Amazon's first headquarters building opens in Arlington

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In 2018, Amazon announced that Arlington would be home to its No. 2 headquarters in the nation. The $2.5 billion project is scheduled to create more than 25,000 jobs by 2030 and generate another thousands of indirect jobs throughout the region, according to Amazon's website.

The first phase of the HQ2 campus will be completed on schedule, Bloomberg News reported Monday. The company plans to move more than 8,000 workers to two completed office towers in Met Park by June.

In addition to providing 2.1 million square feet of "world-class" office space for employees, Met Park will feature an 18-hour open area, with space for public parks, locally owned small businesses, enhanced connectivity in the neighborhood, among others, highlighted Amazon.

Community input shaped the design of the project, including the 2.5-acre public park, with walking paths, protected bike lanes, a dog park, a playground, a community garden, and more than 160 kinds of variety of native Virginia plants and trees throughout the park. Surrounding it will be 14 new local small businesses occupying more than 50,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.

"This project is extraordinary in so many ways," Arlington County Board President Christian Dorsey explained in a statement to the press. "It will bring us significantly closer to fulfilling the vision of the Arlington community, as an urban neighborhood with a better balance of residential and commercial development, more and better public spaces, and increased pedestrian and bicyclist access."

Kate Bates, president and CEO of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, was delighted to attend Amazon's Met Park opening "and this corporation's unwavering commitment to our community." She believes that Amazon "is not only stimulating the local economy, but also fostering diversity and inclusion within the retail industry."

The two towers in Met Park are named: Jasper and Merlin. The first, Jasper, was the codename for the multi-stage customer experience modernization of the Alexa app. While Merlin, or WAS17, was the code name for Amazon QuickSight, a cloud-based business intelligence service product.

The corporation announced in early March that it is pausing construction on its second headquarters in Arlington while the company re-evaluates its office needs amid continued job cuts, according to news reports.

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