ARLINGTON, Va. - Amazon’s new headquarters in Northern Virginia will have a big economic impact while also putting major demands on housing, transportation and infrastructure.
But will the Washington D.C. region be ready for it?
With Amazon coming to the area, Metro will be making improvements to the Crystal City and Potomac Yard stations. There will also be new 8000-series railcars on the way as well. Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld says these improvements will not just benefit Northern Virginia, but all commuters throughout the D.C. region.
“When Amazon first came to the region, the first thing they did was get on the trains. That’s what they did,” Wiedefeld said. “It was key to their selection process. It's key to who they are trying to recruit. It’s important to those people. So this is exactly what the Metro should be doing and that's why it's so important to the region.”
With Reagan National Airport located nearby along the George Washington Memorial Parkway and I-395 into D.C., Virginia will be pouring $195 million into transportation and infrastructure projects to ease congestion, which includes building a pedestrian bridge between Reagan National Airport to newly-rebranded community that will be known as “National Landing” – which includes parts of Pentagon City and Crystal City in Arlington along with Potomac Yard in Alexandria.
Arlington County officials say Amazon HQ2 will send housing prices up. While that is a good thing if you own housing in the area, it will also pose a challenge for prospective buyers and renters.
Christian Dorsey, the vice chair of the Arlington County Board, says they will need to insure the workers that Amazon brings to the region are going to be able to afford it.
“It makes it even more important that our community works with the regions, increase the supply of housing,” he said. “One of the things that makes housing so expensive here is that we have areas that are not zoned for higher levels of density. We have got to do that where appropriate.”
As word spread in the last few weeks that Crystal City was on the shortlist to land Amazon, housing demand has skyrocketed. Real estate firm Redfin tells FOX 5 that in the first 11 days of November, views of homes for sale in Crystal City were up 210 percent from last year.
The new headquarters is expected to bring more than 25,000 new jobs to Northern Virginia. Amazon says it will receive $573 million in incentives for creating new jobs that will have an average wage over $150,000. The company will also receive $22,000 for each job created over the next 12 years as part of a workforce cash grant from Virginia.
Amazon’s new headquarters will include 4 million square feet of office space, which can be expanded to 8 million square feet in the future.
In addition, Virginia Tech also announced it will build the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Alexandria – a 1 million square foot technology-focused campus. The $1 billion project was cited in helping draw Amazon to Northern Virginia.