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Ask Eli: Part 1 of 2 — Amazon HQ2, My Opinions and its Impact on Housing

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Rosslyn resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: What would the impact of Amazon HQ2 be on housing in the D.C. Metro, Northern Virginia and Arlington?

Answer: Welp, here we go… On the heels of Jeff Bezos’ trip to D.C., where he confirmed an Amazon HQ2 announcement would be made by the end of the year, I figured there’s no better time to get maximum internet clicks on an Amazon article!

In all seriousness, this is a topic I think and talk about almost daily (jealous?) so I wanted to share my thoughts with you, with a focus on ideas you may not have read in other forums or articles (e.g. Bezos buying a house in D.C. is not mentioned beyond this point).

I’m Confident Amazon HQ2 is Coming to Northern VA/D.C. Metro

Criteria: I won’t bore you with a breakdown of Amazon’s RFP criteria, but the Amazon RFP is a quick read and it’s clear this region meets and exceeds their priorities and everything on their list of “Key Preferences and Decision Drivers.” 

Tech’s Shifting Role: It seems that the long-term success of tech giants will depend on their ability to lobby and direct favorable public policy just as much as it will depend on their ability to develop innovative products. I believe that Amazon HQ2 is only the beginning of a massive tech migration to the D.C. region (see recent Facebook and Apple news).

Bezos v Trump: Don’t you think that with every Trump tweet or comment about Bezos/Amazon/WaPo, the decision becomes more and more personal for Bezos? Can you think of a more tempting power-play by Bezos than moving in next door? I have no doubt that Bezos knows where he can put an Amazon building with a direct line-of-sight from the White House.

My Network: Did I mention I talk about Amazon HQ2 almost every day?

That has led me to some interesting conversations with folks in my network including recruiters for Amazon, employees and former employees of Amazon and other tech companies, local corporate relocation insiders, home inspectors and general contractors. Each offering their own industry-specific signs of a decision in favor of our region.

Vegas: There is nobody better at predicting the future than Las Vegas bookmakers so when, the largest online gambling site in the US, came out with odds heavily favoring Northern Virginia (#1) and Washington, D.C. (#2), I knew the hype wasn’t just local.

Available Office Space: Amazon is projecting a need for 8M square feet of office space to house 50,000 employees. According to John Redeker, a Senior Associate for Cushman & Wakefield, the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor alone currently has 5,375,000 sq. ft. of available (“available” sounds better than “vacant” right?) office space and Crystal/Pentagon City is sitting on over 2,177,000 sq. ft. of available office space.

Hmmm… sounds a little too perfect, doesn’t it?

Oh, and don’t forget that Tysons has over 1,564,000 sq. ft. of brand-new office space under construction.

By the way, if you’re a business-owner and planning on moving or adding office space in the next year, you may want to reach out to John now while rents are still on the downward trend.

In next week’s Part 2 column, I will detail where I think Amazon should locate its 50,000 employees across 8M square feet of office space and what that will mean for the housing market in the near-term and long-term.

P.S. — Jeff, I’d be happy to assist your employees with their relocation. My cell phone number is 703-539-2529 if you’d like to discuss privately 🙂

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.

Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, (202) 518-8781.

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