Arlington, Virginia, lured in Amazon with promises of a helipad and a cash grant of up to $550 million

Arlington, Virginia, was long considered a front-runner. Amazon
  • Amazon has officially announced that it will split its long-awaited second headquarters, known as HQ2, between two cities:Arlington, Virginia, and Queens, New York.
  • Arlington was long touted as a frontrunner in Amazon’s contest.
  • In its proposal, Arlington promised the tech giant everything from a helipad up to $US550 million in cash grants.

It’s official. Arlington, Virginia, is one of three places where Amazon has chosen to expand following the company’s much-hyped HQ2 contest.

The newly branded National Landing area – defined by Arlington County as encompassing parts of the Pentagon City and Crystal City neighbourhoods in Arlington and the Potomac Yard neighbourhood in Alexandria – will be splitting HQ2 with the Long Island City neighbourhood in New York City, while a new location in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, will function as an operations hub, according to Amazon.

Arlington in particular was long viewed as a frontrunner in the melee among North American localities.

Read more:
Amazon officially announces its HQ2 will be split between New York and Virginia

So what did Virginia offer Amazon to seal the deal?

In the official announcement detailing its HQ2 picks, the tech giant included proposals from the county manager and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the agreement:

  • Amazon guaranteed that it would bring in 25,000 new jobs with an average wage above $US150,000.
  • As part of a “phase two” of the HQ2 rollout, the tech giant said it would create an additional 12,850 jobs.
  • In return, Virginia agreed to bestow a cash grant of up to $US550 million – $US22,000 for each new job – to Amazon over the next 12 years.
  • The cash is off the table if Amazon doesn’t deliver on its promise of mass job creation.
  • Arlington County is also prepared to throw some serious cash Amazon’s way – $US23 million over 15 years – as part of a grant based on the “Transient Occupancy Tax” levied on hotel rooms.
  • That money depends on Amazon bringing in “business-related travellers who will stay in Arlington.”
  • Arlington County has also pledged to help the tech giant secure approval to build a helipad.
  • Amazon has said Arlington will benefit from “4 million square feet of energy-efficient office space with the opportunity to expand to 8 million square feet.”
  • Amazon estimated that Arlington would accrue an incremental tax revenue of $US3.2 billion over the next 20 years as a result of HQ2.
  • Virginia plans to work to make the area more accessible for an influx of new Amazon employees by putting $US195 million toward infrastructure projects like the Crystal City and Potomac Yards Metro stations, pedestrian crossings along Route 1, and a pedestrian bridge between National Landing and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

Read more about Amazon’s HQ2 project: