Potawatomi to develop new hotel in Washington, D.C.

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The first of those opportunities is a $43 million, 13-story Residence Inn by Marriott to be built in Washington, D.C.
The Potawatomi Community is one of four American Indian tribes partnering in the Four Fires, LLC, economic coalition to build the hotel. The other tribes are the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in Highland, Calif., and the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians in San Diego.
Each of the four tribes is investing $3.1 million to be a partner in the project, for a total of $12.4 million in equity for the hotel, which will be named the Residence Inn Capitol.
The Four Fires coalition is partnering with the Hill Group of Oneida. Founder Rick Hill is a member of the Oneida Nation.
Together, the Four Fires and the Hill Group have formed Southwest Capitol Associates, LLC, to develop the property, along with The Donohoe Cos., Inc., a Washington-based real estate development company.
The Potawatomi Community was approached by the Hill Group to be a partner in the project and decided the hotel investment is an opportunity to diversify its revenue stream, Potawatomi spokesman Tom Krajewski said.
"They could do the deal in Washington. They couldn’t do it in Wisconsin," Krajewski said.
The Potawatomi’s current gaming compact with the State of Wisconsin will expire in 2004. The tribe is lobbying for the state to negotiate new Indian gaming compacts that would be extended 30 years.
A long-term compact would enable the Potawatomi to gain long-term financing, which the tribe would then use to develop real estate in Wisconsin, according to Jeff Crawford, attorney general for the tribe.
The current unavailability of long-term financing prompted the Potawatomi to partner with the other tribes in the Washington hotel project, Krajewski said.
"As the hotel is built and makes a profit, the four tribes will receive 60% of the profits of the hotel, and the profits will be split among the four partners equally," Krajewski said.
The Potawatomi Community expects an annual return of $450,000 in income from the hotel.
Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2003 for the Washington hotel, which will be built three blocks from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.
Both the hotel and the museum are scheduled to open in 2004.
The hotel will feature 233 suites, 2,400 square feet of meeting space, a business center and underground parking in downtown Washington.

Oct. 25, 2002 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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