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WASHINGTON, DC-District Mayor Anthony A. Williams has revealed that Marriott International’s $500 million proposal is the winner of the competition to develop the hotel that will be attached–literally and figuratively–to the new 2.3 million-sf, multi-million-dollar Washington Convention Center that is due to open in March of next year. Marriott won out over Hilton Hotels Corporation to become the convention center’s headquarters hotel. The news came early afternoon Tuesday at a press conference attended by the Washington Convention Center Authority, the Washington, DC Convention and Tourism Corporation, and other community leaders.

“We are very pleased to be selected and we look forward to working with the city to provide them with a world class convention center hotel,” Marriott International’s Roger Conner tells GlobeSt.com. “It is anticipated to be a 1,500 room hotel and it will have about 90,000 sf of meeting space.” Marriott’s proposal is a joint endeavor involving the Bethesda, MD-based hotel organization, local developer Gould Properties, and JBG Cos. The new property, which will sit on the 900 block of Massachusetts Avenue, was to have gotten off to an earlier start. However, officials postponed the scheduled December 19 decision on the developer last year due to terror attack-induced delays. Williams issued the original Request for Proposal in April 2001 with guidelines stipulating a minimum of 35,000 sf of convertible ballroom space, 40,00 to 80,000 sf of meeting space, no more than three restaurants, and retail space that opens to the street.

While the rumor mill has long speculated that Marriott would come out on top, the company did not take anything for granted and was quick to express its gratitude for being the chosen one. “We thank the mayor and all the city officials for their confidence in Marriott,” Conner adds. The timeline for construction is not yet available but original city plans call for the headquarters hotel to be ready in 2004.

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