Friends of White Flint’s #PickthePike Campaign Highlighted in Washington Post Article

Capital Business in The Washington Post wrote an article yesterday, Bill Marriott on Starwood merger: ‘We’re working on a total organization plan

The article focused mostly on Marriott’s merger with Starwood, creating the largest hotel company in the world. Shareholders of the two companies are scheduled to vote this month on the $12.2 billion deal, which is awaiting approval from regulators.

However, toward the end of the article, Friends of White Flint’s #PickthePike campaign was highlighted

Marriott has hired real estate consultant JLL to locate and review the company’s options. Meanwhile, officials in the District, Maryland and Virginia have begun considering which properties near Metro stations might best interest the company. And it is not just state, city and suburban officials who are competing for the new headquarters.

In Montgomery County, a group of business leaders and residents, the Friends of White Flint, has begun publicly jockeying for the company to relocate to a redeveloping section of Rockville Pike, being branded as the Pike District.

The group purchased a bus advertisement in front of the company’s headquarters, saying “If Marriott picks the PIKE DISTRICT, you’d be eating dinner by now.”

On Thursday, Bill Marriott said the company is considering a number of locations but has not decided whether to remain in Maryland.


© 2015 Kaz Sasahara. All rights reserved. More at

More on Marriott


Did you catch this interview with Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson?  It’s an interesting, and quick, read, but below is the part that most concerns the Pike District and our #PickthePike campaign.

BTW, rumor has it that Marriott is considering Friendship Heights, Bethesda, and the Pike District. In a week or so, we’ll be a launching a new #PickthePike social media campaign to showcase all the Pike District has to offer Marriott and its employees.

Bethesda Magazine: Tell me about the possibility of Marriott leaving Bethesda? How much of this is about attracting millennials, who might not want to come out to a suburban office building and prefer to use public transportation to get around?

Arne Sorenson:  There are a few things going on here. First, this building is leased, not owned. The lease expires in 2022. The second factor is that to renovate this building, which was opened in the ’70s, would cost almost as much as to build a building from scratch. And a brand-new building is almost always going to be better than a renovated building, no matter how much money you want to put into it. It’s not going to be state of the art.

The third driver, we talk about millennials and millennial mindset, but I actually have many of the same views. I’d like to be someplace that is accessible by public transportation. I’d like to be someplace where I can walk to restaurants or be part of a community that seems more vibrant, that doesn’t require me to have a car. Obviously, that is a more pronounced bias from our younger workers.

The overwhelming likelihood is we will not be in this building after the lease expires. And so that means we need someplace else. And we have 900,000 square feet in this building.

Even if we are more efficient about our use of space in the future, we’re not talking about a small office space. It takes a number of years to go through the process, to find locations. I think there are places in Montgomery County that can be accessed by public transportation, have an urban feel, and where we could build a new building that would meet our needs. But there are obviously places in Virginia or D.C. that could be considered, as well.

We’ve made no decision to move from Maryland. And I’ve assured the governor of Maryland, for example, we’re not starting any negotiating process. You’re not going to wake up one morning and read in the paper that we’ve decided to move. We’re going to spend the next year or so figuring out: How much space do we need? Are we going to put everyone in the same building, or are we going to put some disciplines in different buildings? Only when we’ve really completed that process will we start to focus on possible locations.

I have talked to Gov. Hogan, Gov. McAuliffe and Mayor Bowser. I’ve had calls from other states. The likelihood of our moving out of the Washington area, where we’ve been for our entire 88 years, is very slim. The overwhelming likelihood is that we will be in the Washington area for many, many decades to come. I suspect sometime in 2016, or more likely in 2017, we’ll start to zero in on a location or two.

Wow — what a week!

ICYMI, here’s some of the coverage from our very successful launch of #PickthePike:

Washington Business Journal

The Washington Post

Bethesda Magazine

Greater Greater Washington

My MC Media

We’ll be promoting #PickthePike at Saturday’s Pike Central Farmers Maket on the corner of Executive Blvd and Old Georgetown Road. Stop by our table.

And don’t forget to post about our ad and campaign on Facebook and Twitter using #PickthePike hashtag.

Look for our next #PickthePike promotion soon!



#PickthePike is launched!!


This morning, Friends of White Flint launched its #PickthePike campaign to persuade Marriott to pick the Pike District for its new headquarters.  We also unveiled our new #PickthePike ad located at the bus shelter right in front of Marriott headquarters.

Thank you to Councilmember Roger Berliner, State Delegate Marc Korman, State Senator Rich Madaleno, State Farm Agent Howard Feldman, and Pike District resident Heather Dlhopolsky for being critical parts of this campaign kickoff.  All agreed that the Pike District is the perfect spot for Marriott’s new headquarters, citing the area’s many amenities, including easy access to metro, diverse restaurants, many opportunities for entertainment and recreation, and many housing options for Marriott employees just a short stroll or metro stop away from the office.

Check out tomorrow’s weekly eblast for more details, including press coverage and photos. (And if you don’t get our weekly newsletter, you should!  Sign up here.)

Pike District would be perfect for Marriott’s New Headquarters

Bethesda Now published yesterday a wonderful article about Friends of White Flint’s plan to entice Marriott International to move to the Pike District.

As we discussed at our Community Meeting March 25, for the White Flint area to be a successful live-work-play community, there must be a vibrant “work” sector. Residences alone are not enough to sustain the retail, restaurants, and entertainment options we want in the Pike District. Marriott International has stated they are looking for a walkable, transit-friendly location; well, that is the perfect description for the Pike District.  As Saul Centers Senior Vice President Brian Downie said,”This might be the single best thing that could be done to really kick off White Flint and turn it into what we’d like to see it be.”

And if you missed our summary of the Community Meeting, you can read it here. (If you don’t receive our weekly e-blast, be sure to sign up so you don’t miss any news about the White Flint area)


Corporate America wants transit-friendly offices

The CEO of Marriott International said this week, ““I think it’s essential we be accessible to Metro and that limits the options. I think as with many other things our younger folks are more inclined to be Metro-accessible and more urban.”

This supports the recent data showing that new urbanism communities like the Pike District, where office workers have just a short walk from their cubicles to transit, housing, restaurants, and entertainment, are the most desirable locations for offices.

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