Amazon halts construction on its second headquarters in Virginia

Amazon has halted construction on its second headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, in the latest cost-cutting effort at the e-commerce and cloud giant.

Amazon has about 8,000 employees located on-site in Arlington, working in the already completed Phase 1 of the new campus called Met Park. Construction of the second phase, known as Painplace, was scheduled to begin this year. That site includes three office buildings and the “Helix,” a 350-foot corkscrew-shaped tower that was meant to be the architectural centerpiece of the new office hub—making it the tallest outside of Amazon’s home city of Seattle.

The company said the pause was not related to recently announced job cuts earlier this year, in which it planned to lay off 18,000 people from its corporate workforce after years of rapid hiring.

“We’re always evaluating space plans to make sure they meet our business needs and create a great experience for employees,” said John Schoettler, Amazon’s head of real estate, in a statement Friday. .

Amazon said it is still committed to the $2.5 billion project, which hopes to bring 25,000 workers to the area outside Washington DC by 2030.

The delay to its so-called HQ2, first reported by Bloomberg, is emblematic of how Amazon has looked to put the brakes on years of heavy investment and expansion. It has also scrapped or delayed other office plans in the US, and told some of those due to start graduate plans they would need to wait.

Amazon’s decision to build a second large office complex outside Seattle sparked a bidding frenzy in 2018, as the ecommerce conglomerate struggled to be considered as the location for thousands of high-paying jobs. The ecommerce group promised to make. Stonecrest, a town in Georgia, offered to change its name to “Amazon” if it was chosen.

After drawing up a shortlist of 20 cities, Amazon’s initial decision to split its offer between Arlington and a New York City neighborhood of Queens drew heavy criticism and allegations that the company rigged the bidding process to maximize tax breaks. Was used as a way to push for. and other incentives.

Amazon dropped its New York plans after local protests led by Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but said it would move forward with plans in Arlington.

No date has been given for when construction will begin. However, the company has committed to several public use projects that were scheduled to be finished by early 2025.

“Since Met Park will have space to accommodate more than 14,000 employees, we decided to make PainPlace’s groundbreaking a little different,” Schoetler said.

“Our second headquarters has always been a multi-year project, and we are committed to Arlington, Virginia, and the greater capital region – including investing in affordable housing, funding computer science education in schools throughout the region, and supporting dozens of local non-profit organizations. Benefit[s],

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