Amazon Executive Says Company is ‘Beginning to Scale’ at HQ2 Campus in Northern Virginia

ARLINGTON, VA. — Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) is “beginning to scale” at its HQ2 campus underway in Arlington, according to Jay Carney, the company’s senior vice president of global corporate affairs. During a weekly webinar series conducted by Walker & Dunlop, Carney said the corporate campus, dubbed Met Park, is under construction and that the company is hiring in earnest, though he said it will “take some time” to reach the previously announced 25,000 goal.

Carney, who was the former White House press secretary during President Barack Obama’s administration, led Amazon’s national HQ2 search in 2017 and 2018 to find a second home for the company outside of Seattle. The e-commerce giant ultimately chose both Northern Virginia and Long Island City in the Queens borough of New York City in late 2018, in addition to a 1 million-square-foot outpost in Nashville, Tenn. Amazon pulled out of its planned New York City location in early 2019.

Clark Construction is the general contractor for the HQ2 campus, and JBG Smith is Amazon’s development partner, as well as its landlord for office space that Amazon is using in the rebranded National Landing district in Arlington’s Crystal City submarket. Carney said the company is not seeking any additional secondary headquarters markets.

Jay Carney, senior vice president of global corporate affairs at Amazon, spoke yesterday during Walker & Dunlop’s weekly webinar series.

The webinar, which was moderated by Walker & Dunlop’s CEO and chairman Willy Walker, came a day before Amazon’s first-quarter earnings report. Experts are predicting that Amazon’s earnings have increased by as much 25 percent in the first quarter year-over-year due to increased demand for e-commerce during the outbreak of COVID-19. Carney said during the discussion that it’s important to keep in mind that Amazon has also allotted overtime and doubled salaries in some instances, as well as aggressively hired to fulfill demand. The company recently fulfilled its goal to hire 100,000 workers at the onset of the pandemic and is now seeking to hire 75,000 more. Carney said that Amazon, which also owns Whole Foods Market, currently represents 4 percent of all U.S. retail sales.

When complete in 2023, Met Park will feature two LEED Platinum-certified office buildings, a “significant amount” of new neighborhood-oriented retail, a daycare center, 2.5 acres of new and renovated public open space, more than a half-mile of bike lanes and a 700-person meeting center that will be shared with the local government and community groups at no charge.

Amazon’s stock price closed on Wednesday, April 29 at $2,421.27 per share, up from $1,926.52 a year ago.

— John Nelson

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