- Amazon has unveiled an updated site and building plan for phase two of its second headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, also known as the PenPlace phase.
- The site additions include protected bike lanes around and throughout the site as well as a 15-foot-wide direct path through the central courtyard for pedestrians cyclists and scooters. Other changes include new topography in the central green area and rooftop solar panels and new massing and exteriors for some of the buildings.
- The county is soliciting public feedback on the site plan proposal through Nov. 7.
The size and scope of the Amazon HQ2 project has grown significantly since its initial announcement. In February 2020, Amazon reported that its new campus in Arlington, Virginia would include 4 million square feet of office space, including 2.1 million square feet at the first phase, Metropolitan Park, which is currently under construction and set to be complete in 2023. The PenPlace plan submitted by JBG Smith and Acorn LLC in February 2021 called for 2.8 million square feet, for a total of 4.9 million square feet of new Amazon office space.
The newest changes stem from a series of meetings with Arlington County's Long Range Planning Committee. City officials and community members expressed a desire for dedicated bike lanes on all four sides of the site, as well as greater topographical variation and a wider variety of green plantings. The original, circuitous path layout through the central green prompted requests for a direct east/west thoroughfare that would connect the site to the community and accommodate bikes, pedestrians and scooters.
The three 22-story offices' new exteriors address calls for greater design variety and differentiation between building sections. These changes to buildings called T1, T2 and T3, including new massing and facades, have reduced PenPlace's office space from 2.8 million to 2.7 million square feet, according to Amazon spokesperson Allison Flicker, bringing the new total down to 4.8 million square feet of office space.
Plans for the Helix — a spiral-shaped, 350-foot glass amenity structure — remain unchanged from previous designs, apart from the addition of a mid-block stairway near the building's base at the north end of the site.
The construction of Amazon's second headquarters has prompted over $4 billion in transit and infrastructure projects in Northern Virginia, to be built over the next decade. These include a new Metro station at Potomac Yard, to open in 2022, and a pedestrian bridge from Crystal City to Ronald Reagan National Airport, to open in 2028.
Following the public comment period, the Site Plan Review Committee will meet on December 6 to discuss the project, with an additional meeting to be held in early 2022, according to Arlington County spokesperson Elise Cleva. The Planning Commission and County Board hearings on PenPlace are anticipated in spring 2022.