Join Club

Amazon unveils fresh designs for Phase 2 of its HQ2 in response to community concerns

Amazon has made changes to its plan for the second phase of the company’s HQ2 in Pentagon City.

For the last eight months, Amazon has been hammering out the details of the planned second phase, on the PenPlace site at the corner of S. Eads Street and 12th Street S. Today (Thursday) it unveiled some significant tweaks it has made in response to local feedback.

Members from the community have weighed in on everything from transportation to sustainability to architecture, suggesting changes that would make the office campus more walking- and biking-friendly, more verdant and more architecturally interesting.

“We appreciate the ideas and have made changes to enhance the overall connectivity of the site. We also incorporated additional sustainable elements and more greenery into the design, and diversified the architecture within PenPlace,” wrote Joe Chapman, Amazon’s director of global real estate and facilities, in a blog post published this morning.

“These updates make the entire project even better, benefitting our neighbors and all those that will visit HQ2,” he continued.

PenPlace is situated on an 11-acre site near the Pentagon City Metro station, bordered by Army Navy Drive, S. Eads Street, 12rd Street S. and S. Fern Street. It will be anchored by a lush, futuristic building, dubbed “The Helix,” and feature three, 22-story office buildings, retail pavilions, a childcare center and a permanent home for Arlington Community High School. A park drawing inspiration from local waterways will run north-south through the site.

But residents were critical of the multimodal transportation planning Amazon offered at first.

In response, Amazon changed some circulation patterns surrounding and running through the site, widened the paths running east to west to accommodate more pedestrians and cyclists and widened certain sidewalks where the heaviest pedestrian traffic is anticipated.

Transit options around PenPlace (via Arlington County)

It also added protected bike lanes along S. Eads Street and S. Fern Street to connect PenPlace to the county’s surrounding local bike transit plan.

“All of these adjustments will create more direct, wider pathways through the site and make traversing PenPlace even safer,” Chapman said. “It will also make the public Central Green and urban forest at the center of PenPlace even more accessible for everyone to enjoy.”

At least one transit advocate welcomed the change, but said a protected bike lane along 12th Street S. would further improve circulation.

Per an Amazon blog post, residents who weighed in on the planning process told Amazon to add even more green space and native plant species to its campus. In turn, the tech and ecommerce giant expanded the planted area by 5,500 square feet and reduced the amount of impermeable surfaces, such as paving.

“We are excited to be able to deliver 2.5 acres of public open space for everyone to enjoy at PenPlace,” Chapman said.

Amazon increased the plantings within PenPlace in response to community feedback (via Arlington County)

While “the Helix” is the centerpiece of PenPlace, locals pushed for more varied architecture for the other three planned office buildings.

“They wanted to see each building look different than the others to add creativity and uniqueness to the architectural design beyond The Helix,” Chapman said. “Based on that input, we’ve made various adjustments to make each building distinctive and special. We’ve broken up the building facades, making each base, middle, and top stand out more. We’ve also given each building more distinct character by making the exterior of the three structures a different color and texture, inspired by the local landscape.”

Amazon incorporated additional sustainability features into these architectural changes. It doubled the number of rooftop solar panels and raised them so they figure into the skyline.

The retail pavilions at pedestrian-level will have roof meadows, and all building terraces will be landscaped.

“We are excited that these changes will create a better space for both Amazon employees coming to work at HQ2, and the entire community — neighbors and visitors alike,” Chapman said.

New façades for three of the four buildings on the PenPlace campus (via Arlington County)

There’s still time to provide feedback on the designs and engage with the planning process. A survey is open through Sunday, Nov. 7, and the county will hold a walking tour of the site today (Thursday) at 4 p.m.

Last week, the county laid out the next steps in the PenPlace review process. There will be a Site Plan Review Committee meeting later this year followed by another one in early 2022. Arlington County says it anticipates public hearings by the Planning Commission and County Board in March 2022.

The Washington Business Journal reports that the second SPRC meeting will be Dec. 6.

Amazon delayed this phase by a few months and took “additional time this summer to address staff and community feedback collected through July of this year,” Matt Mattauszek, the county’s Crystal City and Pentagon City planning coordinator, told WBJ.

The delays have set back the dates for the final votes, which Amazon and the county initially expected to happen in late 2021. The first phase of HQ2, slated to be the home base of some 25,000 employees, is currently under construction and expected to be complete by 2023.

Recent Stories

Good Thursday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 21133 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…

This past week saw 22 homes sold in Arlington. The least expensive condo, single-family home or townhouse sale over the past seven days was $275,000 while the most expensive was…

Many parents of children at Key Elementary School are outraged at the way a possible threat of gun violence by a student was handled by administrators.

We could tell you how great CarCare To Go is. We could tell you about how they are transforming the way people care for their cars with free valet pick-up…

The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.

The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.

Former participants have this to say:

_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Learn about the new assessment of Arlington’s urban tree canopy and the many ecological and social benefits trees provide. Staff from the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) will share study results and compare canopy cover for different areas of Arlington.The webinar will include assessments of ecosystem services such as stormwater mitigation, air quality, carbon uptake, and urban heat islands. For background on Arlington trees see the “Tree Benefits: Growing Arlington’s Urban Forest” presentation at http://www.gicinc.org/PDFs/Presentation_TreeBenefits_Arlington.pdf.

Please register in advance to assure your place at the webinar, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/29543206508863839.

About the Arlington County Civic Federation: The Arlington County Civic Federation (“ACCF”) is a not-for-profit corporation which provides a forum for civic groups to discuss, debate, inform, advocate and provide oversight on important community issues, on a non-partisan basis. Its members include over ninety civic groups representing a broad cross-section of the community. Communications, resolutions and feedback are regularly provided to the Arlington County Government.

The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 21,2023 at 7 pm. This meeting is open to the public and will be hybrid, in-person and virtually through Zoom. Part of the agenda will be a discussion and vote on a resolution “To Restore Public Confidence in Arlington County’s Governance”. For more information on ACCF and this meeting, go to https://www.civfed.org/.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Valentine Pop-Up at George Mason University

Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village

Standup Comedy Showcase Starring Matt Ruby (Comedy Central)

Dead Horse Comedy Productions brings together top comedians from the DMV and beyond for a live standup comedy show!

Matt Ruby, Headliner

Matt Ruby is a comedian, writer, and filmmaker from New York City. His comedy has been filmed by

×

Subscribe to our mailing list