Watergate developer Giuseppe Cecchi, founder of IDI Group, dies at 93

Prominent developer Giuseppe Cecchi, an Italian immigrant whose first project in the United States was the Watergate complex, which he followed up with massive efforts like Burke Centre, Alexandria’s Parkfairfax and D.C.’s Renaissance Hotel, died Thursday at the age of 93. 

He passed peacefully surrounded by family at his home in McLean, according to his obituary. A cause of death was not immediately available.

Cecchi, born in Milan, came to D.C. in the late 1950s to scout real estate for the firm Società Generale Immobiliare (SGI), and soon started work on the Watergate, the District’s first-ever mixed-use project combining residential, office, hotel and retail. The development, built over the course of a dozen years, was a predecessor for virtually all mixed-use projects to follow in Greater Washington, putting everything one might need in a single 10-acre setting.

In 1975, Cecchi founded the IDI Group Cos. and quickly emerged as one of Greater Washington’s most prolific developers…

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.
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