Renderings of Amazon HQ2 and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (Photos via NBBJ/Getty)

Amazon Unveils Woodsy Plans for HQ2

Amazon has unveiled new plans for its second headquarters in Northern Virginia that will have an outdoorsy, woodsy theme.

The tech giant’s second phase of its campus in Arlington, Virginia, will include three 22-story office buildings, a smaller retail building, an outdoor amphitheater, a dog run and parking for about 950 bicycles, according to the Wall Street Journal. It will be encircled by woodlands.

The highlight of the project will be a 350-foot tower named the Helix that features two spiraling outdoor walkways along with trees and plants from Virginia, according to the newspaper. The first buildings of the second phase are expected to be finished in 2025.

Inside the buildings, there could be more plants, meeting space, offices and studios for artist residency.

The plans are part of the more than $2.5 billion, 25,000-employee office campus known as HQ2.

Plans for the second phase have to go through a public review process. Amazon looks to break ground on the project in early 2022. A pair of office buildings that will accommodate 12,500 Amazon employees are already being built nearby.

Amazon tapped Washington, D.C.-based architecture firm NBBJ to design the development.

Amazon initially planned to build two HQ2 campuses, and chose Long Island City, Queens, in 2018 for the second one, after an intense competition by cities and regions across the nation. But in February 2019, the Seattle-based company scrapped its plans for the New York headquarters after pushback from New York City politicians and activists.

Virginia, by contrast, greeted the internet retailer with open arms.

Amazon’s design for its Virginia campus could be a harbinger of future office designs as more companies look to bring employees back to the office after switching to remote work during the pandemic.

[WSJ— Keith Larsen

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