Regions Northern Virginia

Report touts Northern Virginia’s strengths in Amazon headquarters competition

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Northern Virginia should be a strong competitor for Amazon’s new $5 billion headquarters, according to a report by Cushman & Wakefield Research.

The commercial real firm notes in its third-quarter regional report that plans for a new home for the Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters, a project long pursued by Northern Virginia, have been put on hold.

Nonetheless, the firm said the region should be a strong competitor for Amazon’s 8 million-square-foot “HQ2,” which is expected to create 50,000 jobs.

“With vital strengths to highlight such as enviable demographics, government incentives and business-friendly policies, a lower price point relative to urban cores nationwide, strong amenity bases, and a large concentration of millennials inside the Beltway, the widespread appeal of Northern Virginia should not come as a surprise to many,” the report says.

Amazon’s request for proposals sets a deadline of Oct. 19 for states, provinces and metropolitan areas submiting proposals.

The just-completed third quarter saw more than 2.3 million square feet of new commercial real estate leasing activity in Northern Virginia, nearly matching the total from the first half of the year, the report says.

The General Services Administration has picked a Springfield site as the new home of the 625,000-square-foot Transportation Security Administration headquarters. TSA will relocate from Crystal City in 2020. The deal marked the third consecutive quarter in which the region has landed a significant relocation. The other signings have involved Nestle and Amazon Web Services.

Relocations or expansions accounted for 13 of the 20 largest leases of the past three months, a sharp contrast from the first two quarters of the year.

During the first three quarters of the year, the region has added a net 12,000 jobs and is expected to gain 20,000 positions by the end of the year. That annual number is in line with the region’s historical average but is down from 32,000 jobs added last year.

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