WASHINGTON, DC-Starwood Capital Group has formed a partnership with locally based Perseus Realty LLC for development of Starwood Capital’s recently announced 1 Hotel brand. The JV has acquired the vacant former Nigerian embassy at 2201 M St. NW in the West End neighborhood for the project.

Scheduled to open in 2010, it is one of an initial four locations under contract to contain Greenwich, CT-based Starwood Capital’s 1 Hotel brand properties, all of which are seeking five-star status and LEED-certification from the US Green Building Council. Others are in Seattle, near Bryant Park in Manhattan, and in Atlanta.

A year ago, Starwood Capital unveiled the brand and said it planned to open 15 hotels under that banner, some of which also include residences, within 24 months. Additional destinations, identified, but not finalized, according to a Starwood Capital spokesman, are Mammoth Mountain, CA; Scottsdale, AZ; Fort Lauderdale; Los Angeles; and Paris.

The DC property will be hotel only, the spokesman tells GlobeSt.com. Like the other 1 Hotels, it will contain a BR Guest restaurant under an agreement with restaurateur Stephen Hanson.

“Typically, Starwood Capital will hook up with a local developer in 1 Hotel locations,” the spokesman says, “although some developers may partner in multiple locations.” This hotel will contain 180 keys, and ground is set to break in mid-2008. The estimated construction cost is undisclosed. According to published reports, the partnership acquired the property for $15.5 million and will raze the existing building.

“Washington is home to some of the world’s most important environmental organizations,” says Barry Sternlicht, president and CEO of Starwood Capital, in a statement. “It means a great deal to me personally to be able to demonstrate that we can combine a truly world-class, five-star living experience with environmentally responsible building and design under their watchful eyes.”

The New York City-based Natural Resources Defense Council is serving as an environmental advisor to the 1 Hotel properties. Sternlicht says the properties will donate 1% of profits to local environmental agencies guided by a steering committee, which has NRDC representation.

“For the vast majority of hotels, eco-friendliness means washing guests’ towels less often,” says John Wood Bolton, Perseus’ EVP, in a statement. “The 1 Hotel, Washington DC will demonstrate that luxury, comfort and impeccable service can co-exist with environmental sustainability.” A call to Perseus was not returned by deadline.

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