Arlington, Virginia, will soon be home to part of Amazon's HQ2. Here are some reasons it won the e-commerce giant over.

Samantha Lee/Business InsiderHere is where Amazon’s HQ2s will be.
  • After months of speculation about where Amazon would open its second headquarters, or HQ2, it finally announced its selections on Tuesday.
  • The offices will be split between two locations: Long Island City in Queens, New York, and an area of Arlington, Virginia, dubbed National Landing.
  • The newly branded National Landing area is defined by Arlington County as encompassing parts of the Pentagon City and Crystal City neighbourhoods in Arlington and the Potomac Yard neighbourhood in Alexandria.
  • Here’s what else we know about the area and some likely reasons Amazon chose it.

After months of speculation about where Amazon’s newest headquarters would land, it finally announced its decision on Tuesday.

Two sites were chosen: Long Island City in Queens, New York, and the National Landing area of Arlington, Virginia, which combines parts of the Pentagon City and Crystal City neighbourhoods in Arlington and the Potomac Yard neighbourhood in Alexandria.

Rumours that Amazon would be choosing Northern Virginia for its new home surfaced several months ago. More recently, the reports began centering on this specific area in Arlington.

Here are some likely reasons Amazon chose it:

The National Landing site is in Arlington County, Virginia, just 15 minutes from Washington, DC.

The name was created specifically for HQ2 and has been defined by Arlington County as encompassing parts of the Pentagon City and Crystal City neighbourhoods in Arlington and the Potomac Yard neighbourhood in Alexandria.

The area is around two miles away from Ronald Reagan National Airport.

Getty Images

It’s also less than an hour’s drive from Dulles International Airport.

Source: Business Insider

It has easy access to public transit. The Metro rail network is one of the busiest in the country, according to The New York Times.

Google Maps

Source: The New York Times

The state, country, and city has promised to invest up to $US795 million to update the local transportation network and provide connections between National Landing and the regional transportation system.

Having access to a highly educated workforce has been high on Amazon’s list of priorities, and it’s one of the reasons that it decided to split its headquarters.

Wikimedia Commons

“Greater Washington is the country’s most educated region (~49% of those 25 and older have at least a bachelor’s degree), and it produces more computer science graduates than any other metropolitan area,” North Virginia wrote in its HQ2 bid.

The state and cities have promised to invest in its schools and universities to offer more computer science education and nurture tech talent.

Virginia will offer Amazon $US22,000 for each job the company hires for in the office over the next 12 years. This works out to $US550 million.

Amazon will also receive a $US23 million cash grant from Arlington over the next 15 years based on the incremental growth of the “Transient Occupancy Tax,” which is a tax on hotel rooms.

“In National Landing, Amazon will be globally connected and surrounded by top talent, tremendous infrastructure, and a spectacular quality of life,” Virginia wrote in its official bid for HQ2.


Source:Virginia’s HQ2 bid

The area boasts 17 million square feet of existing commercial space, 150 acres of land free for development, and 24,000 housing units within two miles.

JBG Smith

Source Virginia’s HQ2 bid

The region has a lot of high-rise apartments and is home to many shops, restaurants, and hotels.

Wikimedia Commons

Source: Trip Savvy

It is also seen as being business-friendly, with lower regulation and taxes, according to an annual ranking from Chief Executive magazine.


Source: Chief Executive

Power in Northern Virginia is less expensive than in other nearby areas. “Compared to the rest of the Mid-Atlantic region, commercial electricity rates in the Northern Virginia market are among the lowest,” according to the cloud-consulting firm DatacenterHawk.


Source: Business Insider

The heart of Amazon Web Services’ physical network of data centres is nearby, in an area of Northern Virginia known as Data Center Alley.


Source: Business Insider

Amazon also plans on building a 600,000-square-foot data-center campus in Northern Virginia, in addition to its new Amazon Web Services office in Herndon, Virginia. These plans are separate from HQ2.

ShutterstockHerndon, Virginia.

Source: Business Insider

Lastly, it’s close to a range of outdoor activities such as kayaking on the Potomac River or hiking in the nearby Shenandoah National Park.


Read more about Amazon’s HQ2 project:

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