To accommodate growth, Marriott International Inc. has signed a lease for a five-story office building that will be constructed in Gaithersburg.
The company said last year that it was looking for more space. Marriott International could not expand in Bethesda, where its headquarters have been since 1979.
"This was the best location for our associates moving in eventually," spokesman Nick Hill said yesterday. "We already said we wanted to stay in Montgomery County. We looked at all new sites and narrowed it to this one."
The building will house approximately 1,380 workers when it's completed. Hill could not say how many would be new workers or transferred from the headquarters. But the company has said it will need more workers to handle its plans to grow by 1,000 hotels by 2003.
Plans call for 700 new positions on its headquarters staff over five years, bringing the total to 4,200.
Marriott International operates about 2,000 hotels and related projects in the United States and 57 other countries. It has about 145,000 employees.
Construction on the 263,000-square-foot building in Gaithersburg's Washingtonian Center is scheduled to begin early next year and be completed in phases.
The first is expected to be ready in 2002. The company signed a lease through 2019 with Fremont Properties Inc. of San Francisco.
The company said it will spend $85 million on the new buildings and improvements to the Bethesda building. It received $44 million in state and county incentives.
Marriott International reported sales of $17.7 billion in 1999.