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Marriott to build hotel near GAC site
WASHINGTON (4/6/10)--A District of Columbia Superior Court judge has given Marriott International the go-ahead to build a hotel across the street from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center--the site of the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). CUNA's next GAC will be at the convention center Feb. 27-March 2, 2011. The city could break ground on the $537 million, 14-story Marriott Marquis hotel in late May or early June, said D.C. Attorney General Peter J. Nickles (The Washington Post March 31). On March 29, Judge Natalia Combs Greene dismissed a lawsuit brought by Wardman Investor, controlled by JBG Cos., which alleged the city acted illegally and showed favoritism in the bidding process. Last fall, the city agreed to finance the Marriott project with $206 million and give the development team a 99-year ground lease on city-owned land. The district had been trying to attract a convention hotel for 11 years. Nickles said that even if JBG appeals, the hotel will break ground. The judge's ruling doesn't affect countersuits against Wardman by the city, the Washington Convention and Sports Authority, and Marriott alleging the lawsuit was an extortionate plan to stop construction of the convention center hotel and force Marriott to renegotiate a Wardman Park's management agreement. JBG bought the Wardman Park Marriott hotel with another company five years ago. Ben Jacobs, managing partner of JBG, was quoted in the article as saying that in a flat hotel market, competition from a convention center hotel would threaten the Wardman..


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