HomeBudget & Tax NewsAmazon Requests $152m in Incentives from Virginia for HQ2

Amazon Requests $152m in Incentives from Virginia for HQ2

The tech giant announced that it was pausing construction on phase two of its second headquarters in Crystal City 

(The Center Square) – Amazon applied for economic development incentives from Virginia for its new HQ2 campus in Arlington, requesting the state pay $152 million to the company by 2026.

Arlington was chosen as the site for Amazon’s second quarters four years ago – a move the company said would bring 25,000 jobs to the area by 2030. The tech giant has roughly 8,400 employees assigned to HQ2, and the average wage of these jobs must meet or exceed $156,800, according to Amazon spokesperson Rachael Lightly.

Under the project deal, state officials are expected to pay the company $22,000 per full-time, qualifying job with an average salary of $156k, resulting in the $152 million payment Amazon is requesting in the grant application, Lightly wrote in an email to The Center Square. According to Lightly, the company submitted its application for incentives March 31.

“Our partnership agreement with the commonwealth is based on our long-term commitment to create tens of thousands of jobs and a community-oriented development in Arlington that spurs economic vibrancy and benefits the entire region,” Holly Sullivan, Amazon’s vice president of Worldwide Economic Development, said in a statement.

Amazon’s HQ2 is a $2.5 billion investment that is expected to develop 2.8 million square feet of office space across three 22-story buildings. The complex will include “The Helix,” a building shaped like a double helix that will feature outdoor walkable paths with plants and trees.

The tech giant announced last month that it was pausing construction on phase two of its second headquarters in Crystal City. The first phase of the project – Met Park– is still expected to be completed on schedule. Amazon officials say Met Park will open this summer, bringing new retailers to Arlington and a 2.5 acre public park.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership offers a range of discretionary incentives with the goal of encouraging business growth. In determining access to discretionary incentives, VDEP considers several factors, including Return-On-Investment analysis, the number of new jobs created, wage level, capital investment, regional unemployment, poverty and fiscal stress and company growth potential, according to VDEP’s communications manager Suzanne Clark.

“Every prospective discretionary incentive recipient goes through a rigorous due diligence process,” Clark said in an email to The Center Square.

Clark said VDEP is still in the process of verifying information in Amazon’s application for incentives and is hoping to have the review completed by next week.

While Amazon settled on Arlington for its second headquarters four years ago, the tech giant held off on submitting its application for payment from the state “given the challenges posed by the pandemic in 2020, 2021, and early 2022,” Lightly said.

Amazon has cut roughly 27,000 jobs this year after its workforce doubled during the pandemic, though the company has said the pause in construction is not due to role eliminations, as reported by Gizmodo.

Originally published by The Center Square. Republished with permission.

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For more public policy from The Heartland Institute.


Madison Hirneisen
Madison Hirneisen
Madison Hirneisen is a staff reporter covering Virginia and Maryland for The Center Square. Madison previously covered California for The Center Square out of Los Angeles, but recently relocated to the DC area. Her reporting has appeared in several community newspapers and The Washington Times.


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