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Architecture / Big Tech / Real estate / Urban development

Amazon is pushing back construction on Arlington-based HQ2

Metropolitan Park is still pushing full steam ahead, but the company is putting a pause on the PenPlace build of its Arlington campus.

Amazon's planned "Forest Plaza" at its HQ2 in Arlington, Virginia. (Image courtesy of Amazon)
Update: This article has been updated to incorporate details from JBG Smith's post-publication statement about its continued work on Amazon's HQ2, including quotes from CEO Matt Kelly. (3/3/2023, 3:44 p.m.)

Tech giant Amazon is reportedly pausing construction on its massive HQ2 build in Arlington, Virginia.

Just a few months after the company announced massive layoffs — and an updated return-to-work policy for remaining employees — the company is pushing back the opening of PenPlace in Northern Virginia. The first phase of construction, Metropolitan Park, is scheduled to open this summer.

“We’re always evaluating space plans to make sure they fit our business needs and to create a great experience for employees, and since Met Park will have space to accommodate more than 14,000 employees, we’ve decided to shift the groundbreaking of PenPlace (the second phase of HQ2) out a bit,” Amazon Real Estate Chief John Schoettler said in a statement.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the news. The project was scheduled for completion by 2025 after county officials unanimously approved plans last spring.

PenPlace is the larger build of Amazon’s second headquarters and includes 3.3 million square feet of space, three 22-story office buildings and the “Helix” building for amenities. It was also supposed to include two-and-a-half acres of open space, retail pavilions and an underground garage. When the project is completed, the company said it will hold 25,000 employees — 5,000 of whom have already been hired.

Last month, Amazon announced a new return-to-work policy, which requires employees to work in person at the office at least three days per week.

CEO Matt Kelly of JBG Smith, Amazon’s development partner for HQ2, said in an emailed statement that his company is still working with Amazon on both the PenPlace and Metropolitan Park components of the overall build. The statement, which received via public relations firm Rubenstein, also noted that Amazon has already hired 8,000 of the 14,000 workers it plans to accommodate at Metropolitan Park.

“We continue to work with Amazon to advance plans for Pen Place, and look forward to helping Amazon realize its complete vision for HQ2,” Kelly said.

The statement additionally included a reassurance that both Metropolitan Park and Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus remain on schedule.

Companies: JBG Smith Properties / Amazon
Series: Big Tech + You Month 2023 / Amazon HQ2

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