Amazon has halted construction on its second headquarters near Washington DC as the internet retail giant slashes costs and enacts its biggest ever job cuts.
The indefinite hiatus affects the second phase of construction of the massive complex, known as HQ2, that Amazon is building in Arlington, Virginia, the company said. Friday.
The first phase of the project, two office towers known as Metropolitan Park, is due for completion in June and will be able to house some 14,000 employees.
The delay affects a larger development planned across the street called PenPlace, consisting of three 22-story office towers and a 100-foot architectural showpiece known as the Helix.
Amazon’s primary headquarters are in Seattle, and plans were announced in 2018 for the HQ2 campus outside the nation’s capital.
Amazon has halted construction of its second headquarters near Washington DC as the internet giant cuts costs. The Helix (above) is one of the planned buildings on hold
The first phase of the project, two office towers known as Metropolitan Park (above), is due for completion in June and will be able to house some 14,000 employees
“We are always evaluating space plans to make sure they fit our business needs and create a great employee experience, and since Met Park will have space for over 14,000 employees, we decided to launch the groundbreaking PenPlace (the second phase of HQ2) a bit,” said John Schoettler, Amazon’s real estate chief.
He said the company has already hired more than 8,000 employees and will welcome them to the nearly completed Met Park campus when it opens in June.
Amazon has pledged to spend $2.5 billion by 2030 and hire some 25,000 workers at its Arlington location.
The construction delay would not mean job losses, Amazon said Bloombergwho first reported the pause in construction.
But as Amazon indefinitely postpones the groundbreaking PenPlace, which was imminent sometime early this year, it could cause headaches for local suppliers who had counted on the company’s rapid expansion.
The Met Park complex is a 2.1 million square foot development consisting of two 22-storey office buildings.
Amazon says it will include more than 50,000 square feet of retail space for local small businesses and a 700-person meeting center that will be available to local community groups.
Amazon has pledged to spend $2.5 billion and hire about 25,000 workers at the Arlington location by 2030. CEO Andy Jassy can be seen above
Skyscrapers are banned in the District of Columbia and the planned Amazon buildings are among the tallest in neighboring Arlington County
Evan Regan-Levine, an Executive Vice President in JBG SMITH’s Investments Group, shows future plans for the development of the National Landing area, including construction of HQ2
Amazon has announced layoffs for a total of 18,000 jobs since last year. Pictured: 10 tech companies with the most layoffs since March 2020
Earlier this year, Amazon announced it would cut more than 18,000 positions as part of a previously announced headcount cut.
In 2018, after a long contest, Amazon announced that Northern Virginia would be home to its second headquarters, known as “HQ2,” eventually employing more than 25,000 workers.
Its northern Virginia location is near the Pentagon and directly across the Potomac River from the US capital.
Initially, the plan was also for HQ2 to be split between the Virginia location and Long Island City in Queens, New York.
However, the Queens plan was scrapped after angry backlash from local activists and union leaders, who objected to the $3 billion in government incentives involved in the project.
Amazon announced plans in February 2021 for a landmark Helix Tower to anchor the second phase of its Virginia redevelopment plans.
The HQ2 campus, seen in renderings, will also feature a separate park, as well as a public high school and retail space – if it is ever completed
Amazon says Forest Plaza will provide a dense landscape with accessible paths, sitting areas and long views to the south. Its construction is currently on hold
The HQ2 campus will also contain a separate park, as well as a public high school and retail space.
Amazon has claimed that the Helix will have its own artist in residence, as well as a meeting space for the staff who work there.
The Helix features a spiral walk around the exterior, complete with trees, and allows visitors to follow a winding exterior ramp along the perimeter of the building to the top.
Skyscrapers are banned in the District of Columbia and the planned Amazon buildings will be among the tallest in neighboring Arlington County.
From some vantage points, the Helix will dominate the region’s skyline like no structure other than the Washington Monument.