Key Bridge Marriott’s future is uncertain

WASHINGTON — The Key Bridge Marriott has anchored the Virginia side of the Key Bridge for 57 years, and is Marriott International’s longest continuously operating hotel property, but its future is now in the hands of a new landlord.

Bethesda-based Host Hotels & Resorts has acquired the ground leases for the Key Bridge Marriott, at 1401 Lee Highway, for $54 million, and says the location begs for something new.

“Due to [the hotel’s] prime location in Arlington, Virginia, with its view of Washington, D.C., and our national monuments, the company is in the process of exploring a number of value enhancements and redevelopment options,” Host Hotels said in its recent quarterly earnings report.

It did not elaborate on whether that would mean eventually razing the hotel and replacing it with new construction.

The news was first picked up by and the Washington Business Journal.

Host Hotels is one of the largest luxury hotel owners in the country, with 89 properties in the U.S. and 9 internationally, including 12 hotels in the Washington metro area.

The Key Bridge Marriott opened in 1959, two years after Marriott made the shift from food service and restaurants to the hotel business.

Its first hotel, the Twin Bridges Motor Hotel, was also in Arlington, on Jefferson Davis Highway overlooking the 14th Street Bridge. It closed in 1988.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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