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. (https://www.theverge.com/2018/11/13/17977814/amazon-hq2-queens-arlington-us-locations)
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 infrastructure is unplanned and a large part of it remains underground. The reason behind this is the extensive usage of underground corridors, connecting 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 the USA. It is connected to three urban districts: Pentagon on the south, Alexandria on north and Washington in the south of downtown. The city is also home to 22 thousand residents and facilitates over 17m acres of commercial workspace. Therefore, Crystal City is perfect for Amazon’s HQ2.
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’s worth, there will be 25,000 new jobs in the region. However, from the Washington region’s perspective, they may be not enough since the ratio of employment positions added during 2016-2017 has been double.
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 the future.
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. With growing employment opportunities, there may be a rise in housing prices and traffic disturbances across the city. Since the region will be getting only half the number of employees, housing authorities believe that the impact may be limited. On the other hand, the traffic situation may get worse. Although Crystal City has two Metro Lines, a motorway and a bus transit from Pentagon City, there are still chances for the rise in fares and traffic outbursts in peak hours. We can find out more as the deal progresses.
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