- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sunburst Hospitality opened the latest upscale hotel this week in Montgomery County as growth of the technology industry attracts hotel developers to the area along Interstate 270.

Sunburst’s Atrium Court Hotel is located at 3 Research Court in Rockville, not far from offices of Fortune 500 companies such as Lockheed Martin, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Laboratories and satellite campuses of the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University also are nearby.

The Atrium Court Hotel is the result of Sunburst’s renovation of an existing property’s guest rooms and public space. It offers business travelers Internet access in their rooms, a business center and 14,000 square feet of meeting space.

Montgomery County officials and hotel operators say there is little doubt more upscale hotels are arriving.

“As more companies have come and other companies have grown, they’ve had more of a desire to have their people stay closer,” said Joe Shapiro, spokesman for the Montgomery County Economic Development Department.

Marriott International says it is looking for opportunities to put up more hotels in Montgomery County, largely as a result of growth in the biotechnology industry.

“It’s a growing sector there and it’s something that is causing us to look at other opportunities for hotels,” said Matt Carroll, spokesman for Bethesda-based Marriott International. “It’s nothing specific I can get into detail on now.”

Marriott International opened a 210-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Gaithersburg in May at 204 Boardwalk Place.

Its amenities include a business library with workstations and 2,700 square feet of meeting space.

“This growth in biotech along the I-270 corridor is certainly driving growth in hotels,” Mr. Carroll said.

Hotel operators Sheraton and Hilton also plan new hotels in Rockville.

In other news

The eastern part of the District would be the site of three new health clinics and an expansion of the Greater Southeast Community Hospital under a proposal approved this week by the Mayor’s Health Care Task Force.

• The task force proposes spending up to $80 million on Greater Southeast Community Hospital for improvements to its existing facilities and expansion of its ambulatory care center. As much as $132 million would be spent on two new ambulatory care centers and “a full-service health complex, which would include a 24-hour emergency room, doctors offices and ambulatory clinics,” said Gregg Pane, D.C. Health Department director and chairman of the health care task force.

Unresolved issues in the proposal are “how big and where” the clinics would be located, Dr. Pane said. Wards 7 and 8 are high on the list of prospects.

The task force is scheduled to deliver details of its proposal to Mayor Anthony A. Williams later this month.

UBS Global Asset Management is joining Monument Realty as a financial partner in development of Columbia Center, a 400,000-square-foot office building being built at 1152 15th St. NW.

Monument Realty is the lead developer of the free-standing office tower near the McPherson Square Metro Station. The law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has signed a lease for 138,000 square feet of the space.

Property Lines runs on Thursdays. Call Tom Ramstack at 202/636-3180 or e-mail tram [email protected]washingtontimes.com.

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