W3 Advocates Ask Wardman Owner for Land Transfer for Affordable Housing
Ward 3 Housing Justice | Wardman Hotel Strategy Team
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 28, 2022
Contact: Gail Sonnemann, 202-286-0845, firstname.lastname@example.org
A coalition of housing advocates and non-profits met Wednesday, January 27, with Carmel
Partners, the new owners of the Wardman Hotel, to present a bold proposal to donate the former Wardman Hotel building that fronts on Calvert St. to the Douglass Community Land Trust so that 100+ permanently affordable homes could be developed there.
Carmel agreed to consider the proposal even as they are moving ‘full speed ahead’ with their plans. Their current plan for the entire former Wardman Hotel site is to raze all of the existing buildings and build 900 units, all of which would be market rate except for the minimum 8% required by Inclusionary Zoning (IZ), or about 72 units. Carmel has filed for a demolition permit and is moving rapidly on their announced development proposal in order to protect the interests of their investors.
Ward 3 Council Member Mary Cheh arranged and attended the meeting with her staff. Other
attendees included a senior staff member from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED); representatives of the Douglass Community Land Trust (DCLT); and a coalition of advocates from Ward 3 Housing Justice (W3HJ), the Wardman Hotel Strategy Team (WHST), and the newly formed NW Opportunity Partners Community Development Corporation (NWOP CDC). Carmel Partners was represented by former DC Councilmember David Grosso, and by a Carmel vice president.
“We are counting on promises from Deputy Mayor Falcicchio to achieve the maximum possible amount of affordable housing at the site,” said Meg Maguire, Board Chair of NWOP CDC, who presented the proposal on behalf of the coalition. “ With the 100+ units our proposal would produce, plus what we hope will be Carmel’s willingness to exceed their minimal IZ requirements, the project could achieve at least 200 affordable units at the site. This would be a meaningful step toward meeting the Mayor’s goal of 1990 units of affordable housing in our part of the city by 2025.”
“This is the time for bold action, not business as usual,” Maguire continued. “Together, Carmel, the city government, housing advocates and neighbors can transform life for hundreds of DC residents through robust affordable housing in the Wardman redevelopment.”
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