DC’s Capitol Hill Gets First New Hotel in 40 Years

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The Royal Sonesta Washington, D.C. Capitol Hill, the first new hotel in the neighborhood in 40 years, opened to guests this week.

Located at 20 Massachusetts Avenue, the hotel sits within a 427,000-square-foot building owned by Office Properties Income Trust, which acquired it in 1997.

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The RMR Group is overseeing the $200 million redevelopment of what was formerly a seven-story, 340,119-square-foot Class B office tower built in 1973.

With the hotel now open, the 183,515-square-foot office portion of the building will soon follow, with an expected opening sometime this fall.

The office component will be on floors seven through 10 and offer 46,000-square-foot floor plates with floor-to-ceiling windows and 9-foot ceilings. CBRE (CBRE) will be leasing out the office portion of the property.

“20 Mass was thoughtfully designed from top to bottom, integrating sustainable and tech-forward components that benefit hotel guests and office tenants,” Chris Bilotto, senior vice president of The RMR Group, told Commercial Observer. “While the top four office floors are ideal for larger users, the floor plates can be configured to accommodate tenants of varying sizes. We have been actively touring several users and look forward to welcoming tenants to the building.” 

Sonesta International Hotels Corporation’s regional portfolio also includes hotels in Dupont Circle and Baltimore’s Harbor Court neighborhood. 

“The Capitol Hill neighborhood has one of the highest hotel occupancies, if not the highest, in the city,” Meade Atkeson, general manager of the Royal Sonesta Capitol Hill, told CO. “The addition of the Royal Sonesta will increase the available rooms for all times of the year and be especially helpful when Congress is in session.”

The 274-key hotel features a French bistro from Knead Hospitality + Design, a 2,400-square-foot conference center, a 3,100-square-foot ballroom with a terrace, and a yoga studio. 

It also features a 10-story atrium and art installations that reference the hotel’s surroundings, including portraits of Supreme Court justices, news clippings and political motifs. It contains some of the largest rooms in the city, averaging 480 square feet, per the company.

The building also includes 13,832 square feet of retail and a 14,500-square-foot penthouse.

Keith Loria can be reached at Kloria@commercialobserver.com.