November 13, 2018
Amazon expects to bring 25,000 new jobs to NOVA
Crystal City in Arlington County stands just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.
Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday morning that Amazon Inc. will invest approximately $2.5 billion to establish a major new headquarters in Virginia that will create more than 25,000 high-paying jobs over 12 years.
This is a big win for Virginia. I’m proud Amazon recognizes the tremendous assets the commonwealth has to offer and plans to deepen its roots here.
— Gov. Ralph Northam
The headquarters will be housed in a collection of new and renovated buildings in “National Landing,” which includes portions of Pentagon City and Crystal City in Arlington County and Potomac Yard in Alexandria. Amazon’s initial growth is expected to be focused in the Crystal City and Pentagon City portions of National Landing.
Crystal City stands 40 miles east of Fauquier County, from which almost 20,000 workers commute each day.
As expected, Seattle-based Amazon split its HQ2 plan between Northern Virginia and Long Island City in Queens, N.Y. The online giant expects to create 25,000 new jobs at each location.
Virginia secured the project through a state, local, and regional partnership after a 14-month competitive site selection process during which Amazon received 238 proposals from communities across North America.
Amazon will produce more than $3.2 billion in new state general fund revenues over the 20-year incentive term after accounting for direct company incentives, according to Gov. Northam. In addition to the 25,000 direct jobs Amazon will create, the commonwealth estimates the creation of more than 22,000 permanent, direct and indirect jobs in Virginia.
“This is a big win for Virginia,” Gov. Northam said. “I’m proud Amazon recognizes the tremendous assets the commonwealth has to offer and plans to deepen its roots here.
“Virginia put together a proposal for Amazon that we believe represents a new model of economic development for the 21st century, and I’m excited to say that our innovative approach was successful. The majority of Virginia’s partnership proposal consists of investments in our education and transportation infrastructure that will bolster the features that make Virginia so attractive: a strong and talented workforce, a stable and competitive business climate, and a world-class higher education system.”
As part of the Virginia’s long-term incentive agreement with Amazon for the creation of at least 25,000 jobs, Virginia will:
• Provide post-performance incentives to Amazon that will be paid annually based on job creation and wage levels, with minimum average wages of at least $150,000. Subject to General Assembly approval, the company will be eligible to receive up to $22,000 per job or up to $550 million in incentives. Additional incentives would be available if Amazon creates more than 25,000 jobs; and
• Invest up to $195 million of non-general fund money in transportation projects that will improve mobility in the region, including additional entrances to the Metro stations at Crystal City and Potomac Yard, improvements to Route 1, a connector bridge from Crystal City to Washington National Airport, and a transitway expansion supporting Pentagon City, Crystal City, and Potomac Yard. Additional funding would be available if Amazon creates more than 25,000 jobs.
To support the growth of the technology sector across the Commonwealth, Virginia will:
• Make performance-based investments in bachelor’s degree programs in computer science and related fields that will be distributed statewide based upon a negotiated agreement with each public university or community college that wishes to participate;
• Make performance-based investments of up to $375 million over 20 years for new master’s degree programs in computer science and related fields at George Mason’s Arlington campus and for Virginia Tech to establish a new Innovation Campus in Alexandria, both of which are subject to a one-to-one match from the universities with philanthropic funds; and
• Invest $50 million over 20 years in K-12 tech education and internship programming to connect higher ed students to tech jobs.
In addition to the state’s investments, Arlington County and the City of Alexandria plan to fund more than $570 million for transportation projects, including rail connections, transit facilities, multi-modal streets, and corridor connectivity serving the site. Arlington County and Alexandria are also actively pursuing additional funding opportunities to advance investments in this corridor.
A review of available transportation services, facilities, and associated capacity indicate that the regional and local transit systems have significant unused capacity, even during peak travel periods. Amazon is expected to help fill that existing capacity, as they are a transit-focused employer, with most employees utilizing public transit, walking, biking, or carpooling each day.
Arlington County and the City of Alexandria have also committed to fund affordable housing, workforce housing, and public infrastructure, relying on revenues generated from Amazon’s new presence in their communities. Combined, the communities project annual investments of more than $15 million over the next decade, resulting in the creation and preservation of 2,500 to 3,000 units in and around the Crystal City, Pentagon City, and Columbia Pike areas and through the City of Alexandria. In addition, the Virginia Housing Development Authority will work with Arlington County and the City of Alexandria, and will provide an additional $15 million per year for affordable and workforce housing.
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brandonj · November 13, 2018 at 11:32 am
Who didn't see this coming a mile away? Money originates in DC and NYC, so they're the perfect locations to siphon tax payer money efficiently. I wish I thought this was good news in the long term, considering how poorly local governments plan for the future. Time to start building those school trailers vertical!
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