Plans in motion to renovate Allen Lee

A community notice is tacked on the door of the Allen Lee Hotel, located at 2224 F Street, describing plans for a “new hotel/restaurant serving upscale food and drinks.” Zach Krahmer | Senior Staff Photographer

The Allen Lee Hotel, sitting on one of the largest Foggy Bottom plots not owned by GW, could go from hostel to high-end.

The five-story white brick building’s developer has applied for a liquor license with the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration as part of a planned transformation under its new owner.

With the neighborhood’s approval, the century-old property is looking to transform into a “new hotel/restaurant serving upscale food and drinks with 81 rooms,” according to an application filed Aug. 10. The hotel is located at the corner of 23rd and F streets.

ABRA will decide on the proposed license Oct. 9.

The Allen Lee offers cheap stays, as low as $60 per night according to some hostel websites, in its more than 80 rooms.

But upgrades could soon be in the works from Abdo Development – a District-based development team that transforms historic buildings into luxurious venues – that bought the hotel six years ago for $3.6 million.

Jim Abdo, president and CEO of the company, said Wednesday his team will outline their plans at the October meeting of the Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission. He declined to provide additional details of his company’s plan for the hotel until after next month’s meeting.

“We have been informed that the ANC would like us to present and be on the agenda in October and we are looking forward to being there,” Abdo said.

The law firm that filed the application, Veritas Law, did not return multiple requests for comment.

University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said GW has not been involved in conversations with Abdo regarding the property plans.

The University has not attempted to purchase the hotel – surrounded by GW buildings – in the last decade, but made multiple offers until the 1990s.

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