History and political buffs may be in store for their ideal place to live. The building that once housed a Howard Johnson hotel and was used as a stakeout location for the Watergate scandal — owned by George Washington University in recent years — will now get a new lease on life as an apartment complex.

  • Urban Investment Planning bought the old George Washington University dorm building to develop into a mixed-use building named Boathouse.
  • Developers will add 40,000 square feet of new space to create a total of 250 apartment units, an amenity deck and a ground level coffee shop.

History and political buffs may be in store for their ideal place to live. The building that once housed a Howard Johnson hotel and was used as a stakeout location for the Watergate scandal — owned by George Washington University in recent years — will now get a new lease on life as an apartment complex.

Washington D.C.-based Urban Investment Partners announced that it purchased the building for $36 million from the university with plans to transform the core-and-shell building used as a student dorm into a multifamily property. The building is 10 stories and spans 97,300 square feet, located at 2601 Virginia Ave., NW.

The mixed-use development will be called Boathouse and is slated to house about 250 rental units and a coffee shop. Developers are planning to about 40,000 square feet of new space to the current building.

“We are going to create something never seen before in this city, focusing on access to the park and the river, promoting a healthful lifestyle that includes fitness, exercise, and fresh food,” UIP Principal Steve Schwat said in a statement. “This is going to be an exciting place to live, equidistant from the Georgetown waterfront and the Foggy Bottom Metro stop, which is just a five-minute walk away.”

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Rendering of Boathouse courtesy of Urban Investment Parnters

The development was gutted by George Washington University with plans to create a new, modern space for students, but the school instead put the property on the market.

UIP is jumping on the opportunity to create something with ample amenities to attract residents. The building will have an amenity deck with a swimming pool, gourmet kitchen, fire pits and a 2,000 square foot fitness center, as well as a library, entertainment and theater space and a bike-share program onsite.

This isn’t the first time UIP has purchased university-owned properties with intentions to create apartment living. The development company purchased three office buildings from American University earlier this year to add housing.

In February, the developer announced the $45 million purchase of three class C buildings in Tenleytown that used to be home to the National Public Ragio affiliate WAMU. With plans to dump $75 million into the property, UIP announced it would gut-rehab the space into apartments with plenty of underground parking spaces.

Email Kimberly Manning

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