2021 | Development

First approval given for senior living development at site of current Marriott HQ

650 new jobs expected

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A rendering of the proposed new buildings at the current Marriott International headquarters.

via Montgomery County Planning Department

The Montgomery County Planning Board on Thursday gave its first round of approval to a senior living community at the current site of Marriott International’s world headquarters.

The project, led by developer ELP Bethesda at Rock Spring LLC, an affiliate of Erickson Senior Living, calls for more than 2 million square feet of new development, spread across eight buildings.

The buildings would range in height from six stories to 13 stories, according to a presentation to the Planning Board. There would be more than 1,500 residences for seniors, including 1,300 independent living units, 210 assisted living units and 50 nursing units.

Approximately 650 new jobs would be created as a result of the project, according to the developer.

The property is at 10400 Fernwood Road.

The project would be built in three phases and split into two sections: East Village and West Village, according to Planning Department documents.

The project plans show amenities such as food services, recreation areas, exercise rooms and “medical support” space.

About 5,300 square feet of development would be reserved for retail space.

Plans also call for a 1.6-acre public park along Fernwood Road, according to planners.

The developer intends to maintain the park for 10 years. At the end of that time, the developer would “offer to convey the civic green to (the Montgomery County Parks Department) for one dollar,” according to the development application.

Also included in the plans is a walking path along the southern edge of the property and the creation of a new “job training partnership” with Montgomery County Public Schools. More information about the partnership was not provided on Thursday, but county planners said details are expected in later phases of the development approval process.

The developer is next required to file a site plan with the Planning Department for review. A timeline for consideration was not available Thursday.

Marriott, which employs more than 4,000 people, is building a new headquarters in downtown Bethesda at 7750 Wisconsin Ave. Construction is expected to be completed in 2022.

The project includes a 785,000-square-foot, 22-story office building; an adjacent 244-room, 12-story hotel; and a plaza between the two buildings, according to the company.

The Bernstein Companies and Boston Properties are building the offices and the hotel.

The Bernstein Companies will own the buildings and has a management agreement with Marriott to manage the hotel.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com