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Navy Yard Marriott Developer To Build Area's Second Hotel In Former Barracks Buildings

A former barracks building in the Philadelphia Navy Yard as of June 2017

The Philadelphia Navy Yard could be getting a second hotel.

Phoenix-based Ensemble Investments, which developed the Courtyard by Marriott hotel at the Navy Yard, plans to build a higher-end hotel using the three former barracks buildings from the yard's previous military life, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Ensemble is reportedly in discussions to buy the buildings from the city of Philadelphia for about $1.5M.

Ensemble's $100M plan calls for renovating the three buildings, which form a U-shape totaling 120K SF of interior space, and adding a 75K SF expansion to create a 230-room, four-star hotel. The site sits on the south edge of the yard's Central Green, opposite the Navy Yard Corporate Center overseen by Liberty Property Trust, and the hotel would include an 8K SF restaurant and bar overlooking the green.

Representatives from Liberty, Ensemble and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp., which manages the Navy Yard for the city, all told the Inquirer the demand is there for an additional hotel, both for the growing business scene and for the area's future mixed-use potential.

The Corporate Center is entirely made up of new construction, with the only significant redevelopment project in the Navy Yard to date being the Urban Outfitters headquarters in a series of former warehouses south of Central Green. Ensemble already owns land next to the 1200 Intrepid Ave. office building within the Corporate Center where it had initially planned its second hotel before turning its sights on the historic barracks.

Ensemble reportedly still may turn its other plot into an extended-stay hotel, but for now the focus is on the barracks buildings. That project is slated to have at least 10K SF of amenity and meeting space, and its higher-end finishes are meant to bring in "a different group of people who are not attracted to the Navy Yard," Ensemble Chairman Ken Babaoff told the Inquirer.