Sneak peak at Marriott's brand new Downtown Bethesda HQ

Sneak peak at Marriott's brand new Downtown Bethesda HQ (Photo Courtesy of Marriott International)

Marriott International has officially signed on the dotted line, approving plans for a major move to a glistening new headquarters in downtown Bethesda.

Since 1978, the global hotel chain has based its corporate operations out of a cream-colored concrete office building along Fernwood Road, near the Westfield Montgomery Mall. During that time, Marriott's footprint has grown, perhaps most notably with its 2016 acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

Beyond needing extra space for a budding workforce, Marriott says proximity to mass transit is critical, especially for its millennial employees. Bethesda's urban core offers the Red Line, Ride On, Metro Bus, Bethesda Circulator and Capital Crescent Trail. There are also more than 200 restaurants and 500 retail shops within walking distance. Marriott hopes at least 50 percent of its employees ditch their car during their future daily commutes to the complex.

The new location, which will be located at 7750 Woodmont Avenue, is slated to open in mid-2022 at a cost of $600 million. Construction crews, however, have not yet broken ground on the roughly two-acre site.

The 22-story headquarters building will boast cutting-edge technology, open-collaborative workspaces, modern amenities and ample natural lighting. Marriott's more than 3500 corporate employees will have access to an on-site childcare facility, fitness center, cafeteria and meeting spaces.

A new 12-story flagship Marriott Hotel will be built directly beside the shimmering new headquarters, linked via a public plaza. Beyond 238 guest rooms, the hotel will have 8,000 square-feet of space for meetings, conferences, and banquets, a ground-floor restaurant, specialty coffee shop, and a green rooftop-dining terrace.

According to Marriott officials, the Bernstein Companies owns the valuable land and has joined forces with Boston Properties to jointly develop and own the full campus. For its part, Marriott will lease the 700,000 square foot office tower and manage the on-site hotel.

There is no doubt Montgomery County offered Marriott lucrative tax incentives to stay in the community it’s called home for more than 60 years. However, Marriott explains they'll return the favor, and then some.

  • An estimated $89 million in construction salaries over 2.5 years.
  • An estimated $2.3 billion in annual business activity spurred by supplier purchasing and employee economic activity.
  • Marriott will continue to spend millions with Maryland companies. In 2016, its supplier purchasing within the state was approximately $500 million.
  • An estimated $1.8 billion in local property, income and sales tax revenue over 20 years as a result of Marriott’s presence in Bethesda.
  • Adding an attractive addition to the Bethesda skyline as envisioned by county planners.
  • Building an environmentally friendly complex utilizing the latest green technology.
  • Creating greater transit use, contributing to fare box collections.
  • Marriott’s agreement with the county for exclusive access to Garage 11 will pump millions of dollars into Bethesda’s parking district fund.
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