Workers prepare the Bethesda Court Hotel for demolition next month. Credit: JOE ZIMMERMANN

Windows and walls have started to disappear from the Bethesda Court Hotel as workers prepare to clear away the building for the Marriott International headquarters project in downtown Bethesda.

Machine demolition will likely begin in mid-April to tear down the hotel, the Blackwell Building and the former Tako Grill at the property along Wisconsin Avenue south of Norfolk Avenue, said Kristine Warner, spokeswoman for the development team said Wednesday.

Marriott International representatives have said they’re looking to move the company’s headquarters from Fernwood Road to the new $600 million campus by July 2022. The development partners, Boston Properties and Bernstein Cos., last year secured planning approval from Montgomery County to build a 300-foot-tall office tower to accommodate 3,500 Marriott employees and a 238-room flagship hotel that will stand just to the south of it.

Warner reported the county Department of Transportation is now reviewing the project’s traffic control plan, which addresses the machine demolition and the burying of utilities. 

The developer has also filed for several commercial building permits from the county. A couple of them relate to excavating and building the headquarters foundation and a below-grade parking garage. Another is for the above-ground portion of the office tower, which will encompass about 788,000 square feet, according to the application. The county is still considering the applications, online records show.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for this summer, and construction is expected to last for about three years, the development team has indicated. The project partners estimate the headquarters will generate $1.8 billion in local property, income and sales taxes over a 20-year period and pump billions more into the regional economy.


Bethany Rodgers can be reached at