We’re getting our first official look into the mostly completed first phase of Amazon’s HQ2 in Pentagon City.
Amazon shared photos this morning from inside the two-building, 2.1 million square foot office complex, located along S. Eads Street between 12th and 15th streets.
The photos are notable for what they don’t show: rows of cubicles for the thousands of employees that are expected to work from HQ2. Instead, the photos show richly appointed, lounge-like spaces, a cafeteria and food market, outdoor grills, the park space outside of the building, and other recreation opportunities like a billiards table.
Phase 1 of HQ2 has around 50,000 square feet of retail space, with more than a dozen businesses ranging from a bike shop to a doggy daycare to several restaurants and bars.
A grand opening for the new complex is expected in mid-June. The second phase of HQ2 — to include the distinctive, lush Helix tower — is delayed indefinitely amid economic uncertainty and continued work-from-home trends following the pandemic.
An Amazon-written media kit and fact sheet about HQ2 Phase 1, also known as Metropolitan Park, is below.
When we chose Arlington, Virginia as the site of our second headquarters, we made a commitment to become part of the fabric of the neighborhood and among the most trusted business and community partners in the region.
Our more than $2.5 billion investment in HQ2 and the surrounding area will result in 25,000 new, Amazon jobs by 2030 and support thousands of indirect jobs across the entire region.
So far, we’ve exceeded the projections laid out in the agreement we signed with Virginia in 2018 by creating and maintaining over 8,000 jobs at HQ2.
In addition to providing 2.1 million square feet of world-class office space for our employees, Met Park will benefit the entire Arlington community. Our goal was to create an open and thriving 18-hour district that enhances National Landing with a new public park space, locally owned small businesses, improved neighborhood connectivity, and more.
We’ve worked closely with our partners in Arlington County and actively listened to feedback from the local community to inform the design and continue to improve this project – from the thoughtful design of the 2.5 acre public park, complete with walking paths, protected bike lanes, a dog park, children’s playground, community garden and more than 160 different types of plantings and trees native to Virginia throughout the park, to the 14 new, local, small businesses occupying more than 50,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.
“This project is extraordinary in many respects,” said Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey. “It will bring us significantly closer to fulfilling the community’s vision of Arlington and National Landing as an urban neighborhood with a better balance of office, residential, and retail development, more and better public spaces, and more and better access for pedestrians and cyclists.”
“I’m thrilled to see Amazon’s Met Park opening and Amazon’s unwavering commitment to our community. From the beginning, Amazon has translated their promises into tangible actions. By including local retailers and prioritizing opportunities for women- and minority-owned businesses, Amazon is not only stimulating the local economy, but also fostering diversity and inclusivity within the retail industry,” said Kate Bates, president & CEO, Arlington Chamber of Commerce. “Amazon’s focus on providing opportunity through access is a testament to their commitment to creating a more inclusive and equitable future. We are proud to partner with Amazon as they continue to positively impact Arlington.”
As we begin to welcome employees to our Arlington offices over the next few weeks, we’re sharing an exclusive first look inside Metropolitan Park:
At Amazon, our buildings across the globe are named for key moments in our evolution. Influenced by everything from local history to code names of some of the company’s biggest products, it’s clear that inspiration comes in many forms. Metropolitan Park’s two towers are named: Jasper and Merlin.
Jasper, or WAS19, was the codename for the multi-phased customer experience modernization of the Alexa application. It generates metadata required for the experience via automated evaluations, and aggregates those from other Amazon systems to provide the necessary tools for customer settings.
Merlin, or WAS17, was the codename for Amazon QuickSight, a cloud-powered business intelligence service product that can create and publish interactive dashboards for our customers to meet their varying analytic needs and machine learning-powered insights.
Metropolitan Park was designed to push the limits of what’s possible when it comes to sustainable construction and design and benefit the local community.
Construction at Met Park began in early 2020 under strict health and safety guidelines. In total, the construction project is more than 2.1 million square feet of office space, the largest corporate office being delivered in the United States this year. Additionally, the ground floor has more than 50,000 square feet of retail space – home to 14 local, minority or women-owned small businesses.
The two, 22-story buildings stand 327 feet tall and are bird friendly with non-reflective glazing throughout the building and bird-safe glass on lower levels facing the park.
Local Business Participation: On average, 88% of all Metropolitan Park contracts were awarded to local businesses. More than 400 local firms received a contract award.
Small and Diverse Business Participation: There were 78 small and diverse businesses that contributed to the project. Some of these firms held multiple contracts, for a total of 108 contracts with small and diverse businesses on the project.
– Total workforce who touched project: more than 7,800 craftworkers
– Total number of craft labor on the job across the contracts: 7,570
– Total hours of craft labor on the job: 5,688,167 hours
– Total hours contributed to the job to date: 5,979,572 hours
– Total number of women: 583, more than 7%
– Total number of local workforce: 7,304 (96%)
– Local employees represented 96.5% of workforce
– Local employees have contributed 5.1 millions hours to the project
Fun local facts:
– The HQ2 towers at Met Park include 937 door frames that, if stacked, would equal the height of 12 Washington Monuments.
– The project includes 200,000 cubic yards of concrete, which is enough to fill the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool six times.
The two, 22-floor towers will house 12,500 employees. The buildings have:
– Four entrances
– 62 elevators
– 2.1M square feet of office
Transportation & Parking:
Every Amazonian has their own way of commuting to and from the workplace, and we encourage our employees to use the Metro or other public transportation, bike, or walk to their office. As a commuter benefit, we offer subsidized transportation each month to all corporate employees for transit cards, bikes, and rideshare.
Met Park has secure transportation-related features and spaces including:
– 620 bike racks – Two bike repair and wash stations
– Half-mile of new, protected bike lanes
– Four levels of below-grade parking – 290 EV Charging Stations
– Additional pedestrian pathways for safely walking to work and commuting via Metro
Centers of Energy:
The new buildings feature space specifically for employees to gather, called the “center of energy” or COE; these will be a buzzing hub for formal and informal interaction. Employees have the option to purchase lunch or a coffee, take a 1:1 meeting from a booth, or grab a seat to catch up with colleagues or emails.
Although the amenities and food options inside of Met Park offer employees convenience, we designed our COE space in our buildings to only be able to handle 30% employee capacity, ensuring our employees venture out in the neighborhood to grab a bite, check out a new restaurant, or visit a local business. There are:
– 3 floors per building dedicated to centers of energy
– 8 different food concepts
– 4 coffee shops; all sourced from local coffee roasters like Chesapeake Coffee Roasters and Zeke’s Coffee
– 3 all-electric commercial kitchens
– Public, ground floor coffee shop operated by local business, Good Company Donuts & Cafe
The buildings feature outdoor spaces that embrace biophilia, offering space for employees to collaborate outdoors, among pollinator and native plant gardens.
– 2.7+ Acres of Rooftop Landscaping
– 1+ Acre of Green Roof
– two rooftop dog terraces
– two event terraces
– two café terraces
– one garden terrace
– one urban farm
– outdoor kitchens
We’re constantly thinking about how we can help create and build a sustainable future across our entire operations. Metropolitan Park is designed with sustainability at its core and is powered 100% by reusable energy.
Met Park was built using new, climate solutions at scale: low-carbon concrete, mass timber, electrified energy efficient operations, advanced ways to reuse water, and two acres of green roofs with native plantings. Take a deep dive into the sustainability of the buildings here on our blog, or in the appendix below.
[OUTSIDE MET PARK]
Metropolitan Park is home to new and restored public open space, designed for a variety of uses, including a dog park, recreation areas, farmers markets, and more – helping realize the community’s vision for a large, centrally-located park.
The 2.5-acre public park has been thoughtfully designed with a central green, more than 160 different types of native plantings and trees, public art installations, walking paths, and places to rest. The park features a public dog run, a children’s play area and garden, as well as a community garden, open to the public.
We prioritized small, minority, and women-owned businesses, and are proud to showcase each of the 14 local businesses that will be setting up shop at Metropolitan Park this summer. Met Park has over 50,000 square feet of retail space:
1. Conte’s Bike Shop
Experienced and aspiring cyclists alike will be familiar with this family-owned shop that’s been a mainstay of the Eastern Seaboard bicycling community since 1957. Get fitted for a bike, shop for new bikes, trade in your old one, or service your bike here (and grab a snack or drink from a retailer below while you wait).
2. District Dogs
If you need doggy daycare, overnight boarding, grooming, training, or walking services, District Dogs is the all-in-one pet care business of your dreams. In addition to serving the canines of Amazon and beyond, this location lets you host birthday parties and other fun events revolving around your furry friend.
3. Hustle Fitness
Originally created as an online fitness platform at the height of the pandemic, HUSTLE is opening its very first brick-and-mortar location at HQ2 and welcomes participants of all fitness levels. Join its high-energy
instructors for cycle and strength classes that are guaranteed to get your heart pumping.
4. Social Burger
The only way you can make Social Burger’s juicy burgers even better is to add its red Thai curry mayo, cherry cola BBQ sauce, or a fatty slab of pork belly. The small joint is a fixture in the community, donating meals to a local homeless shelter every week and supporting schools, churches, and other local orgs.
5. South Block
For a healthy pick-me-up—think perfectly blended açai bowls, refreshing smoothies, and organic juices—visit South Block, a DMV favorite for more than 10 years. Owner Amir Mostafavi is also the founder of Fruitful Planet, a nonprofit that provides fresh fruit and vegetables to food insecure communities.
6. Good Company Doughnuts & Cafe
This veteran-owned doughnut shop originally started in Florida and has made its way to Virginia to dole up fun doughnut flavors like Bourbon Caramel Crunch and Mango Margarita. It offers over 40 varieties of freshly made doughnuts every day, plus other breakfast essentials and of course, coffee.
7. Celebree School of National Landing
Celebree School brings quality early childhood education to kids ages 6 weeks to pre-K through nurturing teachers and thoughtful curriculum. In addition to full or part-time daycare, it provides summer camps and education guides, and it offers financial assistance to those in need.
Maintaining your skin and achieving a healthy glow has never been easier thanks to Glo30, the spa that puts your skin first. Glo30’s proprietary skin analyzer looks at your skin to give personalized, evolving recommendations and create the best facial for you, every time. You can also add services like microdermabrasion and gua sha for no additional cost.
9. Peruvian Brothers
The brothers behind Peruvian Brothers have a unique background in competitive rowing and yacht captaining but these days they’re best known for their Pan con Chicharrón, saltados, and empanadas. Their food is so good that the Peruvian ambassador to the U.S. once named them “gastro-diplomats.”
10. Taqueria Xochi
From cemitas and mulitas to big taco platters, Taqueria Xochi is the place to enjoy authentic Mexican food from José Andrés restaurant vets Teresa Padilla and Geraldine Mendoza. Their combination of simple ingredients results in bold, flavorful results that you’ll have no choice but to wash down with a house-made agua fresca.
11. Toby’s Ice Cream
Toby’s is consistently named one of the best ice cream stores in Arlington for its rich, creamy, and globally inspired flavors like Ube and Cherry Blossom, alongside classics like Butter Pecan and Strawberry. Outside of HQ2, you’ll also frequently find them at neighborhood events and fundraisers.
12. Mae’s Market
All-day food market Mae’s Market should be your first stop for good old-fashioned deli sandwiches,
picnic staples like cheese and wine, and other everyday grocery items, whether you’re stopping by HQ2 on the way home or hanging out in Met Park. Everything is made from scratch and ready to be eaten right away.
13. Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) Arlington
Amazon is excited to support contemporary art and artists and connect the community to art through MoCA Arlington. At the new Innovation Studio site, the public can interact directly with artists, make art themselves, attend artist talks and other programming, and shop in the museum store.
14. Makers Union
Good food, good drinks, and live music converge at Makers Union, a gastropub that only opened during the pandemic but has quickly become a popular gathering spot for local residents. True to its name, it strives to source its produce, proteins, beer, and coffee from local makers.
APPENDIX I: Sustainability
Amazon’s second headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, was built with sustainability at its core. The campus is designed to demonstrate what’s possible when it comes to sustainable construction and design, and benefit the local community.
Metropolitan (Met) Park was built using new, climate-friendly solutions at scale—including low-carbon concrete, mass timber, electrified energy-efficient operations, advanced ways to reuse water, and two acres of landscaped roofs with native plants.
Energy-efficient “Eco-Lobbies” at Metropolitan Park blur the transition from indoor to outdoor. Large operable walls open into the park on nice days, and lush landscaping and natural materials throughout to help bring the outside in. Passive design strategies, such as overhead high-volume, low-speed fans and hydronic radiant floor heating, create a thermally comfortable environment for occupants.
The buildings will run with zero operational carbon emissions, meaning we do not rely on any fossil fuels for the building’s daily operation. Here are some highlights about the campus:
● 100% powered by renewable energy.
● 24% overall energy savings relative to a comparable new office building—enough electricity to power 572 homes in the U.S. every year.
● 20% reduction in the carbon footprint of Met Park’s concrete structures compared to the industry baseline—saving over 14,700 metric tons of carbon, or the equivalent of taking more than 3,200 cars off the road in the U.S. for an entire year.
● Certified as Targeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum—the highest level of LEED certification. Met Park is on track to be the largest LEED v4 Platinum building in the U.S.
“Constructing buildings that can house thousands of employees on a daily basis, while operating more efficiently—and not disrupting, but rather enhancing the natural environment—is no small feat. I’m proud of the work our teams have done with HQ2 to make that a reality,” said Kara Hurst, vice president for Worldwide Sustainability at Amazon.
“While it’s not always necessarily visible to our customers or communities, we’re working to
decarbonize all of Amazon’s buildings—including our corporate offices, data centers, and fulfillment facilities—given the climate impact of the built environment.” Hurst said. “At HQ2, we challenged ourselves to push the limits of what’s possible when it comes to sustainable construction and design—and we’re proud to share these features with the northern Virginia community.”
Buildings account for nearly 40% of annual global CO2 emissions. Buildings consume more energy than both the industrial and transportation sectors, and large-scale developments are particularly challenging. This is because many low-carbon solutions are impractical to implement or unproven at scale, can’t be delivered due to current regulations, or require significant investment in infrastructure for limited benefit.
We took on these challenges to find ways to decarbonize Amazon’s real estate portfolio in order to meet our Climate Pledge commitment. We also know that if we can do this, we can help drive change across industries and propel us all forward in efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Met Park exemplifies carbon-reduction solutions and energy-efficiency enhancements that are possible today.
Read on for a look at the carbon reduction and energy enhancements at Met Park:
Low-carbon building construction
Ten 70-foot-long glue laminated timber beams support the Met Park meeting center ceiling, lowering the embodied carbon of the building and creating a warm, tactile, biophilic environment for occupants.
We started with reducing the carbon footprint of all of the concrete used in the buildings. Concrete alone accounts for over 7% of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Using advanced low-carbon concrete mix design and CarbonCure, which we invested in through our Climate Pledge Fund, we were able to achieve a 20% reduction in the carbon footprint of Met Park’s concrete structures compared to the industry baseline.
This technology introduces recycled carbon dioxide into fresh concrete to reduce its carbon footprint without compromising performance. Concrete makes up the largest portion of the project’s total embodied carbon footprint, making low-carbon concrete one of the most impactful ways to reduce emissions associated with the building itself. This same CarbonCure technology is now being utilized at over 40 Amazon sites globally.
The Met Park meeting center ceiling is also constructed with cross-laminated timber and supported by 10 70-foot-long glue laminated timber beams. Wood absorbs carbon as it grows and continues to store that carbon throughout its material lifecycle in the building. By using structural timber, we have an opportunity to expand industry knowledge of the material in the region, paving the way for its broader adoption in the future.
Sunshades on the exterior of Met Park reduce direct sunlight into the building, saving cooling energy and decreasing glare.
Within the buildings, the HVAC systems that heat and cool the space, the water heaters that serve the sinks and showers, and even the food service equipment used in our kitchens are powered fully from
electricity. This means that we’ve eliminated the use of fossil fuels within the buildings for daily operations. Met Park will be powered with 100% renewable energy procured from a solar farm in Virginia.
New ways to recycle water
Met Park is designed to conserve natural resources and be resilient to future climate impacts such as increased temperatures and droughts in the region. We are using technology to reclaim and recycle water for elements like cooling towers, landscape irrigation and flushing fixtures. Low-flow urinals, toilets, and lavatories throughout HQ2 exceed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements by nearly one-third, which will help conserve water and energy even as our community grows.
By capturing and reusing rainwater, shower water, and HVAC condensate, the building is expected to achieve 50% water savings below building code, and recycle 7.5 million gallons per year—more water than it takes to fill the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool.
Incorporated green roofs and native plants
Met Park has two acres (or 90,000 square feet) of landscaped green roofs with native plantings where visitors and employees alike can find reprieve and connect to nature. Eight of the buildings’ 19 landscaped terraces provide amenities ranging from outdoor meeting spaces and dog runs to an urban farm. On one of our terraces, the Amazon Horticulture team is leading a program that partners with a local organization, Love and Carrots, to grow produce and deliver the produce to a local nonprofit, Kitchen of Purpose.
These green roofs help reduce energy consumption by swapping synthetic, impervious materials with plant life. Conventional roofs and pavement absorb sunlight, convert that energy into heat, and warm the surrounding structures—putting greater strain on the HVAC system. Green roofs and landscaping mitigate this effect through the naturally cooling functions of plants, reflecting solar energy and off-setting heat through evaporation.
Our landscaping was planned with native and adaptive plantings that are conducive to the climate of Arlington. They include a wide variety of plants selected to attract local pollinator species. Additionally, the soil is engineered to retain water and promote root growth while smart and low-flow irrigation systems are optimized to reduce water consumption by providing only what the native plants need.
Helping small businesses eliminate fossil fuels
We’ve also worked with the owners of small businesses that will occupy the 50,000 square feet of retail space at Met Park on reducing the carbon impact of their own operations.
As part of our leasing process, we worked together with tenants to explore electrification and help them understand how to move away from fossil fuel consumption while maintaining their amazing food and experience. We’re proud that 100% of our retail spaces will be all-electric, including restaurants and other food services.
Keeping construction materials out of landfills
Construction waste is a significant portion of the waste produced in the world. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality reports that in 2021, 4.3 million tons of construction and demolition waste was generated, 65% of which was sent to landfills. Keeping these materials out of landfills prevents ground and water pollution, promotes recycling, and keeps materials in active use longer.
For the construction of Met Park, 82% of all construction materials were diverted from landfills, including concrete, drywall, metals, wood, cardboard, and plastic. This process kept over 17,000 tons of material—more than four times the weight of the U.S. Capitol Dome—from entering landfills.
Learn more about how we’re making buildings more sustainable across our operations, including data centers, physical stores, and fulfillment facilities around the world.
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Visit MoCA Arlington’s Website here and the registration page to secure your space today!
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