Amazon starts recruiting and leases office for Virginia ‘HQ2’

Amazon said it was on track to create 400 jobs at the future Arlington, Virginia, campus this year. — Reuters pic
Amazon said it was on track to create 400 jobs at the future Arlington, Virginia, campus this year. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, April 30 — Amazon.com Inc yesterday said it had leased office space and posted several jobs for its second headquarters outside Washington, DC, the start of more than a decade of investment and hiring that cities across North America had sought.

In a blog post, the world’s largest online retailer said it was on track to create 400 jobs at the future Arlington, Virginia, campus this year. It said the new hires will work out of a temporary space on Crystal Drive in June, as the company aims to open its first building in the fall. The drive is in Crystal City, part of Arlington.

The move comes after Amazon cleared a key funding vote in Arlington in March, when local officials approved a financial package worth an estimated US$51 million (RM210.8 million) amid a small but vocal opposition. The US$51 million is a small fraction of the US$481 million promised by the county and a US$750 million package offered by the state.

Detailing Amazon’s plans in the region in March, Holly Sullivan, the company’s worldwide head of economic development said the internet retailer will invest approximately US$2.5 billion, create more than 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over US$150,000, which will generate more than US$3.2 billion in tax revenue.

The company has said it will lease 45,500 square feet (4,227 square meters) of space from real estate company JBG Smith , which has finalized three leases and two sale agreements for buildings in the region with Amazon.

Amazon’s jobs had been coveted by hundreds of communities from Canada to Mexico since 2017, when the Seattle-based company announced it would spend more than US$5 billion and create up to 50,000 positions at a second campus dubbed “HQ2.”

The company ultimately split the prize between greater Washington and New York, the US political and financial capitals, after more than a year of contestants’ publicity stunts and promises of tax breaks to win over Amazon.

In February, Amazon scrapped its plans for New York after local opposition to its proposed campus.

So far, the jobs posted include four focused on procurement and one in human resources.

Ardine Williams, who authored Amazon’s blog post, said she had recently moved to Arlington from Seattle and is in charge of workforce development at the company. — Reuters

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