Developer bringing new ‘low-cost luxury’ hotel to Southwest D.C.


Rebecca Cooper – Senior Staff Reporter, Washington Business Journal

Sep 21, 2017

Boutique hotel brand citizenM is coming to D.C. The chain, which has most of its hotels in Europe, will supply the flag for a new hotel planned for 555 E St. SW, according to to the developers of the site.

The project includes a 252-room citizenM and a 194-unit apartment building, according to E Street Development Group LLC, a partnership that includes CityPartners LLC and Potomac Investment Properties Inc.

CitizenM’s hotel will be across the street from another hotel the developer opened next door in 2015, the Hyatt Place National Mall at 400 E St. SW. The two properties were always part of the same development; E Street won the rights to develop the D.C.-owned parcels back in 2009, and began work in earnest on the project in 2013. The first phase included a new fire station for the District’s Engine Co. 13, which was built under the Hyatt Place.

E Street’s original plan called for a 305,000-square-foot office building in the second phase, however. Later, as the Hyatt Place neared opening, City Partners said it was considering a number of options: another hotel, some residential, maybe a couple of floors of office.

When it opens, this will be one of the first citizenM hotels in the U.S. The first one opened in New York in the heart of Times Square in 2014, and others are in the works for Seattle, the Bowery in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The chain, which bills itself as “low-cost luxury,” capitalizes on the trend of shrinking hotel rooms with large, multipurpose lobby spaces where guests spend much more of their time. The rooms are small, but feature free Wi-Fi, on-demand movies, free bottled water and kiosk check-in.

They also come with a big boost in style compared to other budget hospitality options — although that has been changing in recent years. Founder Rattan Chadha, a former fashion industry executive, told Inc. in 2014 that he was aiming for “great style for a price a 25-year-old designer could afford. That concept existed in fashion but not in hotels.”