Crystal City and Queens Will Be Home to Amazon’s HQ2

Eric Broermann November 13, 2018

The Amazon HQ2 rumors and speculation will come to an end today.
Amazon is reportedly expected to announce on Tuesday that two cities will be home to its second headquarters: Crystal City, Virginia and Queens, New York. Each city will eventually be home to as many as 25,000 Amazon employees, and the company will invest approximately $2.5 billion into the headquarters for each city.
The HQ2 sweepstakes began more than two years ago as the massive online retail giant started its search for a city that would be home its second headquarters. The new headquarters would occupy upwards of 8 million square feet of real estate and employ 50,000 people. In recent weeks, reports came out that the company would split its second headquarters between two cities.
Crystal City is well-positioned to take on an influx of Amazon employees. Developer JBG Smith has a portfolio of two dozen buildings totaling approximately 7 million square feet of office space in that area. It has been reported that two JBG Smith buildings — 1851 S. Bell St. and 1770 Crystal Drive — are properties that Amazon could lease immediately. Amazon has said that it will need 500,000 square feet of office space for use in the first year in the two cities.
Last year, as part of a multi-building development, JBG Smith applied to convert the office building at 1750 Crystal Drive (map) into a residential development. However, in August, the firm set aside the plan to retrofit the building as residential, opting instead to tweak plans to renovate the office building, raising speculation that Amazon was on its way.
While there hasn’t been much evidence of residential real estate speculation in Crystal City, the area has almost 1,200 new residential units in the pipeline.
The DC area had three jurisdictions vying for the Amazon campus, with Northern Virginia, DC and Montgomery County, Maryland all on the shortlist. In the District, NoMa, Reservation 13, the Anacostia Riverfront and off Georgia Avenue near Howard University were put forth as potential sites; in Maryland, the White Flint area was pitched as a possible location.

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