The property has been tied up for 14 months in an "Exclusive Right to Negotiate" with USA Hospitality, Inc., but on December 8th the city staff will recommend releasing the Request for Qualifications for the 700 and 800 blocks of K Street with a due date of February 12, 2010. It’s anticipated that the city staff could return to the Redevelopment Agency by early April with several other proposals for the 8th & K Street site. In that time USA Hospitality must do three things.
1) Obtain stronger financial commitments from all equity financial partners.
2) Developer conduct an assessment of the Bel-Vue to determine the costs associated with preserving the façade.
3) Complete negotiated business terms for inclusion in Disposition and Development Agreement.
I still don’t see the value in the city giving away $33 million in land and future taxes when just two blocks up the street at 10th and K Street Toni Giannoni is asking for $10 million to build a 165-room hotel that better fits our market. Toni also has an excellent record of finishing projects downtown where there are more development regulations that can tie up a proposal. In the case of the 8th and K Street design, the developer has a half block to work with, so instead of a massive parking garage the parking should be spread out over the entire half block above the lobby and ground floor retail but below the hotel rooms like has been done with ten other high-rises in downtown. If the city can nudge the developer to do this sort of design instead, the proposal would actually be shorter but the curb appearance would be far nicer. We don’t need another 6 story car garage at the corner of 8th & L Street; car garages have a history of deadening side walk activity for entire blocks and devaluing distinctive corners in our city. I hope both our City Council and planners consider the consequences, there is no need to repeat mistakes of the past again.
City owned parking garage across from city hall at 10th & I Street