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NEW: Amazon announces first local businesses to sign leases at HQ2

Two small local businesses, a dog daycare and a coffee shop, are the first two retailers to be announced for Amazon’s HQ2.

The massive office complex in Pentagon City is still under construction, but District Dogs and RĀKO Coffee recently signed leases for the retail space, Amazon announced this morning.

More from the company’s blog:

District Dogs and RĀKO Coffee are the first small businesses to sign leases at HQ2 as part of Amazon’s pledge to bring local, minority- and women-owned retailers to its second headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

Amazon’s second headquarters is not only about office buildings for the company’s employees in Arlington, Virginia. The development will also help create a vibrant neighborhood by supporting local businesses with plenty of street-level retail space.

“Amazon growing in the National Landing neighborhood provides a great anchor to be able to support new local businesses within the community and those that have been around for a while,” said Kate Bates, president and CEO of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.

As Amazon continues to build out its second headquarters, the company is also helping the growth of local businesses from surrounding areas in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Amazon is working to fill at least 140,000 square feet of open-to-the-public retail space between Metropolitan Park and PenPlace, which together will make up HQ2.

Based in D.C., District Dogs — a full-service pet care company — just announced a new location in Clarendon, its first outside of the District. The new HQ2 location will be the sixth for local entrepreneur Jacob Hensley, and will feature “over 6,000 square feet and offer opportunities for dog training, canine enrichment activities, and events to help local dog owners connect with a community of fellow pet lovers in the National Landing neighborhood.”

RĀKO Coffee, meanwhile, is a specialty coffee shop and natural wine and cocktail bar owned by sisters Lisa and Melissa Gerben. Originally just a coffee roaster based in Lorton, RĀKO opened its first bricks-and-mortar location this summer in Courthouse.

“The sisters opened their first café just a few miles away from HQ2, and they specialize in expertly crafted espresso drinks, such as a baklava latte and volcanic black salt vanilla latte,” Amazon said in its blog post. “They hope their customers start and end their day at RĀKO. The new location at HQ2 will feature espresso beverages, a natural wine program from women winemakers, owners, and growers, craft cocktails, and light fares. RĀKO will also operate a 250-square-foot lobby kiosk open to Metropolitan Park.”

Amazon has been in discussions with other local businesses, including one retail store, ARLnow has learned. Additional announcements are expected in the months ahead.

“Our goal is to prioritize small, local, minority- and women-owned retailers for the ground floors of our office buildings and in unique retail pavilions throughout the HQ2 site,” said Joe Chapman, director of Amazon Global Real Estate and Facilities, in the blog post. “We want to help create an 18-hour district that people want to drive to, not just drive through, and the businesses we attract to this neighborhood will be a big piece of that. We can’t wait for the entire community to get to enjoy these new additions.”

The first phase of HQ2 is set to open in 2023.

Amazon posted the following video, featuring Arlington Chamber of Commerce CEO Kate Bates, with today’s announcement.

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