Officials sell One Washington Circle Hotel to hospitality group

Media Credit: File Photo by Grace Hromin

The hotel served as a residence hall for nearly 300 undergraduates last year as Thurston Hall underwent renovations.

University officials last week sold the One Washington Circle Hotel property to a Florida-based real estate firm, which will renovate and reopen the building as a luxury hotel next year.

Real estate firm Electra America and hospitality company AKA jointly purchased the 152-room hotel, which served as a residence hall for undergraduates for the past academic year. The property will undergo a $30 million renovation and reopen to guests in June 2023 as a rebranded luxury AKA hotel, according to a University release

GW owned the One Washington Hotel as an investment property, and the property was formerly run by Modus Hotels before the recent sale to Electra America Hospitality Group.

The University converted the Washington Circle hotel into a temporary residence hall in September 2021 after renovations to Thurston Hall limited access to available beds for on-campus students. One Washington Circle suspended all reservations from the general public to stay at the hotel during the academic year and housed 282 juniors and seniors in the hotel.

Bruno Fernandes, GW’s treasurer and vice president of finance, said the sale of the property would fund other GW endeavors in the future.

“We are pleased by the successful completion of this transaction,” Bruno Fernandes said in the release. “The proceeds from the sale of One Washington Circle will be used to support the academic mission of the University.”

The University barred students from accessing balconies during their stay due to a 2019 agreement with the D.C. Zoning Commission to prevent noise complaints and avoid students throwing objects off their balconies. The University also closed off access to the pool at the request of the hotel, according to a 2019 hearing before the Zoning Commission. 

University officials began searching to sell or lease One Washington Hotel to a developer last December as students entered their second semester in the temporary residence hall. 

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