Donald Trump has beat out the Hyatt and other hotel developers to convert the historic Washington, D.C. Post Office building into a $200 million luxury hotel.
Built in 1899, the Old Post Office Pavilion is located at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, between the White House and the U.S. Capitol. It is listed as one of the top eight attractions in Washington. The 315-foot clock tower is one of D.C.’s scenic icons. It is the second tallest structure in the city – after the Washington Monument.
Trump and his group have promised to preserve the historic features of the building. When done, it will have more than 250 rooms, restaurants, a spa and conference facilities. The iconic clock tower will remain under the control of the National Park Service and stay open to the public.
Construction will begin in 2014 and the hotel will open in 2016.
Here’s the government’s press release on the decision:
GSA Selects the Trump Organization as Preferred Developer for DC’s Old Post Office
Action leverages nearly $200 million in private sector funds to restore and reuse a National Historic Landmark
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced it has selected the Trump Organization as the preferred team to redevelop the Old Post Office building and annex located in downtown Washington, D.C. Selecting the Trump Organization to redevelop this historic property represents a significant step in turning this underused Federal property into a mixed-use development that will serve the DC community and save money for the Federal Government.
“Deciding to move forward with redeveloping this iconic property will save millions in taxpayer dollars. The tremendous response from the private sector allowed us to select a proposal that will provide a positive economic return for the Federal Government and better utilize a historic property on our nation’s Main Street,” said Robert Peck, GSA’s Commissioner of the Public Buildings Service.
The Old Post Office is located at the corner of 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in the Federal Triangle neighborhood. Recognizing that the building had outlived its usefulness as Federal office space, Congress directed GSA in 2008 to enter into a long term lease for the Old Post Office under Section 111 of the National Historic Preservation Act, thereby guaranteeing the restoration and retention of all of its historic features while allowing the private sector to determine how to develop it to its fullest potential.
“The Trump Organization plan will preserve the historic nature of the building and improve the vitality of Pennsylvania Avenue,” continued Peck. “This redevelopment represents good business sense on behalf of the American taxpayer, the Federal Government and the District of Columbia.”
After closely evaluating the submissions, GSA determined the Trump Organization proposal represented the strongest development team, best long term potential for the local community, and most consistent stream of revenue for the Federal Government. GSA is committed to effectively and efficiently managing the Federal real estate footprint to achieve the best value for America’s taxpayers and communities, consistent with the President’s Campaign to Cut Waste.
The Trump Organization proposal calls for converting the Old Post Office to a luxury hotel with more than 250 rooms, along with world renowned restaurants, a spa, and conference facilities, while preserving and enhancing all of its historic features.
In accordance with the request for proposal, GSA and the Trump Organization will spend the next year negotiating a detailed agreement for the building’s redevelopment – specifying building usage, historic preservation requirements and details of the Federal Government’s revenue stream. GSA will only move forward if an agreement is reached that provides a positive return for the taxpayer.
While negotiations proceed, GSA will relocate the existing Federal tenants in the Old Post Office, including the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
If negotiations proceed as anticipated, redevelopment of the Old Post Office is expected to commence in 2014 with occupancy in 2016. At the end of the lease, control of the building will revert to the Federal Government.
For more information about the historic Old Post Office, visit: http://www.gsa.gov/oldpostoffice
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.