New Marriott HQ in Bethesda: Transportation Planning, Parking Analysis, TDM, and MOT - Wells + Associates

Nicholas Kosar

Wells + Associates provided extensive transportation planning and design services related to the relocation of Marriott International to its new headquarters in downtown Bethesda, Maryland. Spanning over two acres, the building is 22 stories tall, has nearly 500 offices and over 2,000 workstations, and is designed to provide new opportunities for flexible, collaborative workspaces. It also includes a new flagship hotel with 260 rooms and restaurant.

Our transportation project work increasingly reflects the transformation of suburban office and retail areas into transit-oriented, mixed-use spaces. In particular, we are delighted that Marriott’s HQ move coincides with Wells + Associates’ own move into our new downtown Bethesda offices.

A New, Multimodal Transportation Experience for Marriott’s Headquarters

The new Marriott International headquarters building offers a range of convenient transportation choices and is adjacent to the new flagship Marriott hotel. A short walk from the Bethesda Metro station on Metrorail’s Red Line, the location includes access to Metrorail and Metrobus, the free Bethesda Circulator bus, and walking and biking options within the developing urban core of downtown Bethesda. Notably, ranks the location as a “walker’s paradise.”

Our work on this transformative project included:

Montgomery County LATR and Multimodal Analyses

W+A prepared the multimodal Local Area Transportation Review (LATR) that evaluated a number of key intersections and roadway corridors surrounding the new HQ building. The study included both the new flagship hotel and HQ offices, and accounted for non-auto mode share and parking at off-site facilities. It also included analyses of the pedestrian, bicycle, and transit systems adjacent to the site. Additionally, our team evaluated a pedestrian signal and the operational impact the signal would have on Woodmont Avenue.

Extensive coordination was required with Montgomery County and Maryland State Highway Administration staff, and the project was considered and approved by the Montgomery County Planning Board.

Site Planning: Parking, Loading Access, and Drop-Off/Pick-up

W+A also provided site planning design services for the parking garage, loading access, and the drop-off/pick-up area serving the building. Swept-path diagrams were prepared for these elements and were provided to the design team to consider adjustments to the parking and roadway geometry.

Maintenance of Traffic Plan

A Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) Plan was completed to show how both vehicular and pedestrian traffic would be maintained during construction. Several other design plans were prepared including a signing and pavement marking plan accommodating one of the first sections of the Woodmont Avenue Cycle Track.

Our traffic design team worked extensively and tirelessly with Montgomery County to get the pavements markings “just right” for all roadway users. A pedestrian signal design plan that was prepared would stop traffic on the main line simply to allow pedestrians to safely cross the street from the parking garage to the headquarters. The design also depicted bicycle signal heads for the newly installed section of cycle track.

Transportation Demand Management

No matter how wonderful a new office or headquarters complex is, tenant/employee relocation (including site selection and travel planning) is normally a major concern for organizations facing a major office move. Our TDM team supported the project by helping identify optimal locations for the new headquarters based on mobility access due to the home locations of current employees as well as the forecasted home locations of future employees. Mobility access took into consideration not only driving time but transit, bike, and pedestrian access.

Marriott HQ and Hotel: 2022 Project of the Year

Any discussion of Marriott’s project can’t be had without stating that the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) recognized Marriott’s new hotel and headquarters as the 2022 Project of the Year.

Carolyn B. Handlon, Executive Vice President & Global Treasurer of Marriott International, stated: “Marriott is excited to move into our new downtown Bethesda headquarters this summer and to carry on the proud legacy that has been built in Montgomery County, a community we have called home for more than sixty-five years.”

Congratulations to Marriott and their entire relocation team for an amazing accomplishment!