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Amazon Selects Arlington as One of 2 New National Headquarters; Beyer Hails Decision

According to a press release issued by Amazon from its Seattle headquarters today, the company has selected Arlington, Virginia and  New York City as the locations for its new headquarters, saying it will invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs across the two new headquarters locations, with more than 25,000 employees each in New York City and Arlington. The new locations will join Seattle as the company’s three headquarters in North America. In addition, Amazon announced that it has selected Nashville for a new Center of Excellence for its Operations business, which is responsible for the company’s customer fulfillment, transportation, supply chain, and other similar activities. The Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville will create more than 5,000 jobs.

The new Washington, D.C. metro headquarters in Arlington will be located in National Landing, and the New York City headquarters will be located in the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens. Amazon’s investments in each new headquarters will spur the creation of tens of thousands of additional jobs in the surrounding communities. Hiring at both the new headquarters will begin in 2019. The Operations Center of Excellence will be located in downtown Nashville as part of a new development site just north of the Gulch, and hiring will also begin in 2019.

Concerning the Arlington location adjacent Crystal City, Amazon cited its benefits in its statement today as the following:

• National Landing is an urban community in Northern Virginia located less than three miles from downtown Washington, D.C. The area is served by three Metro stations, commuter rail access, and Reagan National Airport – all within walking distance. The community has a variety of hotels, restaurants, high-rise apartment buildings, retail, and commercial offices. National Landing has abundant parks and open space with sports and cultural events for residents of all ages throughout the year.

• As part of Amazon’s new headquarters, Virginia and Arlington will benefit from more than 25,000 full-time high-paying jobs; approximately $2.5 billion in Amazon investment; 4 million square feet of energy-efficient office space with the opportunity to expand to 8 million square feet; and an estimated incremental tax revenue of $3.2 billion over the next 20 years as a result of Amazon’s investment and job creation.

• Amazon will receive performance-based direct incentives of $573 million based on the company creating 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000 in Arlington. This includes a workforce cash grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia of up to $550 million based on $22,000 for each job created over the next 12 years. Amazon will only receive this incentive if it creates the forecasted high-paying jobs. The company will also receive a cash grant from Arlington of $23 million over 15 years based on the incremental growth of the existing local Transient Occupancy Tax, a tax on hotel rooms.

• The community and Amazon employees will benefit from the Commonwealth investing $195 million in infrastructure in the neighborhood, including improvements to the Crystal City and the Potomac Yards Metro stations; a pedestrian bridge connecting National Landing and Reagan National Airport; and work to improve safety, accessibility, and the pedestrian experience crossing Route 1 over the next 10 years. Arlington will also dedicate an estimated $28 million based on 12 percent of future property tax revenues earned from an existing Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district for on-site infrastructure and open space in National Landing.

U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, who represents the 8th District of Virginia that includes the City of Falls Church, released the following statement on the news of Amazon’s announcement:

“Amazon’s announcement that it will bring half of its HQ2 to Arlington is a validation of a generation’s worth of work to make northern Virginia an economic engine of the nation.

“The Northern Virginia of my youth was a bedroom suburb of the nation’s capital.  The Northern Virginia of today is an economic and cultural dynamo, on the leading edge of the technology revolution that is bettering lives around the world. This transformation involved leadership by all sectors — business, higher education, government, and community.

“Based on my conversations with Amazon and state officials, I am excited to welcome Amazon to Virginia’s 8th — already one of the nation’s most iconic and most educated congressional districts. This is a district that is steeped in history, including George Washington’s home and the final resting place for hundreds of thousands of patriots. It is now also the place where the future is coming to life. The infusion of jobs, the diversification of our tax base, the Commonwealth’s dramatic expansion of computer science training in Virginia colleges and universities, starting with a new Virginia Tech graduate campus in Alexandria: these are some of the tangible gains of this victory. I am also eager to learn more and to work together as a state and region to confront the challenges this will inevitably bring to affordable housing and transportation.

“The people who have worked hard to attract Amazon to our community have been involved in this endeavor for months. Most of our citizens are just learning the details today. Now it is their turn to ask questions and to understand the implications for our region. These questions, and maybe even some serious concerns, are entirely legitimate.  I intend to take the lead in making sure that good questions get equally good answers and that all voices are heard.

“We all know that success presents its own challenges:

• Ensuring that all members of the community share in prosperity;

• Ensuring that transportation infrastructure connects these next generation jobs without punishing commutes;

• Ensuring that the quality of life — parks and open spaces, safe neighborhoods, well-educated children — keeps pace with rising wealth.

“Everything in my career — in the private sector and as a Virginia public official — has taught me that communities rise and fall together.  The infusion of jobs and investment that Amazon will bring to the region will benefit many people who will never collect an Amazon paycheck.

“Congratulations to Governor Northam, and all my fellow Virginians, for winning a robust national competition. And congratulations to Amazon for selecting a very special community and region, ripe with diversity and promise.”