Amazon promises $20M for affordable housing in Arlington

Amazon has promised to contribute $20 million to help Arlington County create more affordable housing in exchange for its plan to erect two, 22-story office buildings as part of its HQ2 headquarters in the Virginia county.

“The $20 million contribution — that represents the largest affordable housing commitment made by an individual site plan project in Arlington County,” said Matt Mattauszek, Crystal City/Pentagon City planning coordinator for Arlington County.

“I do not anticipate that number changing, it does reflect months of negotiations between the county and Amazon,” he said.

The pledge is part of the community benefits package Amazon is putting forward to offset the increase in density created by more than 2 million square feet of development it’s planning for its twin-tower headquarters.

There are other parts of the benefits package targeting transportation improvements and open space.

“They relate to the funding, construction and maintenance of a two-acre park that will be located in the center of that entire block where Metropolitan Park (Amazon headquarters) is located,” Mattauszek said.

Other improvements include building of bus shelters, bike share stations and a child care facility.

The Arlington County Board is expected to hold a final vote on Amazon’s development plan in mid-December.

Amazon plans to invest more than $2 billion in its new headquarters and expected to create at least 25,000 high-paying jobs over the next 12 years in Arlington.

Real estate data analytics firm CoreLogic expects that with many of Amazon’s jobs paying six-figure salaries that its workers will purchase homes, rather than rent.

Amazon’s promise to assist with affordable housing also comes as housing prices skyrocket in neighboring Alexandria, where Amazon gave $300,000 to for low-cost housing.

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