Micro units in Georgetown: The new-look Latham

It was last October when we first reported that Georgetown’s Latham Hotel may go micro-residential. Now we can say for certain the Latham Hotel will go micro-residential. And we have a good idea of what the building will look like.

SB-Urban, a joint venture of Mike Balaban and Frank Saul III, submitted plans this week to the Board of Zoning Adjustments to convert the 10-story former hotel at 3000 M St. NW into 140 furnished residential units, each containing 330 square feet or less. The project, which will require several variances and special exceptions from the BZA, has already found its way to the local advisory neighborhood commission and the Old Georgetown Board.

The market for micro: “single professionals who want to live in a walkable neighborhood close to the central business district with urban amenities and convenient access to public transportation.” They will ride bikes. They will not drive cars.

The project will feature “significant shared-living spaces” that will act as a common “living room” for residents of the all-studio building, according to the statement of justification submitted with the BZA application. The 11,000 square feet of shared spaces, to be located primarily on the second and third floors, will potentially include shared kitchens, shared laundry, living rooms, dens, a fitness facility, a library and game room.

The developer will “punch” through the existing blank brick wall to daylight these spaces, as the first and second floors of the building are completely underground, as are large portions of the third and fourth floors. The project also involve the removal and replacement of the existing market shed building on M Street with a new, two-story retail pavilion featuring higher ceilings and more uniform floor plates.

The Latham, constructed in the late 1970s, closed in the summer of 2012 as a result of severe water damage. It formerly hosted Michel Richard’s Citronelle and La Madeleine. SB-Urban acquired the property last November for $45.4 million from the Texas-based Lone Star Funds.

A BZA hearing is scheduled for Oct. 28.


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