Amazon's announcement a real game-changer for our region

We in Arlington are truly honored to share that Amazon has announced that Arlington will be the location for its major new headquarters. This announcement culminates more than a year of an unprecedented effort on the behalf of staff at the County and state levels as well as partners in the private sector. With a total of 238 different communities initially submitting proposals for this project, we are very proud of just how unique and desirable Arlington County is as a place to do business. 

Over the past year, our economic development team has worked with Amazon executives to determine not just what the company is looking for in its new headquarters, but also how the company fits into Arlington’s long-term strategies and plans for growth. We knew Amazon was looking for a location with strong local and regional talent — particularly in software development and related fields — as well as a stable and business-friendly environment to continue hiring and innovating on behalf of our customers. We believe the company found that mix and more in Arlington, from our diversity, business-friendly climate and highly-educated workforce to our extensive transportation system and excellent schools.  

This announcement is truly a game-changer for Arlington’s business community. Not only does Amazon’s decision really cement Arlington as a technology leader on the East Coast, the revenue generated from this company will go a long way toward restoring stability to Arlington’s office environment, which has suffered from years of high vacancies. Amazon will gradually reduce the eight million square feet that currently stands vacant in Arlington. Each one percent of vacant office space that we fill yields $3.4 million annually in new local tax revenues – revenues that help to provide resources and amenities valued by our community. In a time when we all have faced difficult decisions regarding the County budget, this needed revenue comes at the perfect time. 

But what’s even more important is that this particular project set truly unprecedented levels of partnership between jurisdictions to ensure success in one of the most anticipated economic development deals in recent memory. This was a truly collaborative effort with our partners, including Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun, all led by the exceptional leadership of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. It is truly a regional economy now, and we need to think that way moving forward. I look forward to working closely with my colleagues not just in Northern Virginia, but in D.C. and Maryland – colleagues I’ve come to value not just as coworkers, but also as friends. We’ve all discovered that by working together, the entire region benefits, and I believe that will become very evident as Amazon joins our community. 

I do want to take just a moment to offer my congratulations to the staff that has worked so diligently on this project for more than a year, particularly, Christina Winn, AED’s Director of Business Investment, who spearheaded the effort from start to finish. Those staff members not only evaluated the project and worked with the company to put forth the best proposal possible; they also were very careful to balance the needs of the community and ensure Arlington was the ideal fit. The collaboration between AED, as well as communications, transportation, planning, the County Manager’s Office and all the County Staff that contributed to this project demonstrate that we live and work in an area dedicated to success. 

We look forward to working together to welcome Amazon to Arlington.

Topic: BIG Update, From the Director
 
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