Kimpton adds third hotel

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The ultra-luxe Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group can’t seem to get enough of Old Town.

Construction began recently on a 107-room, $50 million property at 1600 King Street, Kimpton’s third boutique hotel to land here in a year. The hotel, still to be named, is scheduled to open in 2009, joining the Morrison House and Hotel Monaco as new additions to the 19,000-room Alexandria hotel marketplace.

The investment in development and upgrades to the three properties is more than $150 million, said Joe Long, the vice president of acquisition and development of the San Francisco-based chain. Kimpton has partnered with Boston-based DSF Group and  designer Vicente Wolf, who recently completed the interior of Beverly Hills’ Luxe Hotel.

The new hotel will feature a stylized decor, a 4,000-square-foot spa, an upscale restaurant and wine bar on the ground floor and 3,000 square feet of meeting space. “When Kimpton comes to town, everything changes,” said Jill Collins, a veteran public relations specialist who is not associated with the properties.

Kimpton’s new hotel project got the unanimous nod from City Council and the Alexandria Planning Commission last April, after considering that hotel occupancy was down by as much as 10 percent in the city. The developer, DSF/Long King Street, had planned to build a residential building at the site but delays created by a lawsuit and disputes over the preservation of historic structures made that project less economically feasible.

The project will preserve one of the historic buildings on King Street and the facade of another. The first structure is a scaled-down three-story structure approved by the Board of Architectural Review, and includes three spaces for valet parking.

Because of construction delays, the 241-room Hotel Monaco, which Kimpton is developing jointly with ING Clarion at 500 King Street, is undergoing $35 million in renovations and should be open by late January.

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