WASHINGTON, DC-Istithmar Hotels Washington LLC will be rebranding a historic 11-story hotel here into what will be the first W Hotel in the District. The property, which Istithmar owns, is the Hotel Washington, a 100-year-plus fixture in Downtown DC.

Located across the street from the White House, it was first developed in 1888 as a retail store and apartment building. In 1917 the property was transformed into a hotel by the same architects who designed the Senate and the House on Capitol Hill and has been operating as a hotel ever since.

Istithmar plans to close the 328-room 17-suite hotel for the next year to complete renovations, the cost of which has not been disclosed. Up until now, Gemstone Resorts International, a hotel and resort management company, has been managing the property. There is no word on who will take over that mandate once the renovations are done and the W is open for business. Also unknown is whether Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide will retain the management or franchise it. The company did not return calls in time for deadline. Located on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 15th Street, the new W Hotel will have 317 guest rooms, including 32 suites, a rooftop bar and terrace and signature restaurant.

“We strongly believe in the W story and are confident we can create an asset for the whole DC community to embrace and enjoy,” Joe Sita, chief executive of Istithmar Hotels says in a statement. “The Hotel Washington has played an important part in the history of the city and we wish to expand on the hotel’s history and to acknowledge its role in the community.” This deal now brings the company’s W portfolio to four, he adds, following two recently announced Bangkok and Koh Samui deals and the existing W Union Square in New York.

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