Marriott International is moving its headquarters—just down the road.
The company announced that it is planning a new $600-million headquarters in downtown Bethesda, Md., about 4 miles from its current site at 10400 Fernwood Road, also in Bethesda. This is after, as The Washington Post reports, getting a commitment for up to $62 million in taxpayer-funded subsidies.
The complex reportedly will have 700,000 square feet of office space for more than 3,500 employees. A Marriott-branded hotel will also be built on the site with more than 200 rooms.
It means that Marriott will also remain in Maryland, where the company has been headquartered for more than 60 years. There had been speculation that Marriott might move its main office to Washington, D.C., to tap into a more urban scene. Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott International, announced last March that the company would, indeed, be moving. At the time, he said: “Obviously you can’t decide one month you’re going to move one million square feet worth of office and move the next month. This is something that’s going to take some years to get worked out.
“I think it’s essential we be accessible to Metro and that limits the options. I think as with many other things our younger folks are more inclined to be Metro-accessible and more urban. That doesn’t necessarily mean we will move to downtown Washington, but we will move someplace.”
And that place is Bethesda, which does have a Metro center on the Red Line. And true to what Sorenson said, the move won't be for a while. The company’s plan to move its some 3,500 employees to the new complex by 2022, when the lease expires on the Fernwood Rd. office.
The D.C. Metro area is home to some of the biggest hotel companies in the world, including Marriott, Hilton Worldwide and Choice Hotels International. Bethesda is home to many hotel REITs, including DiamondRock Hospitality and RLJ Lodging.