The Bernstein Companies is now planning to build the luxury Westin Hotel before a planned Class A office building on a two acre site between Wisconsin and Woodmont Avenues currently home to the Bethesda Court Hotel.
Greg Rooney, vice president of development for Bernstein, said today (Friday) that the company’s original plan for The Besthesda Center was to build the 238,000 square foot office building first, then fill in the additional density with the hotel at 7750 Wisconsin Ave.
Now, said Rooney, the plan is to build the Westin first.
“We’re at the down part of the office market,” Rooney said at an event put on by the Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce. “We’re looking at a lift coming any time now.”
He said the company has been rooting for other office developments in the area, and was pleased that Akridge recently signed a new tenant, Sandy Spring Bank, at 7550 Wisconsin Ave., the first Class A office building to open in Bethesda since 2001.
As the office market recovers, Rooney said, “we’ll move ahead with the hotel, which will give life to the property.”
Currently, the property, which is about three blocks from the Bethesda Metro station, is home to the hotel, as well as a strip mall, and the Connor Building.
The Bernstein Companies was planning to build the hotel and office building with ground floor retail in 2016. The office building’s plan calls for private rooftop gardens, a landscaped plaza and state of the art conference rooms and business center, according to the properties’ website.