Where things stand 1 year after Amazon’s Northern Va. HQ2 pick

People play soccer at Long Bridge Park in the Crystal City area on Nov. 13, 2018 In Arlington, Virginia. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Amazon’s plans are on track in Northern Virginia, one year after the e-commerce giant selected Arlington for its second headquarters.

It was Nov. 13, 2018 when Amazon named Arlington, Virginia, and New York City the twin sites of its planned expansion. But, three months later, New York backed out after of strong opposition from residents and political leaders, leaving the entire field to Arlington.

Currently, there are about 300 Amazon employees working in 120,000 square feet of leased office space in Crystal City.

That number is expected to rise to 400 by the year’s end and continue to grow toward Amazon’s ultimate goal of employing 25,000 people at its second headquarters over 15 years.


Earlier this year, Arlington County approved $23 million in growth incentives over 15 years tied to the floor space Amazon occupies — eventually, Amazon is expected to occupy more than 6 million square feet of office space in Pentagon City.

“Existing office spaces in Crystal City will be occupied, then they will transition over to Pentagon City, which will represent new construction,” said Matt Mattauszek, Pentagon City/Crystal City coordinator with the county’s Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development.

Arlington County is currently reviewing plans to build in Pentagon City Amazon’s two 22-story high-rises with space for offices and retail around a 1-acre park.

“We are scheduled to have that considered by the county board in December, pending approval of that project that would begin construction in middle of 2020, and likely be completed in early 2023, which I believe is what Amazon has anticipated,” Mattauszek said.

Arlington County is providing infrastructure improvements, some of which have been in the works since before Amazon chose its HQ2 site.

The projects include extending by an additional mile the north-south transit way through Crystal City; constructing an eastern entrance to the Crystal City Metro station; reconfiguring some traffic patterns; and improving connectivity between Crystal City and Pentagon City.

“We’re reaching a very promising conclusion where a block of vacant warehouses will be converted to two new LEED-certified buildings that provide retail spaces for area businesses, plenty of open space for the community and approximately 2 million square feet of office space, which will be a significant improvement to that block,” Mattauszek said.

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Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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