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WASHINGTON, DC-It’s official. The District of Columbia government’s plans for the new 1,500-room Marriott Convention Center Headquarters Hotel have been set in motion with the selection of Tishman Realty & Construction Co. Inc.’s Tishman Urban Development Corp. to serve as the developer and construction manager for the project. And architectural firms Rafael Viñoly Architects PC and Nichols Brosch Sandoval & Associates have been tapped to spearhead the hotel’s design. No one involved in the endeavor is talking numbers. However, press reports on the hotel from earlier this year speculate that the gargantuan project could cost an estimated $400 to $500 million to develop.

“It’s hard to quote a number because you use one set of figures on a privately financed project and another set of figures on a publicly financed project like this one, which will be financed through revenue bonds” Tishman Urban Development president John T. Livingston, taking time out from his vacation, explains to GlobeSt.com. “But the number will be substantial. This is probably the largest hotel on the books to be developed in this country.” It is also difficult to speak of dollars at this point when the specifics, such as the square-footage of hotel meeting space and the like, have yet to be decided. “We’re just entering the conceptual design stage as we speak,” Livingston says.

As for developing such a monster of a hotel when the hospitality industry has yet to fully recover from the severe slump brought on by the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack, all parties involved agree that there is a solid demand for the property. “The DC market continues to be one of the strongest markets in the country, and a headquarters hotel is needed to complement the new two million-sf Washington Convention Center,” Livingston notes. In a written press release announcing the news, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Eric Price adds that, “the caliber and international stature of this team speaks to the importance of this project–and the interest across the world in economic development in the District.” The hotel is on target for completion in 2008.

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