JBG Smith, the commercial real estate firm helping Amazon shape its $4 billion second North American headquarters (HQ2) in Arlington, Virginia, announced it will redevelop another 2.6 million square feet of residential and commercial properties near the internet retailing giant's National Landing site.
JBG Smith submitted plans to Arlington County officials to revamp five multifamily buildings and one office building located within one-half mile of Amazon's HQ2 and the Washington Metro rail system.
As part of an agreement with the county, the developer will also provide community benefits that include new open spaces for public use as well as pedestrian and transportation infrastructure upgrades.
JBG Smith's redevelopment plans for National Landing were in the works long before Amazon selected it as the site for its headquarters expansion. In fact, the company, according to the Washington Business Journal, has been planning this latest development for at least two years.
JBG Smith is working with the county and the private sector to remake National Landing into a mixed-use development with housing, retail, office and public spaces. In total, the company expects to develop 6.9 million square feet at National Landing: 2.2 million square feet of office space and 4.7 million square feet of multifamily — 4,000 to 5,000 units — with ground-floor retail.
Amazon's decision has shined a spotlight on National Landing, which includes portions of Northern Virginia's Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard, all of which have easy access to Washington, D.C., and nearby Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
Amazon conducted a year-long search for its new HQ, a period that saw states and major metro areas offer the company billions in tax breaks and other incentives in the hopes of winning a deal that promised a $5 billion construction investment and up to 5,000 high-paying jobs. Amazon announced in November that instead of picking just one location it would split its HQ2 between National Landing and Long Island City in the New York City and build a $230 million business operations center in Nashville, Tennessee.
Northern Virginia opened its arms and welcomed the decision, but New York City activists saw Amazon's arrival in a different light and pushed back against the $3 billion of tax breaks state and local officials offered to the company. Amazon ended up pulling out of the New York City deal a few months later, citing state and local political opposition. The company said it would not choose a replacement HQ2 site but instead would focus on its projects in National Landing and Nashville and then grow its existing 17 corporate offices and tech hubs.