Real Estate

Infamous Watergate Scandal Site Will Become 250 Apartments

Rendering of the Boathouse apartments across from the Watergate, courtesy of Urban Investment Partners.

In 1972, the building at 2601 Virginia Ave., NW was a Howard Johnson hotel—and most famously, the spot from which part of the Watergate break-in team kept a lookout as burglars rifled through the Democratic National Committee offices across the street. The hotel was eventually acquired by George Washington University, which used it as student housing and, for a time, kept room 723—one of two rented by the burglars—preserved as a museum. Today, Urban Investment Partners announced its purchase of the building from GW for $36 million.

UIP intends to keep the existing 97,300-square-foot shell, and convert the interior into about 200 rental apartments. It will also build a 40,000-square-foot addition with 50 more apartments. A 8,000- to 10,000-square-foot retail space on the first floor will house a restaurant/coffee shop. According to the developer’s announcement of the acquisition, the complex —dubbed the Boathouse—will include a rooftop “recreational area” with Potomac River views, a swimming pool, fire pits, and a 2,000-square-foot fitness center. The Boathouse is scheduled to be done by fall 2018.

Earlier this year, UIP acquired three buildings from American University, and is converting most of that space into apartments, too.

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Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She oversees the magazine’s real estate and home design coverage, and writes long-form feature stories. She was a 2020 Livingston Award finalist for her two-part investigation into a wrongful conviction stemming from a murder in rural Virginia.