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How Multifamily Housing Closed the Amazon HQ2 Deal

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Together with our partners, we hosted an exclusive event at the invitation-only JBG Smith National Landing Marketing Center last week to celebrate and gather women leaders in the multifamily industry for a discussion about the Amazon HQ2 boom. In a walk-through presentation of the National Landing Marketing Center space, JBG Smith Executive Vice Presidents, Evan Regan-Levine and Kristi Smith, discussed the role that tech talent and the DC metro area employee pool had in attracting Amazon to Crystal City and the exciting opportunities and developments presented by Amazon HQ2. Amazon announced its decision that Crystal City, VA is the prime location for its second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, citing a multitude of factors — multifamily housing, talent, and infrastructure — that make this region ideal to call home for their $7.5 billion investment.

Primed Multifamily Market

One of Crystal City’s prime selling points for Amazon’s HQ2 is its bountiful supply of multifamily housing. With an influx of more than 25,000 Amazon employees (and their families) over the next decade, this market demonstrated it is prepared to absorb the Amazon workforce,  with more than 387,000 multifamily units available at the time of the decision. This increase in multifamily developments will provide housing throughout the DC, Maryland, and Virginia regions, and especially within walking distance of Crystal City’s HQ2. The Yellow Line corridor was of particular interest to Amazon executives —  shrewd about its talent, they know their employees will gravitate toward the culture- and amenity-rich historic neighborhoods of Shaw, U Street, Columbia Heights, and Petworth.

An Educated Talent Pool

While municipalities across the country were creating huge tax incentives to attract Amazon’s HQ2, Crystal City strategically avoided any desperate cash pitches, and instead underscored itself as a market rich in talent. The DC area boasts the third-highest talent pipeline in the country and the expansion of Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus makes the region a magnet for the country’s leading tech innovators — providing Amazon with a steady stream of qualified employees for years to come.

Connected for Commuters

Crystal City also boasts a strong infrastructure with direct lines into Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia’s suburbs, and the rest of the country. Multi-modal transport options are available for Amazon workers’ daily commutes — Metro, Virginia Railway Express, and Amtrak — along with two nearby airports. To boot, Crystal City’s Business Improvement District is exploring creating a pedestrian bridge, the first of its kind, between Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and downtown Crystal City.

With a growing multifamily industry, a flowing talent pipeline, and strong infrastructure to move Amazon workers throughout the region, it’s crystal clear why Crystal City was chosen for Amazon’s HQ2 and the development that lies ahead.


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