Amazon’s first HQ2 retail tenants: dogs and coffee

Amazon -Metropolitan Park in Pentagon City
An artist’s rendering of what the architecture and public space at Metropolitan Park in the National Landing neighborhood will look like. (Courtesy Arlington County)

Amazon’s sprawling Metropolitan Park and PenPlace HQ2 additions in Arlington County, Virginia, will have at least 140,000 square feet of retail space and it has pledged to focus on small and locally owned companies.

Amazon announced the first two retail tenants that fit the bill in a blog post.

Dog day care and boarding company District Dogs will open a location at Metropolitan Park when it is completed in 2023. It has locations in Shaw, Park View, and Navy Yard, with others planned for Clarendon and Brentwood.

Specialty coffee roaster RĀKO Coffee will open a cafe at Metropolitan Park too. RĀKO Coffee has a roasting facility in Lorton, Virginia, and a cafe in Arlington’s Courthouse. It does concessions work and wholesaling as well.

“We’re excited to be part of this project because it’s going to give us a platform we’ve never had before,” said Lisa Gerben, who owns RĀKO Coffee with her sister Melissa.

“It would’ve been easy for Amazon to bring in big national brands but it means everything to us that Amazon is seeking out small, emerging businesses that wouldn’t have normally had this exposure.”

RĀKO Coffee will operate a coffee kiosk in the Metropolitan Park lobby too.

District Dogs owner Jacob Hensley started his business as a dog walking service in 2014 and now has more than 70 employees working at his dog day care, grooming, boarding and training centers.

Hensley will lease 6,000 square feet at Metropolitan Park.

“For small businesses like me, opening a new store in Northern Virginia is a huge opportunity to grow the brand and capture new clients,” Hensley said.

Amazon is encouraging other area small businesses to explore retail opportunities at HQ2 by emailing

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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