Dear Chamber members,
Happy New Year! Since
Amazon’s announcement that they will be establishing a headquarters here in Arlington, there has been a lot of information about what this development means for our community. We’ve welcomed Amazon to our membership, and have poured through much of the detail. This message aims to provide an executive summary for you. We believe that Amazon's new headquarters in Arlington will be a benefit for our entire community.
What Amazon means for Arlington
The Amazon headquarters
helps us to grow back the jobs lost in the past decade. This development will happen across the next 12 years, which means that
it will be gradual; our labor and real estate markets will not change overnight.
- Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), the 2008 financial crisis, Federal sequestration, and similar shifts have cost Arlington 34,000 jobs since 2001.
- Amazon plans to add 25,000 jobs to Arlington through 2030, with the potential for additional growth.
- Amazon will start with 400-500 workers in 2019, and then a gradual ramp up over the life of the project.
- These jobs will contribute to about a 5% annual job growth rate for the entire region.
- Amazon will occupy between 4 and 8 million square feet of office space here in Arlington.
- Amazon and JBG SMITH will invest approximately $2.5 billion in developing National Landing.
- The plans for building out these neighborhoods already exist through the Crystal City Sector Plan and other planning documents.
On the local level, 97% of Arlington and Alexandria’s package are investments in the community, with just 3% directly to Amazon
- Alexandria will invest $348 million and Arlington will invest $222 million (plus $137.7 million in pending and proposed grants) for transportation projects in National Landing. The Arlington projects were all approved by the County Board in last year’s Capital Improvement Program.
- Starting in 2021, Arlington will dedicate half of new incremental revenue from the Crystal City/Potomac Yard/Pentagon City tax increment financing (TIF) area to public infrastructure projects in and around National Landing. It is expected that Amazon’s investments in the area will generate new TIF revenue, beyond what is needed to fund current projects. The new investment is estimated to be $28 million over 10 years.
- The Virginia Housing Development Authority, Arlington County, and the City of Alexandria, will invest over $30 million per year on affordable housing.
- Arlington will grant to Amazon up to 15% of the incremental growth in the Transient Occupancy Tax (excluding the portion reserved for tourism promotion), based on the square footage occupied. It is expected that hotel occupancy will skyrocket as people travel to Arlington to meet with Amazon. The incentive is completely based on this growth, so no existing public money is being diverted from other priorities. Moreover, this tax is paid by travelers staying in hotel rooms, not by Arlington businesses or residents.
60% of the state package comprises investments in Virginia’s competitiveness; 40% are “traditional” direct incentives to Amazon.
- Virginia has committed at least $195 million to invest in transportation projects that will connect National Landing and the region.
- Virginia will make over $1 billion in new investments in building a tech talent pipeline, including Virginia Tech and George Mason University, with funds available to all public higher education institutions in the Commonwealth, plus an additional $50 million for K-12 education.
- The Commonwealth will make a direct contribution to Amazon of $22,000 per new job created (up to 25,000 jobs), provided that the average wage remain above $150k, and no more than 10% of these jobs support federal contracting.
For those of you interested in learning more, here are some available resources:
- The Arlington County Amazon page, which includes a “What You Need to Know” one-pager with facts about the new HQ
- The HQNOVA homepage
- JBG SMITH’s National Landing homepage.
- The original November 13 press releases from Amazon, Virginia, Arlington/Alexandria, and JBG SMITH
- A comprehensive “Amazon 101” presentation by Arlington Economic Development and Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, with all details about HQ NOVA, National Landing, Virginia Tech, and the state and local incentives
- Arlington County is hosting a Virtual Learning Series covering topics like economic development, transportation, education, and housing. Archived videos of the sessions are online, as are shorter clips of key responses.
Within our 2019
policy positions, the Chamber’s Board of Directors included support for the Amazon HQ infrastructure, education, and incentive packages.
If you would like to be involved in supporting these positions at the local or state levels
, please reach out to me at
or (703) 525-2400, ext. 205.
I hope you have found this e-mail helpful. Best wishes for a happy and successful 2019, and I look forward to working with you throughout the year.
Scott E. Pedowitz
Government Affairs Manager
Arlington Chamber of Commerce
Opportunity. Leadership. Results.
Street, North, Suite 100
Arlington, VA 22201
Tel. 703-525-2400, ext. 205