Marriott headquarters will stay in Bethesda

WASHINGTON — In a big win for Montgomery County, Maryland, Marriott International has announced it will build a new, $600 million headquarters in downtown Bethesda.

Marriott has not chosen an exact location. It says it is considering several sites, and will make its final selection in the first half of 2017.

Marriott has called Bethesda its headquarters home for more than 60 years. In announcing its headquarters search, Marriott had said it remained committed to staying in the Washington region, but did not commit to Maryland.

Marriott employs more than 3,500 people at its Bethesda headquarters.

It will remain at its current campus at 10400 Fernwood Rd. through its current lease, which ends in late 2022.

The new headquarters will be built to Marriott’s specifications, though it will lease the 700,000-square-foot building. The project will include an adjacent, 200-room Marriott-branded hotel.

“After a comprehensive review of many excellent options in Washington, D.C., as well as Arlington and Fairfax counties in Northern Virginia, and North Bethesda, we have narrowed our search to downtown Bethesda, an area which offers multiple sites that meet our priority needs,” said Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson in a statement.

“Our goal is to provide a cutting-edge workspace for our associates that offers state-of-the-art technology, modern amenities, and access to a range of transportation options.”

Marriott is one of Maryland’s largest employers. It had more than 10,400 jobs in Maryland at hotels and corporate offices. Its merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts last month has increased the number of Maryland jobs.

“The county, working closely with Marriott’s team and with Gov. Larry Hogan, has partnered on an agreement that benefits the company, the state, and Montgomery County,” said Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett.

State and county incentives to keep Marriott total $44 million, shared evenly between the state and Montgomery County.

The Montgomery County Council still needs to approve the county’s portion of incentives, which it most likely will, though a vote on the package is not likely until after the first of the year.

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