BBJ: 224-room Marriott at Metro Centre in Owings Mills moves toward finish line

The luxury Marriott hotel that will serve as a centerpiece of Metro Centre in Owings Mills topped off this month and is set for a July 2021 opening.

Developer Howard Brown, chairman of David S. Brown Enterprises Ltd., said Wednesday that work on the 10-story, 224-room development has not been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic — and he does not expect fallout when the property opens despite the havoc the pandemic has brought to the hospitality industry.

“We have enough time that they will work it out,” Brown said. “We started the hotel before then and I’m comfortable.”

The Metro Centre hotel will also not be impacted by a corporate slowdown in development by Marriott unveiled this month, Brown added. The Bethesda-based hotel giant had more than 230,000 rooms under construction in the second quarter of the year and plans for other developments were put on hold, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said in a story published Aug. 12 in the Washington Business Journal, a sister publication of the Baltimore Business Journal.

The $70 million, 225,000-square-foot Marriott Owings Mills Metro Centre Hotel and Conference Center will have several luxury features, including a 400-person ballroom and kosher kitchen for events.

Brown, a collector of modern art, said he plans to commission some original art pieces for the property, which will greet visitors with a grand staircase in its lobby off Grand Central Avenue, the main street at Metro Centre.

“We will have 224 rooms and suites and 10,000 square feet of ballroom and function space,” he said. “There will be multiple meeting rooms, a conference center, coffee shop and full-service restaurant. And a fitness center.”

Owings Mills-based David S. Brown Enterprises unveiled plans for the hotel in 2018. The firm will own the hotel that will serve as the anchor for the 45-acre Metro Centre located off Interstate 795 in the northern Baltimore County suburb.

The four-star property will be the first full-service hotel developed in Baltimore County in years.

Marriott has another full-service hotel in Harbor East that opened in 2001 and is owned and operated by the Paterakis family and was developed by the late H&S Bakery co-owner John S. Paterakis. The 32-story tower on the Inner Harbor has a conference center and large ballroom — and more than 750 hotel rooms.

“This is a trophy building and a trophy location,” Brown said. “It is not only going to cater to all the businesses up here but also have a connection by subway to the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins. Someone could stay here, take the train downtown and get elective surgery and come back. It’s got a lot of options.”

Plans for the transit-oriented Metro Centre total 1.2 million square feet of office space, 1,700 apartment units and 300,000 square feet of retail when it is built out.

The development also holds a campus of the Community College of Baltimore County and a multi-story branch of the Baltimore County Public Library that opened several years ago. Metro Centre is located adjacent to the Metro subway station in Owings Mills.