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Marriott Makes Downtown Bethesda HQ Deal Official

Marriott Downtown Bethesda
A rendering of Marriott International's planned HQ and adjacent hotel in Downtown Bethesda, being developed by Bernstein Cos. and Boston Properties

The $600M deal to bring the corporate HQ for the world's largest hotel chain to downtown Bethesda has officially closed. 

Marriott International inked the deal with Bernstein Cos. and Boston Properties to develop a 22-story, 700K SF office building and 230-room hotel, Bernstein announced Wednesday. The development is expected to deliver in mid-2022. 

The hotel giant's new HQ will be at 7750 Wisconsin Ave., about four blocks north of the Bethesda Metro station. Marriott is moving from its current Bethesda campus farther out in the suburbs on Fernwood Road.

“The building we're in is inaccessible by public transit,” Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said at Bisnow’s Montgomery County State of the Market in May. “There’s no place to walk to from that building to lunch or anything. Faced with an expiring lease and with a recognition that, to bring that building up to current standards would be almost as expensive as building a new building, we put all that together, and it was obvious we had to move.”

Bernstein owns the land and will build the hotel, while Boston Properties will join in the development of the office tower. The site, which Bernstein acquired more than three decades ago, currently houses the 74-room Bethesda Court Hotel. 

“Who would have thought that over 30 years ago when we acquired the Bethesdan Hotel from the Mormon Church that it would be a part of a two-acre assemblage with a development of nearly 1M SF and home to the largest hotel company in the world,” Bernstein Cos. Chief Operating Officer Marc N. Duber said in a statement.  

The project comes amid a new wave of development in downtown Bethesda. Carr Properties recently began work on its 937K SF Apex Building development, which will include two connected residential towers and an office tower above the planned western terminus of the Purple Line. A block west of that, JBG Smith is building a 287K SF office building, where it will move its HQ, above a Dean & Deluca. StonebridgeCarras recently acquired the final parcel for a 500K SF mixed-use development it is planning across from the Metro station.