With crews already rehabbing one of its old office buildings up the street, a prominent D.C. developer continues to put more of its longtime Richmond holdings into motion – this time in the hospitality sector.
Douglas Development filed plans with the city in recent weeks to convert the 12-story former Virginia Department of Environmental Quality building at 629 E. Main St. into a 210-room, dual-branded Hyatt hotel.
Douglas, which bought the building in 2001 for $4.2 million, filed a plan of development in late January. It’s unclear how much of the 126,000-square-foot building has been occupied since DEQ moved to the Bank of America Center at 1111 E. Main St. in 2017.
Douglas representatives were not available for comment last week.
Plans call for 210 hotel rooms, 130 of which would be for a Hyatt Place, Hyatt Hotels Corp.’s most common flag. The other 80 would be Hyatt House, its extended-stay brand. Hyatt has over 900 locations globally, and the downtown tower would be its seventh in the Richmond region.
Douglas also has filed for a demolition permit for the project that calls for minimal modifications to the 98-year-old building’s facade.
Local firm Balzer & Associates is listed as the project’s engineer. D.C.-based Fillat+ Architecture is the architect and Maryland-based RD Jones + Associates Inc. is the interior designer.
Since the turn of the century, Douglas has amassed over 20 properties downtown in Jackson Ward, the Arts District and the central business district. Its most prominent holding in Richmond is the Deco at CNB apartment tower at 219 E. Broad St., formerly known as the Central National Bank building.
While much of its Arts District properties have remained vacant and inactive, Douglas has begun to take action on some of its other assets. Last fall, the company began work on a $5 million conversion of the former Stumpf Hotel into apartments, located just a block east of the VDEQ building.
Douglas’ plan is the latest deal in Richmond involving a Hyatt-branded building. Local hotelier Shamin Hotels on Feb. 14 bought the Hyatt Place Richmond Innsbrook at 4100 Cox Road in Henrico for $12.1 million, according to Henrico property records. The county recently assessed the 124-room hotel at $9.9 million.
That deal adds to a busy start to the year for Shamin, which recently opened a Sheraton near Richmond International Airport and bought the Richmond Times-Dispatch building at 300 E. Franklin St. for $14.4 million, where it’ll move its headquarters.