Amazon Nears Thousandth HQ2 Hire — “Even amid the region’s economic shutdown, Amazon has still been staffing up its HQ2 offices in Arlington, quickly approaching its 1,000th hire at the second headquarters campus, said Brian Kenner, head of HQ2 policy. ‘We’ve been very happy with the caliber of candidates,’ Kenner said.” [Washington Business Journal]
Pandemic Making Single-Family Homes Pricier — “Could the bloom be off the rose when it comes to urban (or urban-village) living? Figures are preliminary at best, but there is some inkling that the COVID-19 pandemic may be changing patterns among home-buyers. ‘Relatively better performance of single-family homes in relation to multi-family condominium properties clearly suggest migration from the city centers to the suburbs,’ said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association Realtors, in parsing sales data from May.” [InsideNova]
New Arlington Poet Laureate — “Award-winning poet and Marymount University professor Holly Karapetkova has been selected as the second Poet Laureate of Arlington County. During her two-year appointment, which begins July 1, 2020, she will serve as an advocate for poetry and the literary arts, working to raise Arlingtonians’ consciousness and appreciation of poetry in its written and spoken forms.” [Arlington County]
Snubbed Business Owners Speak Out — “ASAP Screen Printing is a small business. Yet the Arlington County government did not find the company small enough to deserve assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, instead providing grants to the likes of” hotels and franchisees of chain restaurants like Subway and Jimmy John’s, writes ASAP owner Mohammad Shiekhy. [InsideNova]
Toppled Tree Knocks Out Power to Neighborhood — A large tree fell, took down utility lines, and knocked out power to more than 100 homes in North Arlington’s Bellevue Forest neighborhood last night. [Twitter]
Dorsey on Death of George Floyd — Arlington County Board member Christian Dorsey posted the following on Facebook Sunday afternoon: “Why is it when we are bird watching, retrieving mail, swimming in a pool, walking down the street, or living in our own homes that you view us as a threat? Why do these routine activities see us being reported to police and losing our lives? It is a question my daughters ask, as do the children of every black person in America. Yet that question needs to be seriously be pondered non-Blacks. We then need you to transform episodic outrage into all-the-time anti-racism.” [Facebook, Blue Virginia]
House Fire in Hall’s Hill — “1800 block of N. Cameron St — crews encountered fire in attic. Fire was quickly controlled, 6 occupants escaped without injury and one dog was rescued in good condition. @RedCross called in to assist occupants.” [Twitter]
County Creates Badges for Mask-Requiring Businesses — “In response to Gov. Ralph Northam’s Executive Order that face coverings must be worn inside public places, the County created the ‘We Are Covered’ program. This gives Arlington businesses, multi-family residences, and houses of worship a way to show they have pledged to protect the people who come through their doors.” [Arlington County]
Tables, Tents in CC Sports Pub Parking Lot — “With outdoor seating now permitted as part of Phase One, Finlay and his staff worked to turn the restaurant’s parking lot into a patio. Outdoor tables are all set up six feet apart. ‘We’re lucky and blessed to have a parking lot that’s big enough to accommodate that type of spacing and still have the social distancing and be able to abide by all the rules and regulations we have to go by,’ he said.” [WJLA]
ACPD Releases Photo of Car That Struck Girl, Dog — On Sunday, Arlington County Police released photos of the dark-colored sedan that struck a girl and killed her dog Friday in the Donaldson Run neighborhood. ARLnow also obtained video of the car. [ARLnow]
Bayou Bakery Donates Thousands of Meals — “Back in 2005, [Bayou Bakery owner David] Guas saw first hand how Hurricane Katrina impacted his hometown and the importance of rapid response in rebuilding the community. In March 2020, when COVID-19 closed school doors, he knew he needed to provide the same fast-acting relief to area children and families left underserved.” [Washington Life]
Discussion with AED’s Telly Tucker — “We talked with Telly Tucker, the new head of Arlington Economic Development, about Friday’s reopening, what’s going on with the local economy, the plight of small businesses during the pandemic, and the growth of tech companies in Northern Virginia.” [Facebook, Apple Podcasts]
County Board Defends COVID-19 Response — “Arlington leaders continue to push back against accusations they could be doing more to address the COVID-19 crisis within the county’s 26 square miles. A number of civic-activists used the public-comment period of the County Board’s April 25 meeting (held ‘virtually’ after the government received state authority to do so) to rap officials for not imposing more aggressive regulation of daily life.” [InsideNova]
More Contributions for Small Biz Grant Fund — “The Arlington County Industrial Development Authority has joined Arlington Economic Development’s (AED) efforts to help small businesses… [The authority] approved a contribution of $326,000 of its own funding. Together with the $674,000 of funding from the County, and the recently announced contributions of $100,000 each by the Crystal City and Rosslyn Business Improvement Districts, total GRANT program funding has reached $1.2 million.” [Arlington County, Rosslyn BID]
Ballston Hotel Donates Rooms to Healthcare Workers — “The Ballston BID is collaborating with local organizations to coordinate free accommodations at the Holiday Inn Arlington at Ballston for essential healthcare workers in the community. Chesapeake Hospitality, which manages the Ballston-based Holiday Inn on North Fairfax, is donating a complimentary block of 50 rooms per day… to frontline medical staff, their families, and those most vulnerable within the community.” [Press Release]
Arlington Gets Okay Social Distancing Marks — “Falls Church has a C+, Fairfax County has a C and Arlington gets a B- in social distancing grades from @Unacast. Virginia’s grade is D- and the U.S. as a whole gets a D+.” [Falls Church News-Press, Twitter]
New Deputy Chief for ACPD — “Arlington County Police Chief M. Jay Farr is pleased to announce the appointment of Captain Adrienne Quigley to the position of Deputy Chief of Police, effective Sunday, May 10, 2020. Deputy Chief Quigley will assume command of the Systems Management Division at a later date.” [Arlington County]
Historic Home and Huge Lot Not for Sale, Yet — “Long coveted by developers and planners for schools and parks, the home built just after the Civil War has stirred interest since the death in 2017 of owner Randy Rouse, the homebuilder and equestrian. But his widow still lives in the home. And this week, it appears that some speculation on marketing the house was premature, the chances that the county could purchase it almost nil.” [Falls Church News-Press]
COVID Case Shuts Down Credit Union Branch — “The Arlington Community Federal Credit Union is closing one of their branches after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, the credit union announced Monday morning.” [Patch]
Bankruptcy for Hair Cuttery, Bubbles — “Ratner Cos., the Vienna-based parent company of hair salon chains including the Hair Cuttery, Bubbles and Cielo, has filed for bankruptcy protection after closing more than 80 locations across the country in March. The company and related entities, including Creative Hairdressers Inc., filed for Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.” [Washington Business Journal]
Flickr pool photo by Lisa Novak
More than 90% of Arlington small businesses have had their business “very” or “extremely” disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
That’s according to the results of a preliminary survey conducted by Arlington Economic Development, revealed in a county press release Thursday evening. With many businesses shut down by emergency order, revenue has slowed to a trickle for a wide swath of the local business community.
“While the pandemic is impacting numerous segments of the Arlington business community, it is particularly difficult for those that are customer-facing, specifically small retail, hospitality and personal services businesses, which have reported significant sales declines as well as employee layoffs,” the county noted.
To make matters worse, the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program loan fund, part of the $2 trillion stimulus package passed late last month, has run out of money — before many small businesses could get their applications processed by swamped banks.
A delay in replenishing the program, amid partisan bickering in Congress, could lead to business closures.
(ARLnow’s parent company, which employs 9 people, applied for a PPP loan from PNC Bank on April 6. As of this morning it was still “under review.”)
Arlington County, meanwhile, is launching its own relief program for small businesses. The county says it will provide grants of up to $10,000 for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 50 employees. The application for the program is expected to open in early May.
The funds for the program are being reallocated from elsewhere in the current Fiscal Year 2020 budget.
More from Arlington County:
Arlington County has created the Arlington Small Business Emergency GRANT (Giving Resiliency Assets Near Term) Program, to provide immediate financial assistance to Arlington’s small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The GRANT program is designed to bridge the gap to provide near-term relief for businesses, some of whom have experienced delays or limitations with Federal relief initiatives. The program was approved during a County Board budget work session Thursday, April 16.
“Small businesses contribute to the character of our community,” said Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey. “What’s more – they are a vital component of our community’s economic health. More than 90 percent of our businesses are small businesses – and right now, they need our help more than ever before.”
The GRANT Program would provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses and non-profits with less than 50 employees. Businesses may use the grants for employee salary and benefits as well as for other business capital and operating expenses directly related to the immediate impacts of COVID-19. Funding for the program is being reallocated from existing grant funds in the FY2020 budget.
“This pandemic has been truly devastating to the Arlington business community, particularly our customer-facing small businesses,” said Arlington Economic Development Director Telly Tucker, who reported that more than 9 out of 10 small businesses called the pandemic extremely or very disruptive to business operations. “In our outreach to our business community, we’ve heard that access to financial assistance was what they needed more than anything. We’re hoping these funds can bridge the gap for businesses and help them stay afloat during this challenging time.”
Eligibility and Applications Process
Eligible businesses and non-profits are those located in Arlington County with fewer than 50 employees that can demonstrate revenue losses of 35 percent or more as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications will be evaluated through a competitive process involving a weighted scoring system, looking at considerations like the number of jobs retained or supported with funds, length of time the business has operated in Arlington, whether it is women and/or minority-owned, demonstrated need, and how the funds will be used. Applications for Federal programs will not impact County GRANT eligibility. The goal is to have the application process up and running in early May.
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Ballston-Based E*TRADE Acquired — “Morgan Stanley and E*TRADE Financial Corporation have entered into a definitive agreement under which Morgan Stanley will acquire E*TRADE, a leading financial services company and pioneer in the online brokerage industry, in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $13 billion.” [BusinessWire, Wall Street Journal]
County Wants Feedback on Capital Projects — “As part of this year’s budget season, you’re invited to share your input on capital priorities for Arlington County Government. Where should we make investments? Which types of projects top your list? We want to know what you think. Your input will help guide development of the County Manager’s Proposed Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Fiscal Years 2021 – 2030, which will be presented to the Arlington County Board in May.” [Arlington County]
More on Upcoming EPA Move — “‘Facing budget constraints during the past few years, the agency has tried to reduce impacts on its programs by using rent savings to absorb appropriations cuts,’ said the EPA spokeswoman. ‘The lease for [Potomac Yard South] expires in March 2021 and by not renewing it, the agency can expect to attain approximately $12.7 million in rent savings annually,’ she said.” [E&E News]
New AED Director Settling In — “Tucker is pledging not to lose focus on helping the county’s existing businesses, particularly its small, family-owned companies. Critics of AED have long accused it of pursuing large corporate tenants at the expense of supporting mom-and-pop shops, a perception Tucker is keen to reverse.” [Washington Business Journal]
AHC Returns $$$ to Affordable Housing Fund — “AHC Inc., an Arlington, VA-based affordable housing developer, deposited more than $710,000 this week into the County’s revolving low-interest loan program, the Affordable Housing Investment Fund (AHIF). This year’s annual repayment boosts AHC’s total repayments to more than $45 million since the AHIF program began in 1988. The payments vary from year to year. Last year, AHC returned $4.9 million to the fund.” [Press Release]
Saturday: Census ‘Celebración Comunitaria’ — “Join us at the Gates of Ballston Community Center for food, family activities, an art contest, a kid’s raffle, and information about the upcoming 2020 Census 2020! Event sponsored by Arlington County, Census 2020, Alfo-Conce, Producciones POPB’IL.” [Arlington County]
Amazon ‘Excited’ for HQ2 Construction — “As we look ahead to 2020, we’re excited to start construction on our first buildings and hear more from our neighbors on how our investments can benefit the entire community — and continue to hire… Today we have more than 400 employees working from our leased office space on Crystal Drive, 18th Street S and South Bell Street in Arlington.” [Amazon]
Nearly 400 Amazon Job Openings in Arlington — Amazon currently lists just shy of 400 open positions in Arlington, from systems engineers to advertising account executives to event managers. [Amazon]
APS May Bring Back Paper Report Cards — “The effort by Arlington Public Schools to go high-tech with the distribution of student report cards appears to have hit a major snag. Two School Board members on Dec. 19 expressed significant concerns, and a third offered a milder form of disquiet, with the school system’s decision to scrap printed report cards in favor of online reporting.” [InsideNova]
Yorktown Boys Basketball Still Undefeated — Yorktown High School’s boys basketball team has extended its winning ways by winning the annual Bulldog Bash holiday tournament. The team’s 10-0 run included a 24-point comeback win on Dec. 20. [InsideNova, InsideNova, Twitter]
Q&A With New Economic Development Director — Incoming Arlington Economic Development Director Telly Tucker, in a Q&A: “I really want to first start with listening and learning about priorities and interests from all of those different entities to figure out a way to massage them into working toward common goals.” [Arlington Magazine]
Charitable Clothing Store Opens in Arlington — “There is a new option in Arlington that’s already helping hundreds of kids in need… Clothesline for Arlington Kids isn’t exactly a store. There are no price tags, and no money is exchanged. Instead, low-income children who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches can come here for clothing, free of charge.” [WJLA]
(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) Arlington County has hired Telly Tucker, head of economic development for the City of Danville, in southern Virginia, as the new Director of Arlington Economic Development.
The announcement follows the departure of a trio of top economic development officials from AED this year, including former director Victor Hoskins and interim director Alex Iams, both poached by Fairfax County, as well as Christina Winn, who left for Prince William County.
In an announcement early Thursday evening, Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey said Tucker “has a track record of bringing job-creating businesses to Virginia communities.”
“My colleagues on the Board, and I look forward to working with him to continue building on our success in attracting and growing high-quality businesses, both large and small, to Arlington,” Dorsey said.
Tucker’s hire was the result an extensive search, the county said, lauding his creativity and knack for building regional partnerships.
A biography of Tucker on the City of Danville’s website says he is a Lynchburg native, a James Madison University graduate and an accomplished pianist.
Telly Tucker currently serves the Director of Economic Development for the City of Danville, Virginia. He is responsible for leading the Economic Development efforts for the City with a staff of 4 full-time employees and one Economic Development Consultant. Tucker also serves as staff to the Danville Industrial Development Authority and staff to the Danville-Pittsylvania County Regional Facility Authority. He serves on the Board of the Virginia Economic Developers Association, the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance and the Danville-Pittsylvania County Business Development Center. In 2014, Tucker received the Certified Economic Development (CEcD) designation granted by the International Economic Development Council in Washington D.C.
Prior to his current post in Danville, Tucker served as the Assistant Director of Economic Development in James City County, Virginia, Community Development Administrator the Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development in Richmond, Virginia, and Economic Development Specialist for the City of Lynchburg, Virginia. During his time in Lynchburg,
Prior to 2007, Tucker spent three years as an educator in Lynchburg City Schools teaching Spanish, and SOL remediation while also coaching football and basketball at Sanduksy Middle School.
Tucker is an accomplished pianist, Padewreski Medal Award recipient, and has served in music director roles in the cities of Lynchburg, Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, and Hampton, Virginia.
He is a Lynchburg native and a 1997 graduate of E.C. Glass High School and obtained his Bachelors of Business Administration in International Business and Spanish from James Madison University in 2004.
The full announcement from Arlington County, after the jump.
(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) As Columbia Pike continues to evolve, county officials are heeding warnings to preserve legacy businesses at risk of displacement.
A market study commissioned Arlington Economic Development (AED) recommends the County Board be proactive in protecting legacy — or long-term — businesses along Columbia Pike.
“The threat isn’t rents going up, those spaces are very stable and landlords are very happy not having to worry about turnover,” said Marc McCauley, director of Real Estate Development for AED, during a County Board work session on Tuesday. “Rather, redevelopment is the threat.”
In recent years, development projects along Columbia Pike that closed long-time businesses have caused controversy — namely, the Food Star grocery store being torn down in favor for the new “Centro” mixed-use complex and a new Harris Teeter store.
In a 125-page “Columbia Pike Commercial Market Study” presented to the Board in partnership with the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, AED outlined a retail strategy toolkit to “provide options for supporting retail activity along Columbia Pike.”
In the toolkit, AED recommended both developing new neighborhood-serving retail while keeping in mind the 62 percent of legacy businesses along the Pike, defined as being built before 2003. In order to protect the legacy businesses, AED recommended the following:
- Consider grants or low interest loans, such as a real estate improvement grant, for legacy spaces.
- Consider establishing a program providing design services to owners of legacy spaces.
- Provide small business support for adapting to new technologies.
- Consider implementing a relocation support program for displaced local legacy tenants.
“Often we find ourselves reacting to an outcome, and then we are trying to catch up — we’ve never had the resources to begin early enough,” said McCauley. “The recommendation is to be proactive, and look at increased support services focused on this part of the County — and CPRO would be the right organization to begin this process.”
The study suggests Amazon’s HQ2 in nearby Pentagon City will exacerbate redevelopment trends that were already underway prior to the tech giant’s arrival.
“Growth is expected to accelerate along the Corridor, especially with the catalyst of Amazon HQ2 nearby in Pentagon City / Crystal City,” it said.
The study predicts that some 1,500 households with “HQ2-related jobs” will call the Columbia Pike corridor home by 2035. It also notes that while much of the Pike, given its distance from Metro, is unlikely to be redeveloped for office uses, the eastern end of the corridor may eventually see more office and hotel development.
While the County Board did not formally agree to the recommendations, members of the Board universally expressed enthusiasm for the strategy.
“I see a real problem on the Pike, and it’s what I worry about,” said County Board chair Katie Cristol. “I would love to be able to say to our beloved small businesses, yes the Pike is changing, and we hope you believe you have a home in a mixed-use environment. We are here to help you.”
The County Board is expected to take action on the toolkit by the “second quarter of 2020,” per County Manager Mark Schwartz.
(Updated at 7:50 p.m.) Arlington’s interim top economic development official is leaving to be the deputy to the county’s former head of economic development, who now works for Fairfax County.
The announcement of Alex Iams’ impending departure, made today by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, could be seen as something of a setback to Arlington’s economic development efforts in the wake of Amazon choosing the county for its second headquarters.
More from a press release:
Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) President and CEO Victor Hoskins announced today that he has selected Alex Iams, a longtime economic development professional in Northern Virginia, to be executive vice president at the FCEDA.
Iams has been interim director of Arlington Economic Development (AED) since August, when Hoskins left AED to take the top job at the FCEDA. Iams has spent 13 years at AED, including five years as assistant director before being named interim director.
The position is a new one at the FCEDA. Iams will begin on January 21, 2020.
“Alex is an extraordinary talent,” Hoskins said. “Both his quantitative and qualitative skills are tops in our profession. His economic impact analysis and analysis of return on investment grounded everything we did in Arlington, and his knowledge of commercial real estate markets is second-to-none.”
Iams was a key member of the Arlington leadership that secured Amazon’s second headquarters for Northern Virginia in 2018. He said he is looking forward to working in Fairfax County because of the size and composition of the market and because of a talent attraction and retention initiative that the FCEDA will accelerate in 2020.
“The EDA’s talent initiative is unprecedented in this region, and I am excited to have the chance to make a difference in such a large community and one that is emphasizing transit-oriented development,” Iams said.
“We appreciate Alex’s contributions over the past 13 years,” Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz told ARLnow in a statement. “He has been instrumental in lowering the office vacancy rate in Arlington, diversifying the local economy, and attracting new businesses. We wish him the very best as he takes the next step in his career.
Fairfax County isn’t the only jurisdiction hiring from Arlington Economic Development’s top ranks following the big Amazon HQ2 announcement. It was announced in June that well-regarded economic development official Christina Winn would be taking over the top job in Prince William County.
Prior to poaching Iams, Hoskins suggested that Amazon “should have located in Fairfax County, with its larger, more diverse, pro-business environment.” That comment, however, followed his earlier remarks that Amazon’s arrival would help position the county as a sort of “Silicon Valley on the Potomac.”
Iams, meanwhile, said last month that despite HQ2 “there’s still a lot of work to do, and it’s going to be a steep hill to climb” in order to bring down Arlington’s still-high office vacancy rate.
Hoskins told the Washington Business Journal’s Alex Koma that he and Iams “had a really good chemistry when we worked together in Arlington,” adding that “he’s very gifted.”
An Arlington Economic Development spokeswoman tells ARLnow that the agency hopes to name a new director by the end of the year.
Photo courtesy Fairfax County Economic Development Authority
Dorsey Staying Put, For Now — “The chairman of the Arlington County Board says he’s not going anywhere… ‘My personal financial issues do not impinge on my ability to work with colleagues both in Arlington and throughout the region, our county staff and our community,’ Dorsey said. ‘I intend to demonstrate over the next four years those who voted to re-elect me did not make a mistake.'” [InsideNova]
RiverHouse Plans Pick Up Opposition — “JBG Smith’s plans to add nearly 1,000 new housing units to its RiverHouse Apartment Complex in Pentagon City, not far from the future home of Amazon’s second headquarters, now look to be in trouble. Arlington officials and neighbors are pushing back against the developer’s proposal.” [Washington Business Journal]
Police Chase Theft Suspect in Rosslyn — “Two suspects allegedly entered a business, concealed merchandise in bags and left without paying. An employee attempted to confront the suspects outside the business and, following a brief scuffle, the suspects fled the scene on foot. A lookout was broadcast by dispatch and a responding officer observed two individuals matching the suspect descriptions walking in the area. One suspect complied with the officer’s commands to stop while the other suspect fled.” [Arlington County, Twitter]
One Argument for ‘National Landing’ — “In 2018 when Amazon announced it would locate its new headquarters in National Landing, people familiar with Crystal City scratched their heads and said ‘that’s not a real place.’ But the name Crystal City itself was also an out-of-nowhere developer creation about 60 years earlier… Before it was Crystal City, it was Brick Haven, so named for its abundant brick factories.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Restaurants Still Waiting for Amazon Effect — Restaurant owners in Crystal City are excited about Amazon’s arrival in the neighborhood, but are not yet seeing tangible benefits in the form of increased business. [Washington Business Journal]
CEO of A-SPAN Retiring — “A-SPAN announces the retirement of its President & CEO, Kathy Sibert. After leading the organization for 11 years, Sibert will continue her role through January 31, 2020. Sibert became the President & CEO of A-SPAN (Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network, Inc) in 2008.” [Press Release]
Vienna Poaches from Arlington Economic Development — “The Town of Vienna has hired a business development manager in Arlington County to help revitalize local businesses. The town recently announced that Natalie Monkou, an Annadale resident, will be the town’s first-ever economic development manager.” [Tysons Reporter]
Arlington’s office vacancy rate could drop below 15% next year as business continue to move to the area, according to some local experts.
Leaders of commercial real estate Avison Young and Arlington Economic Development (AED) said there is likely to be continued progress in Arlington’s long-standing struggle with a high number of empty office spaces.
However, Iams and Avison Young Principal Nick Gregorios both said they expect the office vacancy rate to drop again in 2020. If growth continues at its current rate in 2020, the vacancy rate could fall by up to 1.5 percentage points, Gregorios said.
As of Sept. 30, commercial real estate firm JLL reported an office vacancy rate of 16% in Arlington, down 5% from the county’s all-time high of 21% in 2015. This puts Arlington just below the current national average of 16.7%.
There is still about 7 million square feet of empty office space across Arlington to fill, according to Iams. Seven building vacancies have over 125,000 square feet of space apiece, leaving room for large companies, according to Iams.
Thursday’s panel itself was held on an empty floor of the Ballston Exchange office space.
“Just look around you, we’re sitting in a building right now where the National Science Foundation vacated in one fell swoop,” Gregorios said, referring to the NSF’s departure from Ballston to a new space in Alexandria.
In 2015, now-former AED director Victor Hoskins pledged to bring Arlington’s office vacancy rate down to as low as 10 percent within the next six years. That goal is thus far unrealized, but Arlington might come close with Amazon’s arrival continuing to generate interest in Arlington office space.
Shortly after helping Arlington woo Amazon, Hoskins left his position to head the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. Since then, Iams has been left to continue Hoskins’ work, with HQ2 as a tailwind.
“[Heading into 2020] with Amazon and HQ2, we’re doing things a little differently,” Iams said, speaking to AED’s business recruitment strategy. “We’re approaching different markets with a list of 10-15 companies that we’ve identified in advance, knowing that we can get in front of them when they’re in the market for relocation and expansion.”
According to the 2019 Q2 earnings release from Amazon headquarters developer JBG Smith, since the HQ2 announcement one year ago the company has executed one million square feet of new leases in the National Landing area — Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard — plus 400,000 square feet of renewals.
“What we used to do is go to tech conferences to get out name out there in order differentiate ourselves, but that’s not the case anymore,” Iams said. “Northern Virginia put itself on the map during the HQ2 process, and we’ll continue to work closely together for out-of-market deals with our Northern Virginia partners.”