Marriott International is a multinational company in the hospitality industry that has 30 brands and 7,003 properties spread out across 127 countries and territories. The company has its headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, within the Washington, D.C metro area. The company manages and franchises hotels and also licenses vacation resorts in various countries. Marriott also manages award-winning loyalty programs such as Marriott Reward, which includes Starwood Preferred Guest and the Ritz-Carlton Rewards.
Headquarters Of Marriott International
The company first moved to Montgomery County in 1995 and settled along River Road, Bethesda, after relocating from Washington, D.C. The location also served as a storage place for napkins and plates for the company, then named Hot Shoppes. Hot Shoppes had evolved from a root beer stand set up in 1927 by John Willard Marriott, the company’s founder. Marriott’s current headquarters are located on Fernwood Road, Bethesda. It consists of a campus that covers more than 900,000 square feet and accommodates over 3,500 people.
Decision To Move
The company has been at its current rectangular six-story building since 1979. Today the 40-year-old structure is, however, no longer suitable for the company’s needs. Renovating the building into an attractive workplace for the next 20 years and fitting it with cutting- edge technology that meets the company’s needs in the modern world had been considered but did not get the go-ahead. Despite being the least cost option, the idea was viewed as too cumbersome and disruptive. If implemented, the plan would have involved moving part of the workforce to a swing space while renovations were taking place, moving them back in after the repairs, and then repeating the cycle until all sections of the building are renovated. Apart from its age, the current headquarters are also thought to be inconvenient for employees and company associates. A significant number of employees are known to commute from over 300 ZIP codes, some as far away as Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia. Many of the millennial accounting for about a third of the company’s workforce also commutes from the District and Northern Virginia.
The New Headquarters On Wisconsin Avenue
Marriott International is currently partnering with Boston Properties and Bernstein Companies to put up a 22-story complex at Wisconsin Avenue at the cost of $600 million. The planned structure is also going to include a hotel with 230 rooms. The current site of the project was previously occupied by Blackwell Building, Connor Building, Bethesda Court Hotel, and a parking lot. The company has already sold its previous campus to Erickson Living, a retirement community developer for an undisclosed figure. The company is, however, still occupying the building under a leaseback agreement. The agreement is set to expire in 2022 when its new headquarters are set to open. The cutting-edge campus situated in an urban environment will be easily accessible through various modes of transportation, including the Metro station, which is an improvement from the amenity starved and auto-centric Fernwood Road headquarters. The new building will also include a cafeteria, a fitness center, and a childcare center.
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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