Construction has reached the top floor of Amazon’s Metropolitan Park at National Landing in Arlington, Virginia, as the building remains on schedule to open in 2023.
Amazon and partners celebrated the milestone of “topping out” on Friday as they reflected on how the project has progressed since it was started more than two years ago.
The project is the first phase of new construction for Amazon’s HQ2 development in Arlington County.
“Simply put, we have reached the top and wow! What a view,” said Jeff King, a vice president with Clark Construction Group. “We’ve covered significant ground over the last two years and [have] done so during a remarkable time in our nation’s history.”
“Despite these challenges brought on by the pandemic, we have achieved a number of critical milestones and kept the Metropolitan Park project on schedule,” King said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the progress we have all made together,” he said at the ceremony.
During the topping out ceremony, Joe Chapman, director of Global Real Estate and Facilities for Amazon’s HQ2, said they have worked closely with local government to make changes along the way.
“Since the inception of our HQ2 plans, the Arlington County Board has been our partner in helping us to design an integrated urban campus that will benefit all of Arlington County and the region — in addition to the 25,000 Amazon employees that will soon call this place home,” Chapman said.
Working with the Arlington County Board, partners in the project have listened to local residents and included their feedback into the project, Chapman said.
That includes over half a mile of new protected bike lanes, 2.5 acres of new and renovated public open space and a day care center for families in the neighborhood, according to Chapman.
The two, 22-story office buildings will include more than 50,000 square feet of retail space for small local businesses and a 700-person meeting center that will be available to community groups. The complex will also be powered by 100% renewable energy.
Since the construction started in 2018, Brian Kenner, director of Public Policy for Amazon, said that the company has committed more than $34 million in total investments to local nonprofits, community groups, public schools and businesses in the community.
Kenner said that includes both monetary and in-kind donations, such as school supplies to public schools in Northern Virginia, support for racial equity initiatives and food donations to local food banks and pantries.
In addition, Amazon announced in 2021 that it would create the Amazon Housing Equity Fund, which aims to preserve existing affordable housing and create inclusive housing developments through low-rate loans and grants. To date, Amazon has committed over $795 million in low-rate loans and grants to create or preserve up to 4,400 affordable homes in the HQ2 region.
The Amazon Housing Equity Fund has increased the affordable housing stock for long-term multifamily homes in Arlington by 22%, Kenner said.
Amazon has pledged to invest $2.5 billion in its Arlington HQ2 headquarters over the next decade, and eventually employ 25,000.