Marriott Developers Propose Slight Reduction in Size of Bethesda Headquarters

Proposal would reduce tax payment by approximately $500,000

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A proposed reduction in the size of the Marriott International Headquarters being built in downtown Bethesda would save developers about $500,000 in county taxes.

Developers for the project recently submitted a minor amendment to Marriott’s site plan, reducing total commercial development from 1.05 million square feet to 996,967 square feet , thus reducing the required Park Impact Payment (PIP) tax from $5,590,000 to $5,061,070, according to Montgomery County Planning Board documents.

The PIP is a development tax, set by the Montgomery County Council, assessed on new residential and commercial buildings and additions to commercial buildings in Bethesda. The money is used to fund, in part, improvements necessary to increase the transportation or public school systems capacity, thereby allowing county development to proceed, according to the county planning department.

The developers for the Marriott project are Bernstein Cos. and Boston Properties.

“When the developers got approval from the planning board originally, it was understood this would happen, and they’d figure out exactly how much square footage they’d need and come back to the planning board to clean it up,” said Matt Gordon, an attorney with Linowes and Blocher who represents the developers. “Outside of Bethesda, it probably wouldn’t be necessary, but … that’s a lot of money.”

The Planning Board will consider the request its Dec. 20 meeting.

Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel chain, broke ground on its $600 million project to build a headquarters in Bethesda in June.

More than 3,500 Marriott employees will be based in the corporate campus near the intersection of Norfolk and Wisconsin avenues when the project is completed in 2022. Plans call for a 244-room hotel with meeting space and a neighborhood restaurant to stand next to the office high-rise, with a plaza running between the two buildings to connect Woodmont and Wisconsin avenues.

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