Amazon Finalizes Crystal City Expansion

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Amazon.com, after rocketing massive success globally, has just announced new locations for its second US Headquarters (HQ2). The company plans to expand its offices that are to be split between two cities, offering greater job opportunities and investments for the locals. They include the Long Island City in Queens, and Crystal City in Arlington County, Virginia. With this announcement, we cannot help but get intrigued about how exactly this expansion is going to benefit Amazon? Why did Amazon choose this region for establishment of its Second Headquarters? Keep in reading to know all the prospects of Amazon’s Crystal City expansion.

Crystal City Background

Crystal City is an urban settlement, located at the southeast of Arlington, Virginia, south of Washington, D.C. Much of the city’s infrastructure is unplanned and a large part of it remains underground. The reason behind this is the extensive usage of underground corridors which connect passageways and shopping stores by both the offices and towering residential buildings. The city got its name after its first building ‘Crystal House’. Surprisingly with time, every other building started having the same Crystal name, which eventually turned into the city’s name.

Why Crystal City?

According to reporters, the move has been termed as a ‘National Landing’, which means Amazon will bring along a completely new vibe to this transit-rich, urban neighborhood. You all must be wondering why Crystal City? Because, it will be in the heart of USA. It is connected to three urban districts: Pentagon on the south, Alexandria on north and Washington on the south of downtown. The city is also home to a 22 thousand residents and facilitates over 17m acres of commercial workspace. Therefore, Crystal City is perfect for Amazon’s HQ2.

Apart from the commercial benefits which Amazon will be getting from this expansion, two more factors are major contributors as to why Amazon made a good decision by selecting this region for establishing its second headquarters. These factors include:

  • An excellent local transit system which is being upgraded.
  • Access to smart workforce full of potential talent.

Job Opportunities and Prospects

Initially, Amazon had planned to hire 50,000 employees for the project but since after the news of splitting HQ2 between two cities, the employees will now also have to work on separate locations. Talking about Crystal City, for what it is worth, there will be 25,000 new jobs in the region. However, from Washington region’s perspective, they may be not enough since the ratio of employment positions added during 2016-2017 have been double. These figures alone are a loud and clear evidence of how Amazon.com is all set to dominate the global e-commerce market in terms of networking, production and connectivity.

Current Scenario

For starters, an employment timeline has been sketched out by Amazon’s representatives. According to latest reports, Amazon plans to bring 400 jobs in 2019, and expects to increase the number to 1,180 people in 2020 and so on. Within a decade, Amazon’s idea to bring 25,000 jobs will come to life – making it the largest private employer company in the region. This little step will not only be a great push for the local commercial hub but also attract more business giants to Crystal City in future.

 

Local Impacts

Just as creating more jobs can bring positive changes, it is important to look down on further impacts that could occur because of this project.

Increased Demand for Housing:

There may also be a rise in housing demand and consequently, the prices will also skyrocket. Since, the region will be getting only half the number of employees, housing authorities believe that the impact may be limited.

Traffic Disturbances:

With growing employment opportunities, one cannot ignore the fact that the demand for better and more transport will also increase rapidly. Crystal City is also highly likely to observe traffic disturbances across the city. Although, Crystal City has two Metro Lines, motorway and a bus transit from Pentagon City, there are still chances for rise in fares and traffic outburst in peak hours. We can find out more as the deal progresses.

Progress So Far:

To cope with the grave current challenges of traffic disturbances, Arlington has taken a step forward by approving some major transit upgrades for the city. These upgrades include:

  • Revamping of the station by addition of a second platform and a separate second entrance for the platform. This will help in maintaining a frequent train service. This upgrade is made in context with interest which Amazon has expressed in two buildings located at footsteps distance from this station.
  • The construction of a rapid bus transit system is also underway. This system will be connecting Alexandria with Crystal City.
  • Arlington County seems to be highly committed towards transportation management, which is clear from the county’s initiatives to promote the usage of public transport instead of private one in order to eliminate traffic congestion.

Amazon’s decision of choosing Crystal City as its second major hub is undoubtedly a visionary step towards the establishment of a strong network of workers whose reproductivity will be playing a direct role in reinforcing global e-commerce. We think that this announcement is a stimulus for a rapid growth and development in the region. What is your take on this? Feel free to share in comments!

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