State Watch

Virginia county clears the way for Amazon’s expansion plans

This artist rendering provided by Amazon shows the next phase of the company’s headquarters redevelopment to be built in Arlington, Va. The Arlington county Board gave approval Saturday, April 23, 2022 to Amazon’s plans to build a unique, helix-shaped tower as the centerpiece of its emerging second headquarters in northern Virginia.(NBBJ/Amazon via AP)

A Virginian county council has approved Amazon’s plans to build its new second headquarters in the region, clearing the way for the 3.3 million square foot development to begin.

Arlington County Council members unanimously approved the measure, referred to as “Site Plan #105”, during a board meeting on Saturday. 

The redevelopment of the PenPlace block in Pentagon City includes three office buildings, ground-floor and detached retail space, a child care facility, and a new high school.

Among the signature features of the development is an amenity-focused building called the “Helix,” a unique biophilic structure that will include plants native to the Mid-Atlantic region.

During the hourslong meeting, county organizers and Amazon representatives shared blueprints and other planning documents showing how the new proposal will transform the community, increase tax revenue and create new job opportunities.

In a closing statement, council vice char Christian Dorsey (D) shared his support of the new proposal, noting the new school and improvements to biking and walking areas. 

“So yes, I am thrilled about the benefit that it’s going to provide for people who have been marginalized and left behind,” he said.

This comes after local residents and critics have expressed concern about the new Amazon development being a closed-off corporate campus, pushing Amazon to provide more resources to the community with their new proposal, The Washington Post reported

Arlington County board chairwoman Katie Cristol (D) said at the meeting that every county resident will benefit from the new PenPlace.  

“We are one community and we will benefit from this all together,” Cristol said. “The opportunity to not only provide something exciting for the nearby neighborhoods, but to lift up the entirety of Arlington County, makes this project a joy to support.”

Tags Amazon Amazon Amazon Arlington Arlington County Board Arlington County Board PenPlace Virginia

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