Report: Second Amazon HQ could land in northern Virginia
Amazon has held advanced discussions about the possibility of opening its highly sought-after second headquarters in Arlington, Va ., including how quickly it would move employees there, which buildings it would occupy and how an announcement about the move would be made to the public, according to people close to the process.
The discussions were more detailed than those the company has had regarding other locations in northern Virginia and some other cities nationally, adding to speculation that the site in Arlington County is a front- runner to land the online retail giant’s second North American headquarters and its 50,000 jobs.
The company is so close to making its choice that Crystal City’s top real estate developer, JBG Smith, has pulled some of its buildings off the leasing market and officials in the area have discussed how to make an announcement to the public this month, following the midterm elections, according to public and private sector officials who spoke on the condition of ano- nymity because Amazon has asked that the selection process remain confidential. The company may be having similar discussions with other finalists.
Two people close to the process said if Crystal City were selected, Amazon was likely to move an initial group of several hundred employees into 1851 S. Bell St. or 1770 Crystal Drive, two dated office buildings that have been targeted for redevelopment but could be readied for occupancy by the owner, JBG Smith, in nine months or less. Thebid also includes sites in Potomac Yard, in Alexandria.
“There’s a lot of activity,” one individual close to the process said. The person added that people “seem really positive, and they seem pretty confident. ... What we don’t know, maybe there are two or three other sites, and they’re doing the same thing. That’s what’s scary to people around here.”
At a conference Thursday in New York, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos told the crowd: “Ultimately the decision will be made with intuition after gathering and studying a lot of data — for a decision like that, as far as I know, the best way to make it is you collect as much data as you can, you immerse yourself in that data but then you make the decision with your heart.” Bezos also owns TheWashington Post.
Spokesmen for Amazon and JBG Smith declined to comment, as did Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol.