It’s official—Marriott International will remain in Bethesda.
The hotel giant announced its plan Tuesday morning in a press release from Gov. Larry Hogan’s office.
The company is planning a new $600 million complex that will house more than 3,500 employees in about 700,000 square feet of office space in downtown Bethesda. The company is considering several sites downtown and is expected to select a final site in the first half of 2017. A 200-plus room Marriott hotel will also be at the site, according to the company.
“Marriott has been headquartered in Montgomery County, Maryland, for more than 60 years and we intend to remain close to our roots,” Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said in the 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.”
The announcement ends more than a year of speculation about where the Fortune 500 company will be headquartered after Sorenson announced it would move from its Fernwood Road headquarters and seek a more urban location in spring 2015.
Marriott plans to move from the Fernwood Road building when its lease ends in late 2022.
"Marriott is a world-class company with deep roots in our state, and their decision to continue growing their business right here in Maryland is tremendous news," Gov. Larry Hogan said. "For over 60 years they have been a vital member of our business community, employing thousands of Marylanders, and making a real and lasting impact on our state's economy."
The governor said he worked with County Executive Ike Leggett to keep the company in Montgomery County.
"The county, working closely with Marriott's team and with Governor Larry Hogan, has partnered on an agreement that benefits the company, the state, and Montgomery County," Leggett said in the statement. "Marriott has long been a mainstay here and has been an excellent corporate citizen, giving back again and again to help strengthen our community. The Marriott brand, now the largest in the lodging world, will shine ever more brightly from right here in the county."
Maureen Kilcullen, deputy director of the public affairs office in the state Department of Commerce, said the state provided $20 million from the state's "sunny day fund" for economic development, and $2 million from the Maryland Economic Development Assistance and Authority Fund. Montgomery County is going to provide the company with $22 million from its Economic Development Fund, provided that the company employs 3,500 people and builds the new headquarters in Bethesda, according to county spokesman Patrick Lacefield.
Earlier this year, Marriott finalized a merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts that made it the largest hotel company in the world with approximately 1.1 million rooms and 5,700 hotels in more than 110 countries.