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Amazon expects to break ground on its new Northern Virginia headquarters in 2020

The dual office towers will have ground-floor retail and rooftop decks.

A rendering of the rooftop of a planned office building, across from another office building. The rooftop has a deck filled with people and greenery.
Rendering of Amazon office tower rooftop

Amazon aims to begin construction on its planned headquarters in Northern Virginia next year, the Washington Business Journal reports. The first phase of Amazon’s “HQ2” project will include two 22-story office towers with about 67,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and 2.1 million square feet of office space at Metropolitan Park in Pentagon City. Arlington County planning officials are now examining designs for the project and its infrastructure.

The towers could be completed by early 2023, according to the Business Journal. A senior vice president at Amazon’s co-developer for the project, JBG Smith, shared the timeline at the Arlington Site Plan Review Committee’s meeting last Monday, its third meeting on the project in 2019. The team presented renderings and blueprints showing several open areas around the park, bike and parking space, and a roughly 12,500-square-foot daycare center.

A map of proposed uses for an office project. It shows two office buildings surrounded by green space and existing buildings.
Proposed uses for Amazon’s Northern Virginia site

The rooftop space for the two towers is anticipated to feature a number of terraces, green roofs, and even dog parks. Some 12,000 Amazon employees will work at the towers, reports the Business Journal, just under half of the 25,000 employees the company has promised to hire across HQ2. Ultimately, the overall project will also comprise additional office buildings throughout “National Landing,” which is the name that public and private officials are using to brand the area of Arlington and Alexandria surrounding the headquarters site. Earlier this year, Virginia lawmakers approved hundreds of millions of dollars in tax incentives for HQ2.

A map of proposed rooftop uses for an office project.
Proposed rooftop uses for Amazon’s Northern Virginia site

In other Amazon news, the company’s CEO and founder, Jeff Bezos, today visited D.C.’s Dunbar High School, which offers computer science coursework supported by Amazon’s Future Engineer program. His visit was unexpected, according to multiple media reports.