The Bethesda Court Hotel on Wisconsin Avenue will close this month as construction begins to ramp up on Marriott’s planned downtown Bethesda headquarters.
The Bernstein Cos., which owns the hotel property, announced Friday the 61-year-old hotel will close at the end of this month.
Soon, the hotel, the nearby Blackwell Building and former Tako Grill restaurant will be demolished and those properties will be fenced off as Marriott clears way for a summer groundbreaking on its new headquarters, according to Bernstein.
The former Tako Grill restaurant (foreground) and Blackwell Building (red brick) on Wisconsin Avenue. Credit: Andrew Metcalf
Marriott is planning to construct a 780,000-square-foot office building and 240-room hotel on the properties as part of its headquarters project. The hotel company plans to move from its Fernwood Road headquarters to the downtown Bethesda site in 2022, when the new headquarters is completed. The hotel is scheduled to open first, in the fall of 2021.
A rendering of Marriott’s new headquarters. Credit: Gensler
In December, the county’s Planning Board signed off on Marriott’s designs for the office building and hotel.
Montgomery County and Maryland have offered Marriott about $44 million in grants and an additional $18 million in tax benefits to keep the company’s headquarters and its approximately 3,500 employees in the county.
The 74-room, low-rise Bethesda Court Hotel next to Woodmont Grill is a three-star hotel that was offering rates of about $90 per night this month.
Greg Rooney, vice president of development for The Bernstein Cos., which is developing Marriott’s new headquarters with Boston Properties, said the hotel closure represents an “exciting step” in the construction process.
“While we mark the closing of Bethesda Court after so many years of faithfully serving its guests, the new Marriott campus represents a turn to the future and the arrival of a prestigious, blue-chip corporation in downtown Bethesda,” Rooney said in a statement.
Bernstein purchased the hotel property more than 30 years ago, according to the company. The Bethesda Court Hotel originally opened in 1957 as the Bethesdan Motor Hotel.
Bernstein is planning to work with the Bethesda DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, which is about four blocks from the Court Hotel, to accommodate guests, according to the company. Bernstein also owns the DoubleTree.