Amazon begins HQ2 move-in
Global e-tailer offers first look inside Arlington twin office towers
Amazon.com Inc. is moving more than 8,000 employees into the first phase of HQ2, its $2.5 billion East Coast headquarters in Arlington’s emerging National Landing area, this week. The e-tailer plans to officially open HQ2’s first phase, Metropolitan Park (Met Park), in June and to complete its move-in by the end of the summer. However, the No. 2-ranked Fortune Global 500 company said in March that it was delaying construction on HQ2’s second phase, PenPlace.
Amazon expects to create 25,000 jobs for the project by 2030 and is eligible for up to $550 million in state grants, should it meet the required annual hiring goals and average annual wages.
“This project is extraordinary in many respects,” Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey said in a statement. “It will bring us significantly closer to fulfilling the community’s vision of Arlington and National Landing as an urban neighborhood with a better balance of office, residential and retail development, more and better public spaces and more and better access for pedestrians and cyclists.”
Met Park consists of 2.1 million square feet of office space and more than 50,000 square feet of retail space housing 14 businesses, as well as a 2.5-acre park. The campus is on park to receive a LEED Platinum certification, the highest LEED certification level.
Met Park’s two 22-story, 327-feet-tall office buildings can house 12,500 employees. One tower is named Jasper, the codename for an Alexa component that provides tools for customer settings. Amazon has named the other tower Merlin, after the codename for Amazon QuickSight, a cloud-based business intelligence service product that can create interactive dashboards. The buildings have a total of 62 elevators.
The towers include “centers of energy,” Amazon’s term for spaces for employees to gather, including four coffee shops and three all-electric commercial kitchens. The areas are designed to handle 30% of the offices’ employee capacity, an intentional move by the company to encourage employees to “venture out into the neighborhood,” according to a news release.
The 14 ground-floor retailers include a bike shop, a dog day care, a fitness studio, an early childhood education center, a spa, restaurants and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) Arlington’s Innovation Studio.
The towers have outdoor spaces within their designs: about 2.7 acres of rooftop landscaping, about an acre of green roof with native plants, two event terraces, two café terraces, one garden terrace, an urban farm and outdoor kitchens.
The public park includes walking paths, a dog run and a children’s play area and garden.
For commuting employees, Met Park has 620 bike racks, four levels of below-grade parking with 290 electric vehicle charging stations and pedestrian pathways for employees taking the Metro. On May 19, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority opened the Potomac Yard-VT station, anchored by Virginia Tech’s $1 billion Innovation Campus and two stops away from HQ2.