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Marriott plans 22-story tower at new Bethesda HQ

(File photo)

Marriott International expects its new $600 million headquarters campus, which also includes a 232-room hotel, to open by 2022. (File Photo)

Marriott International Inc. has signed a letter of intent with a joint venture between Bernstein Cos. and Boston Properties to develop a new headquarters in Bethesda featuring a 22-story building.

The $600 million campus will be at 7750 Wisconsin Ave. The company expects the facility, which also includes a 232-room hotel, to open by 2022.

Bethesda-based Marriott made the announcement on Friday morning.

“Montgomery County has been Marriott International’s home for more than 60 years, and we take great pride in the strong relationships we’ve developed and the contributions we have made as a committed community partner,” Carolyn Handlon, executive vice president for finance and global treasurer for Marriott International, said in a statement. “That’s a tradition — and promise to the community — that started with Marriott’s founders 90 years ago. We look forward to continuing that legacy as we create our new, 21st-century home in downtown Bethesda and continue our work as the world’s largest hotel company.”

Marriott did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

Marriott has called Bethesda home for more than 60 years. The firm considered relocating to Northern Virginia or North Bethesda before deciding to stay in downtown Bethesda, just outside of Washington.

The company touts the proposed new headquarters as a “cutting-edge workspace” that will offer employees a variety of amenities and transportation options. Designs for the tower aim to provide workers with “abundant natural light” and provide trendy “flexible, collaborative work spaces.”

Campus plans also include 8,000 square feet of flexible meeting and ballroom space at the hotel, which will be owned by Bernstein Cos. The hotel will feature a ground-floor restaurant, a specialty coffee shop and seasonal rooftop dining terrace. The concept also calls for 800 underground parking spots for the hotel and office where 3,500 employees are expected to work.

In October, the state and Montgomery County announced plans to provide $70 million in tax breaks, grants and conditional loans to keep the firm, one of only four Fortune 500 companies in Maryland. Those agreements, according to Marriott, still await final approval.

At the time, Commerce Secretary Mike Gill praised the company for its contributions to the state’s economy.

“Marriott is a brand recognized and respected around the world, and the fact that they call Maryland home does a lot to advance our economic development efforts,” Gill said. “With more than 90 hotel properties across Maryland that had more than $600 million in sales last year, Marriott is also a valued part of our state’s tourism industry, which contributes some $16.4 billion in economic impact within our borders each year.”

The Daily Record reporter Bryan P. Sears contributed to this story.


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