Marriott has agreed to partially reopen part of a public parking garage on Woodmont Avenue, after it had paid the county for months as the hotel’s international headquarters were being constructed and employees began to work there.
County officials recently announced that “under a pilot project, the public again can park at the county’s Woodmont Corner parking garage on weekdays beginning at 11 a.m., when the entry gates are raised.” The change essentially gives the public availability from that time until the garage closes on 10 p.m. on each weekday.
“Marriott has been actively working with Montgomery County on a pilot to open Garage 11 to the general public beginning at 11:00 am on weekdays,” said Melissa Froehlich Flood, a spokeswoman, in an email. “We will continue to work closely with the County to monitor daily usage as we strive to meet the needs of our associates and the community.”
According to the county, there are 1,067 short-term parking spaces, 22 handicap accessible parking spaces, 10 bicycle parking spaces, 2 electric vehicle parking spaces, and 8 motorcycle spaces in the garage.
Nearby businesses told Bethesda Beat earlier this year that the lack of parking availability was hurting their business.
Emily DeTitta, a spokeswoman for the county’s Department of Transportation, wrote in a text that Marriott decided to allow for more public use of the garage.
“We did not lobby for it, but we do believe that local businesses will appreciate it,” DeTitta said.
Bethesda Beat previously reported that Marriott International Hotels had reached an agreement with the county, which took effect Aug. 1. It restricted parking in the county-run Woodmont Corner Garage to Marriott employees from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The garage was open to the public after 6 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends.
Marriott was paying the county $2 million annually for use of the garage.
Del. Marc Korman (D-Dist.16), whose district includes Bethesda, said that he was happy that the county and Marriott could come to an agreement allowing for the partial reopening of the garage.
“As more Marriott employees need those spots, we understand the balance of available spots may change,” Korman said. “But for now this is good news for downtown Bethesda.”