Wardman Park Hotel Redevelopment Secures $360M Loan, DC

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Carmel Partners has successfully secured $360 million in construction financing from Wells Fargo Bank for the redevelopment of the Washington Marriott Wardman Park, a historic hotel in Northwest D.C.’s Woodley Park. The San Francisco-based firm acquired the property at auction for $152.25 million in July 2021 after the previous owner, an affiliate of Pacific Life Insurance Co., closed the hotel due to bankruptcy.

The site, which had housed the Wardman Hotel since 1918, closed temporarily during the pandemic’s peak in 2020 and permanently in 2021. Carmel Partners envisions replacing the 99-foot-tall hotel with two 90-foot residential buildings encircling a central courtyard. This move will reduce the building’s footprint from 47% to 23% of the parcel. Thus, creating more than 2 acres of green space, according to their proposal filed with D.C.’s Historic Preservation Review Board.

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However, the Wardman Park Hotel redevelopment project hasn’t been without contention. Following the proposal, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) urged Carmel Partners to increase the total units to 1,200. And also make at least 35% of them affordable for residents earning 30% to 60% of the area’s median income. ANC 3C also expressed a preference for a mixed-use development and raised concerns about the design.

Number of apartments to be created after Wardman Park Hotel redevelopment

The Wardman Park Hotel redevelopment project aims to create 900 apartments. Currently, the construction permits undergo review by the city. The Department of Buildings database reveals recent filings, including design, engineering, and cost documents. While the exact percentage of affordability remains undisclosed, Carmel Partners’ commitment to addressing community concerns is evident. The project signifies not only a transformation of the site but also the preservation of its historical significance.

Carmel Partners’ partnership with Wells Fargo Bank reflects the financial backing necessary for such a substantial endeavor. The development, and community input sets the stage for a new chapter in the legacy of the Marriott Wardman Park. As the project moves through the review process and designs are refined, the collaboration between Carmel Partners, local authorities, and community representatives will shape the ultimate outcome of this ambitious redevelopment.