Marriott International teased the relocation of its corporate headquarters in October 2016, but a new announcement cements the company's plans to shift to a new location within Bethesda, Md. Marriott is partnering with Bernstein Companies and Boston Properties for a $600-million, 22-story complex at 7750 Wisconsin Ave.
Marriott's 3,500 corporate employees will relocate to the facility, which will include a flagship hotel with roughly 230 rooms. Both buildings are expected to be completed in 2022. The site is currently home to the Connor Building, Blackwell Building, Bethesda Court Hotel and a surface parking lot. Just outside of the development zone lie the Tastee Diner and Woodmont Grill, which will be unaffected by the construction. The relocation will be completed when Marriott's lease expires on its existing location at Fernwood Road, which will also take place in 2022.
“We’re just thrilled to continue to be in Montgomery County,” Carolyn Handlon, EVP of finance and global treasurer for Marriott, said in a statement. “I think first and foremost, we take great pride in being a good neighbor and having strong relationships with the community.”
The building's attached hotel will bring with it more than 8,000 square feet of ballroom and meeting space, a ground-floor restaurant, rooftop dining terrace and specialty coffee shop. Additionally, 800 onsite underground parking spaces for the hotel and office building are included in the project, and Marriott has plans to lease the Woodmont Corner Garage for use by company employees and visitors during business hours.
Marriott has been a fixture in Bethesda for more than 60 years, and when news came about regarding its plans to uproot its headquarters after its acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in 2016, Marriott was quick to clarify that it would stay within the city. Handlon said in a statement that the final location was chosen for its proximity to the Bethesda Metro station.
"We were quite fortunate to have three very, very good sites in downtown Bethesda, all of which would meet our program requirements,” she said in a statement. “We just felt quite fortunate to have the choice.”
The development site is owned by Bernstein Companies, which will collaborate with Boston Properties to develop the building. Marriott is entering into a long-term lease with Bernstein to occupy the offices and operate the neighboring hotel. Roughly $22 million is being allocated by Montgomery County to help pay for relocation expenses, as Marriott generates roughly $90 million in state and county income taxes. Construction on the new facility is also expected to create roughly 3,000 jobs.