Posted on 03/18/19 by Cara O'Donnell
Amazon has won additional approvals for its new headquarters in Arlington. The Arlington County Board unanimously approved the County’s proposed direct financial incentive to Amazon, an annual pay-for-performance grant valued at approximately $23 million. The performance grant depends on the company meeting targets of occupying 6 million square feet of office space over the next 15 years and will come from a percentage of the new incremental revenue generated by the County’s Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), which is a tax paid on hotel rooms or other paid lodging.
“This performance agreement is really just the beginning of what I believe will be a long and productive partnership between Arlington and Amazon,” Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey said. “This Board, and senior County staff, have spent months in intense discussion with our community about what Amazon’s arrival in Crystal City and Pentagon City will mean for Arlington. Our vote today reflects our strong belief that Amazon will bring significant benefits to our community, to neighboring Alexandria, the region and the state.
“I view this agreement as a new model for economic development, where most resources are devoted to improvements in infrastructure and developing human capital,” Dorsey said. “Only 5 percent of the incentives are paid directly to Amazon, and only if they are successful in contributing to revenue growth while fulfilling their commitments to invest in Arlington.”
The Board voted unanimously to approve the performance agreement with Amazon, after hearing from more than 100 speakers during an hours-long public hearing and questioning Amazon executives.
The County also committed to using a portion of new incremental revenue generated by Amazon’s arrival within the existing Crystal City, Potomac Yard, Pentagon City Tax Increment Financing (TIF) area to make strategic infrastructure investments in and around National Landing. The estimated new TIF revenue is projected to be $28 million over 10 years. TIF is a mechanism to support development and redevelopment by capturing the projected increase in property tax revenues in the area and investing those funds in improvements in that area.
The County and the City of Alexandria also have committed to investing up to $570 million in transportation projects, including rail connections, transit facilities, multi-modal streets and transportation technology serving Amazon’s headquarters. All the projects were already included in long-term Capital Improvement Plans approved by the Board and the City. Arlington and Alexandria are also actively pursuing additional funding opportunities to advance investments in this corridor.
Amazon announced in November 2018 it had selected Arlington County from more than 230 jurisdictions from around North America for its new headquarters, commonly referred to as HQ2. The announcement capped a 14-month process that had galvanized Northern Virginia localities to form a multi-jurisdictional partnership in their bid for the headquarters. More information, including details on the initial proposal, housing/transit projections and more, are available at www.arlingtonva.us/amazon.
Topic: Economic Update