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WASHINGTON, DC-Mayor Adrian Fenty signed legislation that will provide $206 million in financing for a new hotel at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Last month the City Council unanimously approved the financing for the project. The project, widely deemed to be essential if DC wants to more firmly establish itself as a convention city destination, has been held up over controversy regarding the public financing. Especially after the start of the recession, fully underwriting the $537-million project was seen as unseemly and unnecessary.

The hotel is being developed by Quadrangle Development Corp. and Capstone Development, which have remained tight lipped in recent months as they waited for the city to come forward with alternative plans. These include $136 million in TIF financing, as well as loans and grants.

The District’s convention center hosts about a million visitors a year and generates about 500,000 hotel room nights. There have been steady rumblings though that these numbers could improve with a hotel dedicated to convention center traffic. The proposed hotel will be a 14-story building situated on a two-acre site at Ninth and Massachusetts Ave. There will also be 100,000 square feet of meeting space and 400 parking spaces. Ground will break on the project this fall and it will deliver in 2013.

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