OGB Approves Water Street Hotel Proposal

Last week the Old Georgetown Board approved the design of a proposed hotel to be built at 3401 Water St. The plans shifted the massing of the building around from earlier designs but will still be a noticeable addition to the Georgetown “skyline”.

As described in earlier reporting, the plan calls to preserve the existing two-story building, which currently contains the Berliner beer hall and a Go Puff distribution hub. Three to five stories (plus a penthouse) of new construction will be added on top. The higher stories will be on the west and northern portions of the building, with the lower roofs on the east and south sides.

The approved plans show 138 rooms spread across four floors:

No word on whether the Berliner beer hall will stay, but the designs do call for a restaurant in the same space.

This is what it will look like from the south and the north:

It’s certainly a noticeable change, but frankly one that won’t really stand out if you didn’t realize it was new. It will essentially continue the existing building massing from east along the canal.

What does concern GM, however, is the impact of all the guest’s cars and Ubers, etc., on Water Street. The city made big improvements last year with the aim of limiting car traffic west of 34th St. This traffic is hazardous because so many drivers come down, look for free parking, and then perform dangerous u-turns when they don’t find it. But if cars start depositing 138 room’s worth of guests west of 34th, the dangerous u-turning will only get worse. Hopefully DDOT will force the hotel operator to come up with a plan that doesn’t put pedestrians and cyclists at risk.


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