Disney Pulls Out of National Harbor Project

Last week, The Walt Disney Company announced they would be pulling out of plans to construct a 500-room resort at National Harbor.

The parcel of land purchased for the hotel project was acquired in 2009 for $11 million, but in a statement released by Disney, a spokeswoman for the company cited “the full slate of expansion currently underway at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts” and timing issues as the reason for bowing out of the project.

Jon Petersen, senior vice president of the Petersen Companies, the majority owner of National Harbor, says:

We were disappointed to learn that Walt Disney Parks & Resorts will not be moving forward with its plans for a resort hotel at National Harbor. We’ve established a tremendous relationship with Disney over the years and have the utmost respect for the entire organization.

In the rest of his statement, Petersen said that the land will be re-incorporated into their master plan for National Harbor, and that 85% of National Harbor’s retail space will be occupied by next year. He also mentioned the opening of a 388,000 square foot Outlet Center, as well as a 371-unit apartment complex called the Esplanade, both of which have a planned opening date sometime in 2012.

Despite the disappointing news, Prince George’s County executive Rushern Baker says that “National Harbor continues to be a premier destination for all to visit… [and we are still] committed to aggressively attracting and pursuingĀ  more quality development opportunities.”


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