Amazon announced Thursday that the Washington, D.C. area remains in play as the future location of its second headquarters.
The company announced its short list of 20 locations, and the District, Montgomery County, and Northern Virginia are included.
Amazon’s second headquarters would dwarf any other corporate campus in the area. The reported $5 billion project would house up to 50,000 workers and grow to 8 million square feet within a decade.
Local jurisdictions pushed hard to be considered for the headquarters project, submitting large and glossy documents outlining the area’s education level, talent base, transit systems, internet connectivity, and other factors. It is widely believed that all bidders offered a variety of economic incentives, but few details on those proposals have been revealed publicly.
One certainty is that access to the new headquarters via road and public transit will be a big factor in Amazon’s decision. And some possible locations are better equipped than others in that regard.
We won’t do a big rundown of every possible Amazon HQ2 location, but let’s examine some possible locations that seem promising from a transportation standpoint.
White Flint Mall Site - The former White Flint Mall has been demolished and there is space available. It’s close to the Metro red line and the MARC Brunswick Line, and is not far from I-270 or I-495. It’s location along Route 355 will be helped if Montgomery County succeeds in rolling out bus rapid transit along the corridor.
Hill East Site - There are apparently some zoning issues that make this site tricky, but putting that aside, it’s not a bad area from a transportation standpoint. There are already plans to try and redevelop the RFK Stadium site, and the Stadium-Armory Metro stop offers access to the Orange Line. It’s also not far from I-295.
Poplar Point/Anacostia/Navy Yard - Though it’s unclear how the city could assemble a single site that’s large enough, a headquarters in this area would be easier to get to than some of the other proposed locations in the city. There’s access to I-295 and there are good stations at Anacostia and the Navy Yard, but they would probably need expanding. The good news is that due to a lot of development in the area (The Yards, Audi Field, etc.) many infrastructure improvements are already underway. A location along the river could open up the possibility of water taxi service, though we’ve heard that before.
Center for Innovative Technology/Herndon - This is a massive office complex out near Dulles Airport that is expected to open in 2020, complete with a new Metro stop. There is highway access, but it’s no secret how congested this corridor can get. The HOT lanes on I-66 may help, but there will have to be additional infrastructure upgrades to accommodate a campus with this many workers.
Where do you think Amazon’s second headquarters should go?
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