Amazon stops work on its second headquarters in Virginia due to employment losses

Amazon stops work on its second headquarters in Virginia due to employment losses

Amazon has put its second headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, on hold. The firm attributed the decision to “a review of office needs to allow for remote work,” despite the fact that the move occurred months after the retailer lay off over 18,000 employees.

The online retailer confirmed the move to Bloomberg while maintaining its commitment to the second headquarters (HQ2) in the Washington, DC region, where it has pledged to recruiting 25,000 employees and spending $2.5 billion. While developing the first phase of the new campus, featuring two towers in the 2.1-million-square-foot Metropolitan Park, Amazon has already employed over 8,000 workers. The construction on PenPlace, a bigger location across the street where it planned to erect three 22-story office towers, a 350-foot corporate meeting centre, and an interior garden, has been halted. Furthermore, the delay may have repercussions in the neighbourhood, as local developers, construction workers, and other companies have made preparations based on Amazon’s timeframe.

“We’re always evaluating space plans to make sure they fit our business needs and to create a great experience for employees,” said Amazon real estate chief John Schoettler. “And since Met Park will have space to accommodate more than 14,000 employees, we’ve decided to shift the groundbreaking of PenPlace out a bit.”

Unless it receives a formal extension, Amazon’s county-approved plans require it to complete construction and permitting requirements by April 2025.

During a highly publicised worldwide hunt for a second headquarters in 2017, the business chose the Arlington premises. The plan was slammed by critics as a ruse to launch a bidding war over who could provide the mega-corporation the best taxpayer-funded incentives. Amazon originally planned to split its operations between Queens, New York, and Northern Virginia, but withdrew from Queens after facing opposition from local politicians and officials, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who were concerned about the nearly $3 billion in financial kickbacks the company was set to receive. Almost ten months after abandoning its New York ambitions, Amazon stated that it will still develop new headquarters in Manhattan’s West Side neighbourhood of Hudson Yards.

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