Arlington County Board Approves Incentive, Investment Packages for Amazon HQ2

by Alex Tostado

ARLINGTON, VA. — The five elected members of the Arlington County Board unanimously approved the incentive and investment packages negotiated between the Commonwealth of Virginia and Amazon for the e-commerce giant to locate its second headquarters in Arlington’s National Landing. Through the incentives agreement, Amazon will receive up to $23 million if it creates 25,000 jobs with an average salary of $150,000 by 2025 and occupies 6 million square feet of office space in Arlington County by 2035. The money will be paid through allocating a portion of the anticipated increase in hotel tax revenues.

According to the Arlington Economic Development Commission, the county will realize a $14 return for every $1 that Amazon earns in performance-based incentives. The additional tax revenues generated by Amazon’s headquarters will be used to invest in improvements to the county’s schools, affordable housing, parks and transportation network.

Combined with Saturday’s Arlington Board vote, approval has now been secured for all of the government’s pledged support as part of a November 2018 Memorandum of Understanding with Amazon. In February, Amazon announced it was pulling out of its HQ2 deal with New York City, leaving Arlington as the only headquarters for Amazon outside of Seattle.

Chevy Chase, Md.-based developer JBG Smith is developing National Landing, a new neighborhood that encompasses Crystal City, the eastern portion of Pentagon City and the northern portion of Potomac Yard in Northern Virginia. The new district is situated across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. Amazon is expected to lease approximately 537,000 square feet of existing office space from JBG Smith, starting with 241 18th St. and 1800 South Bell this year, followed by 1770 Crystal Drive in 2020.

Amazon is also expected to purchase JBG Smith’s Pen Place and Met 6, 7 and 8 development sites in Pentagon City on which the developer plans to build 4.1 million square feet of modern office space for Amazon. JBG Smith expects to serve as the developer, property manager and retail leasing agent for the project.

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