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Amazon unveils plans for the first phase of its Crystal City headquarters

The tech giant and developer JBG Smith want to build two 22-story office towers at the Metropolitan Park site

Rendering of planned Amazon offices at Metropolitan Park
Amazon/ZGF

Amazon has filed development plans with Arlington County, Virginia for the inaugural phase of its second headquarters, in Crystal City. Dubbed “HQ2” by the company and located in an area of Northern Virginia that the Seattle-based company and regional officials are branding as “National Landing,” the project is expected to create at least 25,000 jobs over roughly the next decade and comprise upwards of 6 million square feet of office space by the-mid 2030s.

The immediate plans, released Thursday, call for 2.1 million square feet across two 22-story buildings at Metropolitan Park, a 16-acre, mixed-use development site situated a few blocks east of the Pentagon City Metro station and bounded by 12th Street, South Fern Street, 15th Street, and South Eads Street. A group of vacant warehouses there will be redeveloped into the two office towers as well as retail and open space as part of an “urban campus” concept.

The Crystal City Metro station is also within walking distance of the site. The new buildings are to feature 50,000 square feet of shops, restaurants, and a daycare center, per Amazon, while their grounds are to include 1.1 acres of open public space: recreation areas, farmers markets, and a dog park, among its uses. The pair of buildings would also be equipped with almost 2,000 underground parking spaces, according to the Washington Business Journal. Arlington must approve Amazon and developer JBG Smith’s plans due to a site-use change.

“We expect a significant amount of our employees to commute via mass transit, carpool, bike, or alternate forms of transportation,” Amazon says in a release. “More than half of our employees in Seattle commute to work without a car.” To that end, the site will incorporate space for 600 bikes and there are plans to expand the current South Eads Street cycle path.

This past winter, Virginia and Arlington politicians approved about $800 million in public incentives for Amazon to locate in Crystal City, tied to job creation and office occupancy. The package also contains funding for a $1 billion Virginia Tech Innovation Campus to be built in nearby Alexandria. When Amazon announced its selection of Northern Virginia in November 2018 for the project—estimated to cost $2.5 billion—the company and officials said it would create $3.2 billion in tax revenue in 20 years. (Facing pushback, Amazon ditched New York.)