FORBES: The Yards & New Thompson Hotel Will Make Washington D.C. A True Waterfront City
A national infrastructure plan may be stalled in Congress, but a new 42-acre waterfront development project in the U.S. capital’s backyard is full-steam ahead. The venture, called “The Yards,” will bolster the revitalization of southeast Washington, D.C.—the municipality's earliest industrial maritime community along the Anacostia River. A vibrant neighborhood is poised to get even better.
Adjacent to the Washington Nationals ballpark, The Yards will be a large-scale, mixed-use development of 3,400 residences, 400,000 square feet of retail, dining and services, 1.8 million square feet of office space, and a waterfront park ultimately spanning 48 acres and 25 buildings in the Navy Yard district. Thompson D.C., a four-star hotel, will be the first lodging constructed at The Yards, offering 225 rooms along the scenic riverfront by 2020.
Within walking distance of Nationals Park, The Yards is slated to further transform the area into modern hub for locals and visitors—reflective of the area’s rich, maritime past. Developed by Forest City Washington Inc., the emerging neighborhood will be locally inspired, maintaining the former Navy Yard’s industrial building character fused with sleek modern construction components and new public amenities for Washington, D.C. A second phase will develop another 18 acres of land west of The Yards, slated for completion by 2030.
“By 2020, we expect The Yards will be under construction for our first residential project located in Yards West and we hope to be under way with the first phase of office space,” says Deborah Ratner Salzberg, president of Forest City Washington Inc. “Three new residential buildings will be open including Guild, a 191-unit apartment community, The Bower with 138 condo units for sale, and a residential parcel with 264 units located next to the hotel. Additionally, new ground floor restaurants and retail will open in the three buildings referenced.”
Thompson Hotels is an international hospitality company with a diverse portfolio of boutique lifestyle hotels, including in New York, Chicago, Toronto, Nashville, Seattle, and Los Cabos, Mexico. Thompson D.C. will be a social anchor in the community, joining dozens of specialty retailers, restaurants, high-end residences and cultural options to come—mere steps from The Yards Park and the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail.
Developed by real estate investment firm JW Capital Partners and private equity investment group Geolo Capital, the Thompson D.C. hotel will feature 38 suites (including two spacious Thompson Suites), many with views of the Anacostia River and nearby Nationals Park.
The property will also offer signature food and beverage establishments—a ground-level restaurant, lobby lounge and an expansive rooftop bar with 360-degree views of the city. Other amenities include a fitness center, and 4,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Upon the opening of Thompson D.C., Union Investment will acquire the hotel from Geolo Capital and JW Capital Partners.
“We take great pride in bringing locally-inspired and impactful projects to destination cities,” says John Pritzker, founding partner and director of Geolo Capital, which also financed other Thompson Hotels including The Beekman, recently opened in New York. “We have substantial experience animating hotels and neighborhoods to the best advantage for both the community and travelers to the region.”
Designed by Studios Architecture and interior design firm Parts and Labor Design, the hotel also draws inspiration from the area’s renowned Navy Yard, incorporating industrial patterns and textures found in historic naval structures. Dark iron bricks, metal panels and a dark gray façade will distinguish the hotel’s exterior with intricate interiors and guest rooms embellished with with copper, metal, emerald and ivory tones.
Maybe the cranes in southeast Washington, D.C. will send a message to those in the Capitol Building that infrastructure matters. It can revitalize neighborhoods, cities and economies. And like The Yards, it can become a diverse destination.
“The Yards is a truly mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhood with a very diverse set of demographics,” says Salzberg. “Everyone from millennials to young families to retired adults call The Yards home.”
Washington, D.C. is well known for its political chaos. What’s often forgotten is what lies beyond the gridlock and limestone monuments—expressly vibrant local neighborhoods like Georgetown and The Yards (two waterfront destinations that showcase Washington, D.C. as a true waterfront city).