Wardman hotel could be converted to affordable housing
“We are losing the very heart of our city,” said Meg Maguire.
WASHINGTON – The Wardman Hotel in Woodley Park has been vacant since the hotel filed for bankruptcy in January 2021. The 16-acre site costs around $ 140 million, but instead of being sold, a neighborhood group, the Wardman Strategy Team, wants to see it converted to affordable housing.
“We have seen this tremendous opportunity at the Wardman Hotel to provide a large number of accommodations, including affordable family units for those townspeople who really need them,” said Meg Maguire.
Maguire is part of the Wardman hotel strategy team. They ask the council not to reject their ideas because of the potential costs.
“It’s a 16 acre site, it has enormous potential. It can also provide classrooms for some of the area’s overcrowded schools, offices for social services, culinary training facilities and a small business incubator, ”Maguire said.
Maguire has lived in Washington since the 1970s. She and some of her neighbors in Ward 3 are concerned about the change in the district over the years.
“The city has lost 40,000 black residents. We are losing the very heart of our city, the qualities that make this city so great, ”said Maguire.
Earlier this year Ward 5 City Councilor Kenyan McDuffie asked Mayor Muriel Bowser for $ 140 million to acquire the property. So far, the city has not made an offer on the property.
“I think this is a unique opportunity to build significant housing that meets the needs of district residents who really haven’t had the opportunity to have affordable housing in a unique location like Woodley Park,” said McDuffie.
In May, Mayor Bowser announced a Investment of $ 400 million in a trust fund for the production of housing. There are already several developments underway in wards 4, 5, 7 and 8. Maguire said their group would like to see this extended to wards 3.
“The gentrification shifts are very disturbing and we need to plan ways so that people who have a history in the city can stay in the same city. But we must keep the cultural diversity of the city. Otherwise, it really homogenizes, I don’t want to live like that, ”said Maguire.
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