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Business & Finance

OTO Development Announces Plans for AC Hotel Bethesda

Hotel is designed as amenities center of 7373 Wisconsin mixed-use project

BETHESDA MD. NOVEMBER 13, 2017 – A new AC Hotel by Marriott is coming to the heart of downtown Bethesda MD – part of an ambitious mixed-use development and just a few short blocks away from Marriott International’s future global headquarters.

“It’s always exciting to announce plans for a new project,” says Corry Oakes, President/CEO of OTO Development, a Spartanburg SC-based Johnson Management company, “and that’s especially true of our AC Hotel Bethesda. The brand is vibrant. The design is exceptional. And the proximity to Marriott’s headquarters provides us an incredible opportunity to be the flagship for a philosophy that’s all about ‘A New Way to Hotel.’”

Upon completion, this will be the sixth AC Hotel within OTO’s owned portfolio. Each property is designed to incorporate elements of its particular urban location while keeping within the brand’s emphasis on carefully edited style. AC guestrooms exude a subtle European sensibility, with neutral color palettes, sleek furniture, classic hardwoods and natural lighting.

While every AC Hotel focuses on shared spaces where guests connect, the 219-room AC Hotel Bethesda also serves as the social center of 7373 Wisconsin, a $300-million mixed-use project by StonebridgeCarras. Located at the corner of Wisconsin and Montgomery avenues, the AC Lounge will spill onto a public plaza, where a 45-foot overhang creates a signature sense of place. Indoors and out, the lounge is designed to draw guests, office tenants, and neighborhood residents during both daytime and evening hours.

The lobby and all amenities – including an oversized fitness center – will welcome not only hotel guests but also employees who work in the development’s 380,000 square feet of Class A office space.

“Integrating AC Hotel Bethesda’s amenities with the wider development enhances what the office spaces can offer their tenants,” Oakes notes, “and that, in turn, augments opportunities for the hotel. We anticipate incredible synergies between every component of 7373 Wisconsin.”

StonebridgeCarras and OTO Development previously worked together, with OTO developing a 204-room Hilton Garden Inn as part of NoMa’s Constitutional Square.

“Our companies enjoy a history of successful collaboration—we are excited to join forces, once again, with a company noted for creating exceptional places,” says Oakes. “Given the Bethesda market’s significant, diverse demand generators – plus proximity to Bethesda Row, the Metro, and the future Purple Line stop – this project has the potential to become one of the country’s most dynamic mixed-use developments to be delivered over the next few years.”

Construction is slated to begin in early 2019, with anticipated project completion in 2021.

ABOUT US

OTO Development, a Johnson Management company, is an award-winning, fast-growing hotel development and management company. Founded in 2004 and partnering with the Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott brands, OTO's industry leadership position is anchored by a portfolio of excellent hotels staffed by exceptional people. The company has developed more than 70 hotels over the past 13 years while also adding to its list of managed properties, which now comprise approximately 8,600 room keys. Today, OTO's impressive growth is focused on new urban development projects in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Manhattan and Washington DC as well as increasing emphasis on adding new management contracts with clients ranging from publicly traded REITs to private equity firms to high net worth individuals. For more information, visit OTODevelopment.com.

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Feature Focus
Hotel Law: Issues & Events
There is not a single area of a hotel’s operation that isn’t touched by some aspect of the law. Hotels and management companies employ an army of lawyers to advise and, if necessary, litigate issues which arise in the course of conducting their business. These lawyers typically specialize in specific areas of the law – real estate, construction, development, leasing, liability, franchising, food & beverage, human resources, environmental, insurance, taxes and more. In addition, issues and events can occur within the industry that have a major impact on the whole, and can spur further legal activity. One event which is certain to cause repercussions is Marriott International’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. This newly combined company is now the largest hotel company in the world, encompassing 30 hotel brands, 5,500 hotels under management, and 1.1 million hotel rooms worldwide. In the hospitality industry, scale is particularly important – the most profitable companies are those with the most rooms in the most locations. As a result, this mega- transaction is likely to provoke an increase in Mergers & Acquisitions industry-wide. Many experts believe other larger hotel companies will now join forces with smaller operators to avoid being outpaced in the market. Companies that had not previously considered consolidation are now more likely to do so. Another legal issue facing the industry is the regulation of alternative lodging companies such as Airbnb and other firms that offer private, short-term rentals. Cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Monica are at the forefront of efforts to legalize and control short-term rentals. However, those cities are finding it’s much easier to adopt regulations on short-term rentals than it is to actually enforce them. The December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine these and other critical issues pertaining to hotel law and how some companies are adapting to them.