to further the Latham project.
As for residential real estate, Georgetown already commands high price points with a Zillow home value index of $1,391,178, with a projected 2.4% decrease expected over the next year. The area continues to attract investment, meaning it could be a fantastic time to scoop up nearby residential and commercial properties.
According to the article “The Effects of Commercial Property on Residential Value” published on sfgate.com, commercial improvements can attract high-end retail and restaurants to an area thus causing a jump in the surrounding residential properties.
“Commercial properties can provide an ambiance and unique cultural atmosphere that add an indefinable "polish" to an area, which attracts residents willing to pay higher prices for residential properties,” wrote Ryan Cockerham.
In terms of the Latham site here in D.C., hopes are high that the redevelopment will elevate the neighborhood even further, attracting high-end restaurants, shops, and businesses that will make Georgetown home values rise even more. After all, the old Latham hotel was once the home of James Beard Award-winning restaurant Citronelle. Perhaps now the block will see more than one similarly recognized restaurant.
"We understand the property owner’s need to get the leasing and development plan right for Georgetown, and remain optimistic by the potential for such a key site," Nancy Miyahira, Vice President of the Georgetown Business Improvement District, told The Washington Business Journal in 2018. Let’s hope they can work something out soon.
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