Arlington, VA

A group of large local employers and small local businesses has formed a new group intended “to support National Landing’s transformation.”

The Arlington Community Coalition says the arrival of Amazon’s HQ2 is a golden opportunity to bolster housing and transportation options in the National Landing area, which includes Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard. The group also wants to build a sense of community and support local businesses as the area grows.

“After seeing years of decline from BRAC, National Landing will significantly help small businesses attract a steady stream of new and regular customers,” said Freddie’s Beach Bar owner Freddie Lutz, one of the coalition’s members. “National Landing will become an economic engine driving new growth and opportunities for small business retail and restaurants.”

Members of coalition include the Consumer Technology Association — outspoken supporters of Amazon’s arrival — along with Amazon’s National Landing landlord, JBG Smith, and Virginia Tech, which is developing an Innovation Campus in Potomac Yard. Other members include Lyft, Freddie’s, Commonwealth Joe and Mothersauce Partners.

The group believes that Amazon-fueled growth will foster a “collaborative ecosystem for education, innovation, and entrepreneurship” that will help “further establish Northern Virginia as the next great technology hub.”

Countering the anti-Amazon sentiment that made headlines prior to Arlington’s approval of millions in local incentives for the retail and tech giant, the new coalition says the community will benefit from the area’s growth, and not just because of Amazon.

“From housing to transportation, education to entertainment, National Landing will be not only a global technology hub but a vibrant community for all of us who live, work, and visit here,” said Glenda MacMullin, Chief Operating Officer and CFO, Consumer Technology Association.

The full press release from the Arlington Community Coalition is below, after the jump.

The Arlington Community Coalition, a diverse group of residents, local businesses, community leaders, and non-profit organizations, has come together to support National Landing’s transformation, and to advocate for the benefits these projects will bring to Arlington and the entire region.

The coalition will showcase National Landing’s community support, as well as champion policies and projects around four guiding principles:

  • Promote the region’s long-term economic growth, diversity, and jobs.
  • Advocate for an inviting sense of community that joins together office, residential, retail, open space, and cultural activities in our neighborhoods.
  • Support multimodal access and integration, including improved roads, bike lanes, transit, and pedestrian facilities.
  • Speak out for a mix of housing that preserves existing and adds new options for residents at all income levels.

Isaac Barnes, a Crystal City resident and the President of Eminent IT, a rapidly growing tech firm headquartered in Crystal City, believes the transformation of the National Landing area will drive better opportunities for small business vendors and improve the quality of life for residents.

“As a Crystal City resident, I’m excited to witness the transformation of our community into a vibrant, thriving pedestrian-friendly community with new housing options and amenities” stated Barnes. “I’m also eager to see National Landing’s revitalization further establish Northern Virginia as the next great technology hub, providing new opportunities for local, small business vendors and tech professionals at the forefront of innovation, which will ultimately make a larger impact on our region.”

Virginia Tech’s assistant director of government and community affairs, David Baker, believes National Landing will become an engaging and collaborative ecosystem for education, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

“Virginia Tech will build a world-class innovation, research, and educational campus to stimulate Northern Virginia’s advancing tech industry, bolster the region’s tech talent pipeline, and benefit the local community,” said Baker.  “We believe the plans coming together for National Landing support the vision of an inviting and amenity-rich community that our future students, faculty, and administrative staff will enjoy.”

Freddie’s Beach Bar owner, Freddie Lutz, believes the National Landing projects and Amazon’s new headquarters will be a major boost for small retail and restaurant businesses in Crystal City who have endured a drop off in customer traffic due to BRAC and sequestration over the past decade.

“After seeing years of decline from BRAC, National Landing will significantly help small businesses attract a steady stream of new and regular customers,” stated Lutz. “National Landing will become an economic engine driving new growth and opportunities for small business retail and restaurants.”

Glenda MacMullin, Chief Operating Officer and CFO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, says developing National Landing will help expand the local tech workforce and deliver widespread benefits for the community. Ms. MacMullin is a founding member of the Coalition and serves as board chairman.

“CTA is an organization that embraces and advocates for innovation. Crystal City is our home, and we’re excited about Amazon’s arrival and also the many benefits that will improve the way we live, work, and play. From housing to transportation, education to entertainment, National Landing will be not only a global technology hub but a vibrant community for all of us who live, work, and visit here.”

Bailey Edelson, Senior Vice President at JBG SMITH, a founding member of the Arlington Community Coalition, underscores the widespread benefits that National Landing will deliver.

“National Landing creates a historic opportunity for Arlington County to position itself as a community focused on innovation, education, culture, and sustained economic growth,” stated Ms. Edelson. “JBG SMITH is proud to be a part of the Arlington Community Coalition and a leader in working to secure Arlington’s successful future.”

More than $15 billion has been committed for new multi-modal transportation projects serving National Landing and the entire Northern Virginia region. (HQNova.com). These far-reaching improvements will have a lasting impact on area businesses, residents, travelers and employees. Lyft, a founding member of the Arlington Community Coalition, is looking forward to the improved service they will be able to offer their customers.

“The investments in transportation in National Landing will be a game changer for the region,” stated Stephen Taylor, Regional Director of Lyft. “In addition to the benefits from improved bike, pedestrian, metro, and road improvements, current and future residents of National Landing will also see improved transportation between the surrounding areas.  For Lyft, that means happier drivers, and happier customers.  We are proud to be a part of this Coalition and we look forward to voicing our support for many of the positive changes that will come out of this process.”

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