New Marquis Marriott Coming Soon to Shaw

Denise Rolark-Barnes | 11/10/2010, 8:25 a.m.
City officials and developers broke ground Wednesday for the of the long-awaited Washington Marriott Marquis...
After nearly twenty years of overcoming legal hurdles, city officials and developers break ground for the new state-of-the-art Washington Marriott Marquis Hotel on Wed., Nov. 10. Photo by DR Barnes

City officials and developers broke ground Wednesday for the of the long-awaited Washington Marriott Marquis Hotel that promises to bring the District millions of dollars in revenue while providing thousands of contracting opportunities and jobs for D.C. residents.

It took nearly twenty years to overcome legal hurdles, squabbles between the various interested parties and finally the economic downturn before an agreement was finally reached to build the state-of-the-art hotel. In addition, city officials wanted to be assured that the $520-million development would not only be a economic boom for the historic Shaw neighborhood, but that it would also stimulate job growth for the District.

"It's a great day, but it's just a beginning," Councilmember Kwame Brown (D-At-Large) said. "The most important thing is that Henson Phelps [the developer] is committed to ensure that local residents are hired and that local businesses are allowed to participate. If that does not happen, then we are not a great city."

The four-star Washington Marriott Marquis, located at 9th Street and Massachusetts Ave., N.W., across from the Washington Convention Center is set to open in 2014. It will provide 1,175 rooms, 46-suites and 100,000 square feet meeting space, including a grand ballroom, two junior ballrooms and an indoor and rooftop terrace.

Mayor Adrian Fenty acknowledged the work of former Mayors Anthony Williams and Marion Barry for laying the groundwork for both convention centers and the hotel and he said Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans "has a very special impatience" for seeing this project through over 19 years.

D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty with At-Large Councilmember Kwame Brown and Council Chairman Vincent Gray celebrate the groundbreaking of the Washington Marriott Marquis Hotel. Photo by DR Barnes
"Today's groundbreaking for the new state-of-the-art Marriott Marquis brings approximately 1,600 construction jobs, and when the hotel opens, offers more than 1,00 jobs for District residents in the hospitality industry," Fenty said.

(See next week's Informer for more on this story.)